It’s happened to most of us: you get a new apartment, go to take a nice hot bath, only to realize the bathtub plug is missing. At a time like this, you don’t want to go to the store to get a new bathtub plug that probably won’t even fit when you get it home. You can make a plug quickly from some items lying around the house, but unless you have just the right stuff, it’ll be a couple of hours before that bath.
Of course, you can always stuff a washcloth in the drain and hope that you don’t find yourself left with 2″ of water within the first 5 minutes. Now, if you happen to have a piece of rubber laying around, like the kind used to place over a jar lid to loosen it, you’re in business, but if not, you’ll have to make one from other objects. Anything similar to the rubber lid assistant will let you immediately plug the tub.
The clear film that you see on the front of hundreds of packages, made so that you can see the product in the box, is a perfect example. The pressure of the water holds the flimsy plastic in place, but the plastic will have to be cut much larger than the drain, or it will get sucked into the hole.
Many different sized lids will plug a tub perfectly but the problem is getting the lid back out of the drain. You can use 2 or 3-liter soda lids, spice jar lids, wine bottle corks, and other similar items, depending upon the size of the drain, but you’ll have to attach a handle. A plastic-wrapped wire tie, like the ones found on many pieces of bread, makes a great handle. To turn a plastic lid into a plug, use vice grips, pliers, or even tweezers and, wearing an oven mitt, grab a nail and heat the end on a burner.
It only takes a few seconds – it doesn’t have to be red hot. Push the hot nail through the center of the lid, and then remove it immediately. Don’t insert a large hole, just a hole big enough to accommodate both ends of the bread tie. Fold the bread tie in half, but the two separate ends into the hole, and then spread the ends apart to secure. To keep the wires from falling out on the folded side, push down on the fold until the tie spreads apart somewhat. Pull the tie slightly apart, near the lid.
When you’re finished with your bath, just pull the wire tie and the plug comes out. Do something similar to the corkscrew, but use a small screw to attach the tie around, and then screw it down into the cork. Or, use a nail to make a hole through the center of the cork, then push the bread tie through the hole and tie the wire in a knot. In place of the wire, you can always use a string or twine.
You can use other things besides a wire for your plug handle, but they will require glue, and that means drying time. Hot glue doesn’t hold up underwater, so you’ll have to use some type of all-purpose glue. A small, novelty bouncing ball makes a great plug, too, but it’s nearly impossible to get it back out of the drain without a handle.
Small little pull string bags are perfect for slipping the ball in and supplies the handle by which you’ll pull the ball out. You can also cut the ball in half, insert a string or tie, then glue the ball back together.
Other things you can use for a handle on any of the plugs you make is a bobbin glued to the plug, a tiny lid glued on to the larger one, a short dowel, an ink pen cover or look around the house to find other small objects to utilize.