How Much Do Plungers Cost? An Oral History

Let’s play a game where we try to guess what everyday household items cost. You know, things you should know the price of, things our parents know the price of, but for some reason we have absolutely no idea. Is it a generational thing? A geographic thing? Can we blame the internet? Or maybe I am just an idiot. Only one way to find out.

For round one, and spurred on by this Best Made Co. parody site which I thought was real for way longer than is acceptable, I sent an email to some of my friends asking them what they think plungers cost.

Miriam:

I have two plungers. One is really shitty- get it? I figured a plunger is a plunger but it turns out a $3 plunger is worthless.

I went to an actual hardware store and got a $10 high quality black plunger. It resides along side the the lame plunger though, because I just can’t let go of bad purchases.

Jen Snow:

The plunger that I have is classic red rubber with a wooden handle, and I live in a tiny studio apartment so when I moved in I bought the kind with a short handle, because somehow that made sense at the time, and it cost $8.

The plunger that my friend who is a commodities trader bought for his family is more sturdy/industrial, the kind with the black rubber force cup, and it cost $10.

The plunger that my sister registered for, because that’s a thing that people do, has a stainless steel handle, and it cost $29.99.

The plunger that is in my office isn’t a plunger, but a toilet brush, though it works when necessary, and I don’t know what it cost because it’s in my office, and it would be weird if I asked what it cost.

Anna Weiner:

Let’s say… $11.35. Thick rubber and a real wood handle don’t come cheap in this country, you know.

Lindsay:

I have a pretty sturdy black plunger. I would guess that it cost $18, but I don’t remember what I paid for it or where I bought it. I think I also have a smaller red one that maybe came with [my husband] Brian? I’d price that at $8. I did not think to register for one…if only. I only had to use the plunger once, when I flushed a whole plum down the toilet bc it was spoiled and it was rainy outside and I didn’t want to walk out to the garbage can in the rain. Good god, plz redact my name, but FYI, the plunger totally worked.

Will McGinn:

I’d guess $9.99 for a plunger. “Flushed” a “Whole Plum” huh? I haven’t done that since last Saturday…

Do people even use plungers anymore?

Halle:

Our horrible toilet clogs ALL THE TIME (read: when we flush plums down it). For a while my roommate and I had three plungers because we kept buying the WRONG KIND. We accidentally bought a very small sink plunger, then some other weird kind of plunger, before we bought a standard one. We got all of them from the dollar store nearby, so I’m going to assume it was…$8? That feels right. I would gladly pay upwards of $100 for one if I had to. Also, as a tip for your readers, a major clog (read: two or more plums) that isn’t responding to normal plunging should be covered in dish soap and let to sit. Gross, but that should help break it up. If it still doesn’t, heat a tea pot full of water then slowly add hot (not boiling) water to the toilet. I had to do this method once and by the grace of Toilet God it worked.

It turns out that plungers do in fact range in cost from $5 to $30. I would personally recommend you not buy a plunger without the inner suction cup and would like to direct you to Lowes.com, where you can get one for $5.98.

Comments