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.

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

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.

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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 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


Have your kids ever flushed anything down the toilet? Did you get the item back?