A clogged toilet can have the whole family in turmoil. They look to you to fix the problem. Lucky for you, you’re a domestic guru and there is nothing too hard for you.
Yet, unclogging a toilet isn’t the most enjoyable job. You know a plunger can do the trick, but are there other ways in which you don’t have to get your hands dirty?
There are a variety of ways to unclog your toilet. Some use plumbing equipment and other methods make use of household ingredients.
Read on to discover how to unclog your toilet when nothing else works.
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How do I stop my toilet from clogging up?
The best way to avoid having to unclog a toilet is to stop it from occurring in the first place. There are daily practices that we may do that contribute to a toilet being blocked.
Flush every time you use the toilet
This might seem like a no-brainer, but some people don’t flush each time they go to the toilet (please don’t judge!). That can cause a build-up of toilet paper which your toilet is going to struggle with.
To avoid this issue, flush whenever you use the toilet.
Clean your toilet often
Frequent use of your toilet can cause debris and other items to accumulate within the piping. Give your toilet a good scrub at least once a week (more often if you have a lot of people using it).
Ensure that only toilet paper is being flushed down your loo.
Check the toilet tank
Sometimes things make their way into the tank of your toilet. Being unaware that something is lurking there that shouldn’t be, you flush the item into the toilet.
Objects entering the tank can happen by someone cheekily using it as a hiding spot. If you store items above or on the tank, they could fall into it.
Check your tank regularly to ensure that it’s clear of debris.
How to unclog your toilet
The traditional way of unclogging the toilet is to use a plunger. But there are other methods that you can try when nothing else works. We will start with the standard ways and then give other non-traditional methods.
Time to get that toilet unclogged.
Unclog your toilet with a plunger
Everyone knows that the first course of action to fix a blocked toilet is the plunger. It can be a bit messy if you have poo floating in the bowl. Preparation is the key to using the plunger without creating too much chaos.
- Put on a pair of gloves and place towels around the base of the toilet.
- Scoop out water from the bowl using a paper cup. Tip this water into a nearby basin or a bucket. You want the remaining water within the bowl to be at a level where it won’t overflow when using the plunger.
- Place the plunger over the opening of the drain pipe.
- Begin with light pumps of the plunger and work progressively to a stronger action. Allow a vacuum to form.
- Once you feel the vacuum, pull the plunger away from the drain hole. The suction should unclog your toilet.
- Wash down the toilet and the floor with bleach.
Use a plumbing snake to push the clog down the pipe
A plumbing snake has an advantage over a plunger in that it can reach deep into the drain piping. This plumbing tool is a must-have for any house as it can unblock more than just your toilet.
- Put on rubber gloves (some manufacturers provide these when you buy the plumbing snake).
- Place the spiral head of the snake in the drain. Feed it along the length of the piping until you hit whatever is clogging the toilet.
- Have the plumbing snake work at pushing the blockage down the pipe until you feel it release.
- Once the clog has been removed, try flushing the toilet.
- Clean up the area and your plumbing snake.
Unblock your toilet with a coat hanger
This works similarly to a plumbing snake (without the expense if you already have a wire coat hanger). The downside to this method is that it’s only effective if the blockage is near the drain.
- Cut and straighten out your coat hanger.
- Place an old towel or cloth over the end of the hanger you are going to feed into the drain.
- Carefully work the coat hanger into the drain until you reach the obstruction.
- Push until you feel all resistance within the piping gone.
- Remove the coat hanger and dispose of it. Wash the area with bleach.
Use a wet and dry vacuum cleaner
If you own a vacuum that can suck up water, then use it to unclog your toilet. This solution is best suited for clogged toilets that don’t have any nasties floating in the water.
- Place the nozzle of your cleaner into the bowl and suck out the water.
- Slowly work the end of the cleaner into the drain. Move it deeper into the piping and vacuum up the objects that have caused the clog.
- When you are satisfied that the toilet is unblocked, try flushing it.
- Safely dispose of the water and debris within the vacuum cleaner.
Remove the clog with enzymes
Enzymes help to break down blockages by liquifying them. You can buy enzyme drain cleaners at your local hardware store, or online. The GET SERIOUS Septic Tank Treatment is one of the best on the market.
How you use it varies from one manufacturer to another, but the fundamentals are the same:
- Pour it into your toilet bowl.
- Wait for a few minutes.
- Flush your toilet.
Read the directions that came with your particular enzyme cleaner to get the best out of it.
An alternative to this method is a drain cleaner. However, this option of unclogging your toilet comes with a couple of warnings:
- Commercial drain cleaners contain chemicals that can be harmful to humans and your toilet.
- Don’t use this option if your toilet is blocked by something solid.
Try baking soda and vinegar
Here is a natural way to get rid of blockages within your toilet. It works by softening whatever is stuck in the drain.
- Mix two cups of water and a cup of baking soda. Pour this solution into the toilet bowl.
- Add a couple of cups of vinegar to the bowl and allow it to react with the baking soda. Wait for at least 6 hours to allow everything to react with the obstruction.
- Give your toilet a flush.
A variation of this solution is to use hot water and dish soap. Pour a gallon of hot water into the toilet and then add several drops of dish soap. Wait for an hour or so and then try to flush your toilet to see if the clog has gone.
Call in the plumber
This is the last resort when nothing else has worked. Your local plumber has tips and tricks you don’t know about to remove that clog. You can expand your knowledge by asking and watching how they fix the problem.
The clog has gone
A blocked toilet can ruin your day. However, you have a range of solutions to tackle the issue. Plungers and plumbing snakes are the tools of the trade for plumbers, so it pays to invest in these for yourself.
Yet, you may prefer to use something you already have. Then baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap may remove that clog in your toilet.
All are ideal methods for freeing your toilet from blockages when nothing else will work.