The humble plunger has apparently served its duty. As if unclogging the toilet weren’t already hassle enough, a new South Korean product aims to bring a bit of science to the bathroom. It’s called Pongtu, and it’s essentially shrink wrap for the toilet.
A video from South Korea introduces the product. First, the toilet is clogged with a mix of toilet paper and (we hope) artificial waste. Sure enough, flushing the toilet only results in a bowl brimming with anxious, panic, and last night’s dinner. No matter — a careful set of hands cleans the rim of the toilet bowl before placing an adhesive yellow film over the surface. Then, fearlessly, comes another flush.
But rather than swell over the lip of the bowl, or worse, burst at the seams, everything stays contained. All that changes is a bubble in the middle of the cover that swells — seemingly, because of the gas inside. After three equally fearless pumps down on the bubble, followed by another flush, the contents wash away sight unseen. The pair of hands return, peel off the film, and the job is done.
Meanwhile, a few quick jabs of the plunger probably would have cleared up the mess in half the time, with a tenth of the dread. Pongtu is not yet available in any supermarket or grocery stores, even in Seoul, according to NPR. For now, and it has for years, a rubber bowl on the end of a wooden stick will have to suffice.