Toilets are something people rarely think about, unless something goes wrong. When the toilet clogs or malfunctions, it can be worse then inconvenient, it can be quite embarrassing. Especially if you are at someone else’s house and dealing with a clogged toilet. Do not despair if you run into this awkward situation. With a little ingenuity, a clogged toilet is nothing to cry over and can fix quite quickly. Whether you are at someone else’s house or home alone, the situation can be managed. We’ll review how to keep a toilet from overflowing and how to unclog a toilet.
Stop the Toilet From Overflowing, FAST!
If a toilet is about to overflow, you’ll need to keep it from overflowing before you start to think about how to unclog a toilet. If the water is rising and you think the toilet is about to overflow, act fast! You can keep a toilet from overflowing in two ways: either shut the water off behind the toilet or stop the water from entering the bowl from the tank. To stop the water in the tank, first take the lid off. Then close the open flapper. Don’t worry about the water in the tank; it is as perfectly clean your home’s drinking water or the water in the shower. The other option is to reach behind the toilet and turn the water supply off. Done! Now you can move on to unclogging the toilet.
How to Fix a Clogged Toilet, 7 Options
- Plunger– A plunger might seem basic, but it is still the best way to unclog a toilet! Every household should have a plunger, and preferably a plunger with a flange, as these work the best to unclog toilets. Flat plungers work better for drains and showers. How to unclog a toilet with a plunger: put on rubber gloves, if you have them. Put the plunger in the toilet bowl and push down gently. The first push is merely to get rid of the air. If you push too forcefully, you could splash dirty water upon yourself. Now that you have a good seal, forcefully pump the plunger up and down, maintaining the seal. Finally, pull the plunger up sharply, breaking the air seal. The water should rush down the drain. If this has not fixed the clog, repeat these steps until the clogged has loosened. Now you know how to unclog the toilet using a plunger!
- Baking Soda and Vinegar– When the toilet won’t flush and no plunger is handy, turn to the trusted non-toxic household helpers: baking soda and vinegar. You might know that baking soda and vinegar are fantastic at cleaning many surfaces, excellent deodorizers, and helpful to keeping drains running smoothly. Baking soda and vinegar can also great when you need to know how to fix a clogged toilet without a plunger. Simply add one cup of baking soda to the clogged toilet. Wait a couple minutes. Next, slowly pour two cups of vinegar into the toilet. Baking soda and vinegar react to cause bubbles, so be sure to pour slowly and carefully so that the toilet water does not splash or overflow. Allow the vinegar and baking soda mixture to work for several minutes. Flush the toilet to see if the clog has cleared.
- Plumbing Snake– Plumbing snakes are handy tools for any homeowner. Regular snakes can scratch or damage porcelain toilets, so make sure to use a special toilet or closet snake, also called an auger. A toilet auger has a rubber coating to protect the toilet’s porcelain. How to snake a toilet: place the head in the toilet bowl. Begin slowly turning the handle clockwise. When you feel resistance, wind the snake back. If the clog has loosened, flush the toilet. If not, wind the snake back in and repeat until the clog is broken up and the toilet flushes easily.
- Dish Soap and Hot Water– Ok, you still don’t have a plunger in your bathroom? Everyone has dish soap and water in their home. Put one gallon of hot water on the stove to heat up. While the water heating up, squirt some dish soap into the toilet. When the water is very hot, but not boiling, carefully pour it into the toilet. Wait several minutes while the hot water and dish soap soften the clog. Voila! The toilet should now be unclogged and flushing freely. You can also try to use shampoo and hot water from the sink if you want to try to clear the toilet without leaving the bathroom.
- Wet/Dry Vacuum– This is a truly unique method for fixing a clogged toilet. Caution: do not try this method with a regular vacuum as you will ruin the vacuum and might shock yourself. Before you begin, put gloves on as this method requires holding the vacuum hose inside the toilet. If the bowl is not empty, vacuum the water out. Next, place the vacuum hose in the toilet drain and wrap an old towel around the hose to create suction. Next turn the vacuum on, firmly holding the towel and hose in place. The vacuum should create enough suction to pull the obstruction out. Thoroughly clean and sanitize the vacuum afterwards.
- Drain Cleaners– While chemical drain cleaners are not recommended because they can damage plumbing and create chemical burn hazards, we do recommend you try an enzyme or bio cleaner like Bio-Ben instead and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Call a Plumber– Simple, but probably the most reliable and easiest way to unclog a stubborn toilet. You will have to wait for the plumber to arrive, but the plumber is more likely to completely get rid of the clog. This is a good option for a problem fixture that frequently gets clogged.
No matter the problem, it is always better to have many solutions, especially for when the toilet’s clogged. From dish soap to snakes, you now have many options for fixing your bathroom plumbing woes, including the most trusted method to unclog toilets using a plunger. Do you have a surefire method for unclogging the toilet? Let us know!