All homeowners face the uncomfortable situation of clogged toilets at some point in their life. Regardless of what has clogged or jammed your toilet, it can be more than a small inconvenience, especially if you don’t know what to do. Keep in mind that panic and regular flushing of the toilet will only make matters worse. That’s because it can cause flooding, damaging your floors.
Although clearing the clog can be as easy as plunging your toilet drain, you may need to run a plumbing snake through your piping system. Furthermore, some blockages might be far down your plumbing system or so challenging to remove that you’ll need the services of a professional plumbing contractor. Luckily, these simple ways can help unblock your toilet.
1. Use a Plunger
A plunger might be a basic tool, but it’s the best way to unclog a toilet. Make sure that you have this tool in your home, and if possible, invest in one with an extension because it works well when it comes to unblocking toilets. To unblock your toilet using a plunger, place the tool in your toilet bowl and then push it downwards over the hole in a gentle manner.
In many cases, the first push eliminates air. However, do not push the plunger forcefully to prevent splashing toilet water on yourself. When you get a good seal, push the plunger up and down vigorously while maintaining the seal. Lastly, pull up your plunger forcefully as you break the air seal. If the blockage loosens, you will notice water running down the drain. However, if the clog is still there, repeat the process until the blockage breaks down.
2. Get a Plumbing Snake
The other way to unclog a blocked toilet is by using a snake. Use this tool when the blockage is deeper than the toilet bowl. Put on some gloves, thread the tool, and wind it around your toilet drain until you release the clog. While using a plumbing snake can be messy, it’s much better than using your hands. If the first time doesn’t work, try again before contacting a certified plumber. However, you should avoid substituting a plumbing snake with a clothes hanger because a hanger can severely scratch the porcelain surface of your toilet bowl.
3. Use a Toilet Brush
If you don’t have a plunger in your house, you can use a toilet brush. Although you can use the brush similarly to a plumbing snake, this technique only works when the blockage is near the opening, but it can still be effective. Push your brush in the toilet hole to see if you can reach the blockage and dislodge it.
If you have some plastic bags in the house, you can add more force to this technique. Place the head of your brush in a bag, wrap, tie, or tap it tightly to the handle. After that, you can use the brush the same way you would a toilet plunger. The bag acts as the force that pushes the water through your toilet pipe or drains. Depending on the severity of the clog, your toilet brush will either become excessively dirty or damaged. However, it’s easier to clean or replace a brush than mop toilet water off your bathroom floor.
4. Pour Hot Water
The operational concept of toilets is primarily based on gravity that forces water via the cycle. Therefore, you can use hot water to add to the force to help clear a severe clog. The idea is to utilize heat to break down the oils and fats in the blockage while also using the water force to push the waste through the drain.
Fill a pan with water and place it on the stove to heat, but don’t allow it to boil because boiling water can easily crack porcelain and even ruin your toilet. Once the water gets hot, pour it down your toilet drain, and allow it to sit for several minutes to see if the clog will loosen up. Then, give your toilet one or two flushes. In many cases, hot water is enough to break down the blockage and get things moving again.
5. Use Dishwashing Soap
If using plain hot water is not loosening the blockage, you can try using the hot water together with dish soap. Many liquid dishwashing detergents effectively break down fats, grime, and grease clogs, just as they do when you use them in your dishwasher. Use the liquid detergent instead of the gel option since the gel does not dissolve easily in cold water and will only worsen the situation.
Pour several squirts of dishwashing detergent down your toilet, and follow it up with some hot water. Wait for around 30 minutes to give the soap time to work, and then, flush your toilet. If the clog is severe, you can allow the dish soap to sit overnight before flushing the toilet. Shampoo can also be a good substitute if you don’t have much dishwashing detergent.
6. Get Epsom Salt
You can also use Epsom salt to clear toilet clogs. The salt normally creates an incredibly fizzy reaction when added to water. Therefore, it can help break down the waste to clear the blockage. Pour enough Epsom salt into your toilet bowl, and allow it to sit for around 20 minutes before flushing with hot water. If you don’t have Epsom salt, a bath bomb will also do the trick.
7. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
You can also use non-toxic household cleaning products to clear toilet clogs. Baking soda and vinegar effectively clean different surfaces, function as deodorizers, and are useful in keeping drains running smoothly. Moreover, these household cleaning solutions also work when you don’t have a plumbing snake or plunger to fix a clogged toilet.
Fill a cup with baking soda and pour it into the toilet bowl. Wait for a couple of minutes and slowly pour two cups of liquid vinegar into the toilet. The two items will react to form some bubbles, so make sure you pour them slowly and carefully to prevent the dirty water from splashing or overflowing. Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes before flushing your toilet. Once the clog clears, your toilet will make a fast suction noise and drain smoothly. If the blockage does not break down the first time, you may need to repeat the entire process until it clears.
8. Utilize a Wet/Dry Vacuum
The other way to unclog your toilet is by using a vacuum. However, do not use a standard floor vacuum to avoid getting electrocuted or damaging the equipment. Grab a wet/dry vacuum from your garage or rent one. You can either use the vacuum’s blow feature to push the blockage down the pipes or the suck feature to pull it out. Both options can work, but the former creates more splashing.
Contact a Plumbing Contractor
Hopefully, these simple methods will help you unblock your toilet with ease. However, if you are dealing with a severe blockage, it might be time to call in a plumbing professional.
At Blue Bear Plumbing, we have the necessary experience to handle even the worst of clogs. Our specialists use advanced and powerful drain cleaning tools to resolve the problem as fast as possible. Furthermore, our equipment and tools are safe on your plumbing system. We also offer indoor air quality, heating, cooling, duct, and new construction services throughout Boston, MA. Call us today to schedule your drain cleaning service.