No one wants to think about having a clogged toilet, but it’s something that’s bound to happen every once in a while.
When it does happen, there are several ways to unclog toilets, depending on how severe the problem is. Toilet paper alone may not be enough. The best way to deal with this issue is by using multiple methods in order to get the job done quickly and efficiently so you won’t have to worry about a clogged toilet for quite some time.
Whether it’s caused by too much toilet paper, a toy left behind, or simply not flushing all the way, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you fix your clogged toilet.
Here are 10 simple solutions to getting rid of the blockage when nothing works:
1. Use a plunger
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Run a good amount of water into the bowl and then plunge the toilet two to three times. Make sure to get a tight seal around the entire rim for the best results. Allow the excess water to drain out once you’re done plunging, and repeat if necessary. Hopefully, the plunging motion will dislodge whatever is causing the blockage and break it up enough to flush away. This should work for most minor clogs and blockages.
Tip: If you’re having trouble getting the plunger to create a good seal, try positioning it over the water before submerging it. That will allow you to create that tight seal (necessary for plunging).
2. Drop in an enzyme cleaner such as Bio-Clean
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The enzymes will begin breaking down any organic material that may be causing your blockage, which makes it easier to suck up with the water when you flush afterward. Enzymes are non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally safe, so you don’t have to worry about future problems that may arise from using this method. Keep in mind that enzymes can’t break down things like solid objects since the enzymes are designed to break down organic compounds, not metal or plastic.
Tip: Applying the enzyme cleaner onto the sides of the bowl as you’re plunging may help to break down whatever is causing your clog more quickly.
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3. Get a plumber’s snake (a.k.a auger)
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Insert the end of the snake into your toilet bowl and crank it slowly. You’ll want to be careful when inserting it in order to not scratch the porcelain finish on your bowl, but cranking it will break up any chunks that may be causing your blockage. The auger will suck up these chunks, and you can easily flush them away with the water in your bowl. It’s a good idea to do this in sections, cranking it in one area and then moving on to the next.
Tip: Change the position of your crank each time to ensure that you get all of the blockages.
4. Pour boiling water down the pipe
Another way to help rid yourself of that clogged toilet is by pouring a good amount of boiling water into the bowl. This can help soften up any unseen stuff that’s making its way through your pipes and hopefully dislodge it from the blockage. Boiling water can also help kill any bacteria that has built up in your pipes which can be a good thing for you.
Tip: If you’re dealing with an especially bad clog, this may help to dislodge it. Be careful that you don’t scald yourself in the process, though.
5. Add a cup of laundry detergent to the bowl
Pour a good amount of detergent into the toilet, insert the plunger again and pump twice or three times for best results. You may have to wait about 30 minutes after flushing before you can use your toilet again since this method will need time to work and break up any clogged material and leave behind a fresh scent.
Tip: Using the plunger while the detergent is in your bowl can help break up additional chunks of any clog during this 30-minute waiting period.
6. Dissolve baking soda in vinegar
Pour a good amount of vinegar into the bowl and then drop some baking soda into it as well, making sure that there’s enough vinegar to create a fizzy reaction. After about 20 minutes, flush the toilet again to remove any leftovers from this method. Baking soda and vinegar are household items that are around the house, which makes this method easy to use without having to go out and get anything extra.
Tip: You may have to repeat this process a few times if you’re dealing with a stubborn clog.
7. Pour hydrogen peroxide down the drain
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Some hydrogen peroxide may also help remove any organic material that may be leftover from a previous plumber visit. Just pour a little bit down the toilet and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before flushing again. Hydrogen peroxide is well-known for its cleaning abilities.
Tip: This method may also help to remove any bacteria or other remnants that could be making their way through your pipes.
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8. Use some caustic soda
The last resort is to use some strong caustic soda around the rim of the bowl, making sure that there’s enough where the blockage is located so it can eat away at whatever may be causing this clog. You’ll want to flush immediately afterward and wait about 30 minutes before using your toilet again, just in case any of this acidic material made its way into your pipes as well.
Tip: Caustic soda is extremely dangerous around children and pets, so make sure to be very cautious with this method.
9. Try a chemical drain opener
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If you’re uncomfortable with any of the steps mentioned above, your best bet may be to use a chemical drain opener around the rim and wait about 20 minutes before flushing. A chemical drain opener is always your safest bet since it doesn’t pose any danger to you or your family. Most of them are designed specifically for unclogging toilets which makes the process even easier.
Tip: Not all chemical drain openers work for this purpose. Be sure to check the labels before buying one.
10. Call a plumber
If all else fails, then it’s probably best to call up your local plumber for some help removing the clog. They’ll usually come over and diagnose the issue before coming up with an estimate of what needs to be done in order to remove this blockage. You may want to ask them if they can give you any advice on preventing future clogs since many plumbing companies offer these types of services.
Tip: This is the most expensive option of all, so keep it in mind. Try to save this idea for when you’ve tried everything else.
Reasons for a Clogged Toilet
Most clogged toilets are caused by items that shouldn’t be flushed. These items can range from hair or paper towels to regular old human waste.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know this, and they’ll go about flushing whatever it is that’s stuck in their toilet. This can lead to a number of issues, including a backed-up sewer line. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes for a clogged toilet and some tips on how to avoid them in the future.
One of the most common causes of a clogged toilet is regular old paper towels. Just because they’re made from paper doesn’t mean that they’ll break down as soon as you flush them. A lot of times, this material will get stuck against other items, making it even more difficult to break up these items once flushed within your toilet.
Flushing non-flushable items
People will also try to flush non-flushable objects such as baby wipes, tampons, and even feminine products. All of these items should never be flushed because they won’t break down as toilet paper does. You may get away with flushing a couple of pieces at a time. Still, you’ll quickly notice that your toilet isn’t draining properly anymore.
Another very common problem for clogged toilets is old pipework. If you’ve got any rusty pipes, then these may need to be replaced in the near future. This makes it that much more difficult for anything that’s flushed down your toilet to break up and be carried away by water.
Issues with the Main Sewer Line
If you’re having issues with your toilet, then you may want to check out the main sewer line that runs under your home. One of the most common problems with these is tree roots that have started growing into them.
Another issue is just the general deterioration of the sewer line over time. These are both problems that can be fixed, but they’re extremely costly to have these types of work done.
If you’re dealing with a build-up in your toilet, then this may be due to hard water. This is when there’s a lot of minerals within your water supply that’s making it difficult for things to break down as they should. You may notice that you’re having issues with flushing paper towels, tampons, and other similar items.
Since this is an issue with the water itself, there isn’t much you can do to avoid the problem aside from using a TP de-scaler or other similar products to help remove this build-up.
Using products like air fresheners and toilet deodorizers within your toilet can lead to clogs as well. These types of items may end up solidifying over time, making it more difficult for the water to push them down and out of your drainage system.
Using your toilet as a trash can
Another massive issue is when people use their toilets as a trash can instead of the proper receptacle. This leads to all sorts of problems, including clogs and drain issues. Unfortunately, there’s no solution for this other than improving bathroom etiquette among family members.
How to Prevent a Clogged Toilet
Now that you know why your toilet may be clogged, it’s important to take steps in order to prevent the problem from happening again. Here are some ways you can avoid a clogged toilet:
Use Toilet Paper Only
Use only flushing paper towels down your toilet. Even if there is an additional item stuck within, this will help it break free much more easily than other materials will.
Avoid products like feminine supplies and baby wipes
This is extremely obvious, but also very common for people to do without thinking about it. It’s easy enough to just throw these types of items in the garbage where they belong instead of putting them down the drain!
Use multiple flushes If you find that there are certain types of items that are clogging your toilet, then you should probably use two or three flushes to clear them out.
Use a plunger on a regular basis
If you’re not using a plunger on a regular basis, then now is the time to start doing so. This way, it will be easier for you to unclog your toilet without having to worry about calling in repair services every single time something stops up to your drain pipe.
Avoid putting things down your drain unless absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, avoid putting anything down your drain that isn’t water or toilet paper. Cleaning supplies, food items, and even hair can lead to major problems with your home’s plumbing, whether it be in your sink or in your pipes!
Regular cleaning is a must
It’s important to clean out your bathroom sink and shower on a regular basis. This is the easiest way to avoid having things like hair or toothpaste clogging up your drains. Cleaning these items out can be an easy process if you have the right tools.
New pipework may be necessary
If you have an older home, then it’s more than likely that your toilet is clogged due to the age of your pipework. Having your pipes replaced can be expensive, but it’s well worth the investment if you’re experiencing issues with your drainage system. This will help you avoid having to deal not only with clogs but also water leaks and other issues down the line.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a toilet unclog itself?
Unfortunately, no. It’s not possible for toilets to unclog themselves because the water in your toilet has to drain in order for the clog to clear out.
How much does it cost to unclog a toilet?
Plumbers will often charge around $50-100 when you get their assistance with a clogged toilet. They may also offer a flat rate if they determine that there’s a blockage elsewhere.
How do plumbers unclog toilets?
They’ll generally use specialized tools and their bare hands to clear out the toilet drain itself as well as anything else causing a blockage in your plumbing network. They may also use chemical cleaners to dissolve away anything blocking your line.
Is it bad to let a clogged toilet sit?
If your toilet gets clogged and you don’t get it unclogged, then it’s going to back up and overflow. This can cause a number of different damages if it happens while you’re not home or during the evening when no one is nearby.
What causes a bad smell from my toilet?
If your toilet starts giving off a particularly foul smell, then this could be caused by any number of things, including: an exposed sewer line, standing water, or human waste. A plumber can help get rid of the smell or determine the source of it.
How long does it take for a Toilet to Unclog?
Anything from 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on how difficult it is for your toilet to clear itself of any blockages. This may also depend on what’s causing the clog in the first place.
Is it safe to use an auger on a toilet?
Yes, it’s completely safe. They’re specially made augers that are designed to clear out a blockage in a toilet without dealing with any of the human waste from inside your toilet tank. You should still use gloves and some sort of mask as you’ll likely come into contact with some of the waste itself while using an auger for this purpose.
How do you unclog a toilet that keeps getting clogged?
If you have a toilet that keeps getting clogged, then it’s most likely caused by the types of items being flushed down your toilet. This includes excessively large amounts of paper towels or tampons that aren’t flushable.
You may also want to consider upgrading your drainage system or checking out any old pipework if you’re noticing a lot of blockages after flushing.
Is it bad to leave poop in the toilet overnight??
Of course! That’s a terrible thing to do. Leaving human waste inside your toilet overnight can cause a number of issues, including your pipes being corroded or the spread of fecal bacteria throughout your home.
What causes a toilet to keep clogging?
A number of different issues could be causing your plumbing system to clog up and create problems throughout your home, including using too much toilet paper, certain types of wipes or feminine products flushed down the drain, or even food items left in the sink after meals.
Why is my toilet flooding?
Flooding can occur for a number of different reasons. If your toilet is overflowing, then it may be caused by an excess of water being used in the area or poor drainage ways further down the line.
It’s also possible that your plumbing network has old pipework or piping issues that are allowing waste to back up and overflow through your drains. This is why regular maintenance and examination of these systems can often prevent problems from occurring in the first place!
What does it mean when my toilet is leaking?
A leaking toilet generally means that the wax seal between your toilet and the main sewer line has worn away or is damaged in some way. This can allow all sorts of debris to travel up through your lines, including tree roots or rust.
This can cause all sorts of issues further down the line, including very expensive repairs or a simple replacement of your complete drainage system. You want to stay on top of any leaking problems with your toilet, especially if there’s any chance for outside leakage into your home!
No matter how you choose to solve your clogged toilet problem, rest assured that one of these methods will have, the job done in no time. With some effort and patience, you may be able to unclog that toilet without having to call anyone over. If any of these methods worked for you or if you have any other ideas on removing a clogged toilet, we’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.
If all else fails, then it’s probably best to call up your local plumber for a quick fix. This is the best option when dealing with a clogged toilet as it changes from being an annoyance to a true emergency situation.
Last update on 2021-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API