When a toilet malfunctions or clogs, it can be a minor inconvenience, or it can end up interrupting your household entirely. Nobody likes a clogged toilet, least of all if you clog a toilet in someone else’s home.
Often, clearing a clogged toilet is a simple matter of plunging the drain. But if it’s severe, then you might need a call in the plumbers. Before doing that, you may want to try unclogging the toilet by yourself.
Here are the DIY tips to unclog a very clogged toilet:
1. Unclog with a plunger
Almost every household has a plunger. It’s the easiest and most common item to help unclog toilets, drains and pipes. If you haven’t used one before, here’s how to get started. Use gloves to cover your hands, then place the plunger in the toilet bowl. Gently push downwards and take care not to push it forcefully; otherwise, you risk splashing yourself with dirty water.
Here’s where you can use force to sustain the seal. Pushing down the plunger will help eliminate the air and create a seal. Once you have a good seal, pump the plunger up and down. This up and down motion helps to agitate the water in the toilet bowl.
Finally, when you’ve done pushing up and down a few times, it’s time to pull the tool away. This motion will break the air seal, and water will flow down the toilet drain. You may need to do this a few times until all the clog loosens and the toilet’s contents have been flushed down.
2. Unclog with vinegar and baking soda
Don’t have a plunger? Check if you have baking soda and vinegar, another common household item. If you do, then these non-toxic cleaning items can be helpful. Vinegar and baking soda are already well known for their numerous cleaning properties, and it functions great as a deodorizer.
To unclog your toilet without a plunger, you can add one cup of baking soda to the toilet. Wait for a few minutes, then pour two cups of vinegar slowly into the toilet bowl. This mixture will bubble and fizz, so make sure you pour the vinegar in slowly so a major reaction doesn’t happen, causing overflowing or splashing. Close the toilet bowl and allow this mixture to work for a few minutes.
After about 10 minutes, flush the toilet to see if the clog has cleared. Just like using the plunger, you may need to repeat this process a few times till the clog clears.
3. Unclog with hot water and dish soap
Ran out of baking soda or vinegar? Ok, so maybe this remedy is for you. Hot water and dish soap, the unlikely heroes for unclogging a toilet. It doesn’t seem like a combo that works, but it’s worth a try, especially if this is the only thing you have at home.
You need to boil a gallon of water on the stove. Meanwhile, pour some dish soap into your clogged toilet. When the water reaches a near-boiling point, turn the heat off. Wait for the water bubbles to settle and cool off a little, put on your oven mittens and pour the water into the toilet gently. Don’t pour it forcefully as you may risk hot water and toilet water splashing over you.
Wait for 10 to 15 minutes for this combo to do its work. What it should do is soften the clog enough for you to flush the toilet again.
You can also use shampoo in place of dish soap if you don’t wish to leave your bathroom with a clogged toilet.
4. Unclog with bleach
Household bleach can also soften and break down clogs as soap does. You use it the same way you use the dish soap method, except instead of hot water, you use powdered soap. Pour in two to three cups of bleach into the toilet bowl, then pour in a cup of powdered soap. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before flushing.
5. Unclog with a toilet snake
A toilet snake is an excellent investment in any household, especially if your toilet is prone to clogs. No, not the kind that slithers but a device that can help you release the blockage. At a price tag of about $25, you use this handy device to thread and wind down drains and pipes to unclog it. It’s a handy gadget for clogs that are deeper than the bowl.
6. Unclog with a plumber
It means that you have a very stubborn toilet to deal with. Then you need to call a professional plumber. Professional plumbers may cost you money, but if none of the DIY tips have solved the problem, then plumbers can get the job done. They will have all the necessary tools to tackle the worst and most stubborn blockages and clogs.