How to get a clogged toilet back to normal
Were you about to clean the toilet only to discover that it is now blocked? It happens to the best of us. Of course, it can seem like one of those gross tasks you’d rather avoid when you start to fix a clogged toilet! Unfortunately, sometimes you’ve got to pull up your sleeves and learn how! There’s no need to pay someone to come fix things, just follow these top tips to quickly know what to do with or without a plunger.
Clogged toilet solution: using a plunger
Do you need to quickly know how to fix a clogged toilet for the first time? It may be time to invest in a toilet plunger. A basic flange plunger will do. They’re specifically designed to fit toilets and, in most cases, do the job.
- First, ensure that there’s some water in the toilet bowl. If there’s not enough to cover at least the rim of the plunger, you can add some by filling a container using the sink or flushing lightly. Flushing in this case is only advised if it won’t overspill your toilet. Locate the flush stopper in your toilet just in case, so you can abort the flushing whenever you need to.
- Lower the plunger to fill as much water as possible and then fit it over the drain hole. It should form a seal around the hole.
- Hold the plunger firmly between your hands and push it down. Then pull it back up without breaking the seal. Repeat this motion around five or six times and finally pull out the plunger on the last push. This movement should unclog the toilet.
- Flush the toilet and watch everything disappear.
If your toilet is still blocked after trying the steps above, you can give it another go. If that doesn’t work, try one of the other methods described below.
Unclogging the toilet without a plunger
One of the easiest ways to solve a clogged toilet problem without a plunger is to use hot water.
- First, remove any stagnant water in the toilet into a bucket. This is to ensure that any extra water won’t lead to overspill or accidental flooding of your bathroom. Make sure to wear rubber or disposable gloves and to wash hands and arms thoroughly afterwards.
- Add some dishwashing liquid (about half a cup) to the toilet bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Fill up a bucket with about 2 quarts of very hot tap water from the bathroom sink or tub and pour the hot water into the toilet bowl.
- Allow the hot water and soap to dislodge the blockage by checking back after a few minutes. Once your toilet is unclogged, you can flush any stagnant water that you had collected in step 1. Clean all used vessels afterwards.
If these steps do not clear your blockage, but the water does drain a little bit, you can try it again.
Instead of using washing up liquid, you can also pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl before you add the hot water. Baking soda is also a good solution when you’re cleaning a very dirty toilet.
Fix a clogged toilet using a toilet auger or snake
Sometimes your plumbing problem is a little further down the deep end of the pipes. But before you call the plumber, try a toilet auger. These are long, bendy tools also referred to as drain snakes. They can be inserted to reach more stubborn clogs. Please note that using a snake can scratch porcelain and leave permanent marks on the toilet bowl, so be careful if using this method
- Push the auger/snake into the toilet bowl until you hit the blockage.
- Rotate the handle of the auger/snake and keep pushing down at the same time. This will cause the blockage to break apart.
- Sometimes you may be able to extract whatever caused the blockage if the tip of the auger/snake pierces the item. This is useful if, for example, solid materials are blocking the pipes.
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