What to do If You Flush Your Keys Down the Toilet?

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Have you ever wondered can keys be flushed down the toilet? Yes, keys can be flushed down the toilet, so if you drop your keys in the toilet be sure to get them out before you flush. But since you’re reading this you probably already know that and are wondering what to do if someone flushed your keys down the toilet.

If you’re wondering how I know that you can flush keys down the toilet let me share a story with you.

A couple of nights ago, we needed to run to the grocery store for a couple of things. As we were getting ready to leave I gave our toddler the car keys, this is a common ritual at our house. (Our little guy likes to hold the keys and walk to the van, then he will hand them back so we can unlock the door and get him in his car seat.)

So, I gave him the keys thinking we were about ready to walk out the door, but then my husband remembered he needed something upstairs so he ran up, and then I got distracted by something. Then we heard the toilet flush!

At first, we didn’t know if he still had the keys when he flushed the toilet or not; but once we searched the whole house twice we finally acknowledged what we already knew, he had flushed the keys.  In case you’re wondering, YES! a set of car keys will go down the toilet.

What to do when your toddler flushes your keys down the toilet. A step-by-step guide of what we did when our keys took a flush.

What To Do When Your Toddler Flushes Your Keys Down the Toilet

Knowing the car keys had gone down the toilet here are the next steps we took.

Step 1: Search the House AGAIN!

I know we already searched the house, but we really, really hoped that he had dropped the keys somewhere before reaching the bathroom. No such luck.

Step 2: Google – Can Keys get flushed down the toilet?

Keys are heavy (especially when there are like 4 of them on a ring), they can’t get flushed, right? Wrong! After searching on google I found that it’s quite common for keys to get flushed down the toilet by toddlers as well as adults.

Step 3: Google – How to Get Flushed Keys Out of the Toilet

There are a surprising number of articles about how to get your keys back after flushing them. An article on eHow says all you need is a wire coat hanger.

Step 4: Discuss if you really want the keys back

Yes, Jared and I really talked about if we would want to use keys that have spent time in the toilet. We concluded that since they are metal they could be sanitized.

Step 5: Try to get the keys back

After finding a wire hanger Jared spent 10+ minutes trying to get the keys out of the toilet.

Step 6: Go back to Search Results from Step 3

The other options we found included taking the toilet off and trying to see if it was still in the back of the toilet or calling a plumber.

Since we are renting we decided to take apart the toilet probably wasn’t the best idea, and a plumber is more expensive than getting new keys.

Step 7: Give up on getting your keys back

Step 8: Search for Toilet Seat Locks on Amazon

These Toilet locks are a best seller on Amazon, plus they are inexpensive and easy to install.

Step 9: Order Toilet Lock for EVERY toilet in your house

If you’re smarter than me, you will install toilet locks BEFORE your toddler gets your keys.

Step 10: Make New Copies of Your Keys

Even if you’re little one hasn’t flushed your keys down the toilet it’s probably a good idea to have an extra set of keys just in case you lock them in the car, a set gets lost or something else crazy happens.

Now I really hope your keys haven’t been flushed down the toilet, but even if you have had to experience this stressful experience it’s not too late to babyproof your toilet (and bathroom) so other valuables don’t get flushed down the toilet.

How to Baby Proof The Bathroom

There are a lot of different areas in the bathroom that need to be baby-proofed including the toilet bowl, toilet paper, and bathroom cabinets.

We all know that the bathroom is not a safe place for young children, but curious toddlers and small children love this room filled with potential dangers.

When figuring out the best way to babyproof the bathroom keep in mind you want easy adult access for older children and adults.

Bathroom Door

One of the quickest and easiest ways to babyproof the bathroom is by putting up a baby gate in the doorway or by putting a self-closing hinge on your bathroom door.

Doorknob covers are also a popular option, I find they are a pain, especially having kids that need to get into the bathroom but struggle with the covers. So I would say they are a good option for houses with adults that will need to get into the bathroom.

Now obviously these suggestions only work if the baby is not already in the bathroom and the gate and door actually get shut.


Kids love flushing the toilet and playing in the water so it’s one of the first things I would babyproof. Not only is it so gross it’s also a potential drowning hazard. My favorite way to baby-proof the toilet is shutting the door, but since that doesn’t always happen for peace of mind it can be good to actually baby-proof the toilet.

A toilet safety lock is the easiest way to do this. Depending on if you have standard toilets or not you may have to search more for the right toilet lid lock but on amazon you can look at reviews and find the best toilet locks for your bathrooms.

There are also products to babyproof the flush lever on your toilet, but that’s a different story. With my elementary-age kids needing to be able to flush the toilet it’s not something I have ever done.


Little kids love finding and trying out all the fun things we keep in our bathroom cabinets. Cabinet locks are one of the fastest and easiest ways to prevent your little explorer from everything you keep in the cabinets.

These child safety locks are also a simple way to babyproof kitchen cabinet doors. For a quick fix until you can install safety locks you can move dangerous items high up out of the child’s reach.


Most bathrooms don’t have outlets low to the ground where babies can reach them but if your bathroom does be sure to get outlet covers over all those outlets and the ones throughout your house.

Final Thoughts

There are obviously so many other areas in the bathroom you can babyproof including the bathtub, toilet paper roll, trash cans, toilet brush, and more. While it’s a great idea to babyproof as much as you can I pick the most important things for baby proofing first.

It’s hard and overwhelming to think of everything curious children can make dangerous. So the best advice I can give is to shut the bathroom door and only let your child in the bathroom (especially the bathtub) when an adult is watching to keep the baby safe.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.

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9 thoughts on “What to do If You Flush Your Keys Down the Toilet?”

    1. Thanks for reading. It’s true that toddlers are a challenge, but all they have to do is smile and cuddle with you and everything is worth it.

    1. Thanks for reading, I’m glad this is not something you have had to experience. It was frustrating when it happened, but now we can laugh about it 🙂

    1. I’m glad you didn’t have anything go down. Apparently my little guy has a talent for flushing things, thus far we have only lost a pacifier and my keys.

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