People rarely think about toilets until something goes wrong with them. Once there is a clog or leak, it can be inconvenient and quite embarrassing. Learning how to unclog a toilet is important, especially if you have to deal with it in someone else’s house.
If you run into this awkward situation, do not despair! With just a little ingenuity, a clogged toilet will prove to be nothing serious and you can fix it right away.
Here are 5 DIY tips for you to easily unclog a toilet.
1. Use a plunger.
Every household that has a toilet should also have a plunger. Using this for a clog is simple: put on rubber gloves first and put the plunger in the toilet bowl. Push it down gently to get rid of the air–don’t push too forcefully so you don’t splash dirty water all over yourself. Pump the plunger up and down while maintaining the seal. Then sharply pull the plunger to break the air seal and let the water rush down the drain.
2. Put dish soap and hot water.
Heat up one gallon of water and squirt some dish soap into the toilet. Once the water is close to boiling, pour it into the toilet carefully. Wait for several minutes while the dish soap and hot water softens the clog. The toilet should be ready to use after flushing it with the hot water.
3. Remove clog with a plumbing snake.
Regular snakes can damage porcelain toilets so use a special one, which is also called an auger. A toilet auger protects the toilet’s surface because it has a rubber coating. To snake a toilet, place the head in the toilet bowl and start turning the handle clockwise slowly. Wind the snake back when you feel resistance. If the clog has already loosened, you should be able to flush the toilet.
4. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
When you don’t have any special tools and the toilet won’t flush, you can turn to baking soda and vinegar. Both items are available in most households and they are non-toxic. Just add one cup of baking soda to the clogged toilet and wait for a few minutes.
Next, slowly pour two cups of vinegar into the toilet. This is so you can avoid the splashing or overflowing that can happen when vinegar and baking soda react to each other. Allow the mixture to work for a few minutes before flushing.
5. Use drain cleaners.
Chemical drain cleaners can damage your toilet and create chemical burn hazards. Instead of using those strong substances, find an enzyme of bio-cleaner for your toilet. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a drain cleaner.
Dealing with Other Kinds of Obstructions
There are rare instances when an oddly shaped solid like a small toy or a piece of clothing will make its way into the toilet. If this happens, the only way to unclog the toilet is by pushing the obstruction downstream, especially if there’s a pre-existing clogged material or hair. Your best bet, though, is to call a certified plumber who can use specialized tools for unclogging your home’s drains.