When your toilet clogs, the first thing you probably do is break out the plunger to unblock it. However, if the clog is especially tough, your plunger may not be enough. So, what else can you do to clear a badly clogged toilet?
The first thing you should do is stop flushing. If your toilet doesn’t drain, persistent flushing will only fill the bowl with more water, making the problem worse.
The following are DIY tips that can help you unblock your toilet. However, if your clog is far down the pipe or your toilet won’t unclog, don’t hesitate to call our team at Plumbing by Jake for help.
Ways to Unclog Your Toilet
When your toilet clogs or overflows, it can be more than an inconvenience. It can interrupt your day. However, you have several options besides a plunger to unblock your badly clogged or overflowing toilet. And many of these solutions require nothing more than things you may already have in your house.
Lubricate the Blockage With Dish Soap
Locate a measuring cup and pour half a cup of dish soap into your toilet. Give your soap about five to 10 minutes or enough time to travel down your drain to reach your clog. Then, add hot (not boiling) water and let it sit. Dish soap serves as a lubricant, greasing your clog and dislodging debris.
If you don’t have enough dish soap to spare, you can also cut up a soap bar and drop the chunks into the toilet.
Make a Coat Hanger Snake
You can easily turn a wire coat hanger into a snake if you don’t have a plunger or a drain snake on hand.
First, untwist the hanger so that it becomes one straight, long wire, except for the hook. Then, wrap a small rag around the hook end to prevent scratches or damage to your porcelain.
Next, after putting on rubber gloves, push the wire up into the toilet drain and wiggle the wire gently. Finally, when the water starts to drain, give your toilet a few flushes to clear out the blockage.
Break Up the Clog With Hot Water or Drain Cleaner
If your toilet is blocked, fill a pot with hot water. Then, use the tap or heat it on the stove, but make sure it’s not boiling, especially if you have PVC plumbing. A clogged drain will trap the boiling water in the pipes and warp or soften your lines and seals, causing a potential leak.
Pour the hot water into your toilet and let it remain there for a few minutes to see if it loosens your blockage. You’ll know the hot water is working if you see the water begin to recede. After that, give your toilet a couple of flushes to further break apart the clog.
You can also try drain cleaner; however, make sure you protect your hands with gloves. And if you need to call a professional, remember to tell the plumber if you’ve used drain cleaner.
Otherwise, they may suffer a caustic skin burn from drain cleaner backsplash when they attempt to unclog your pipe.
Mix Your Own Declogger
Avoid using harsh chemicals in your toilet by creating a DIY declogger combination of ¼ cup Epsom salt, two cups of baking soda, and about 10 tablespoons of dish soap. Add the dish soap one tablespoon at a time.
Pour the mixture into separate muffin liners and let them harden and dry overnight. The next day, drop one into your toilet bowl and add four cups of water. Finally, let the combination sit for a couple of hours and check the results.
Plunge Using a Plastic Bottle
You can also try using a plastic bottle to unclog your toilet. Note that this can be incredibly gross, but it is also highly effective, which is why we suggest you try it. First, get a plastic bottle and cut off the bottom.
Next, make sure you have your rubber gloves and old clothes on and line the floor with newspaper or old towels to catch any overflow. Then, bail out the dirty toilet water with a small container.
Once you’ve removed enough water to be able to reach your hand into the bowl without causing an overflow, grab the bottle. You can leave the lid on the bottle, slide your thumb over the top, or cover it with plastic wrap and a rubber band to create a seal.
Finally, push the bottle, open-end down, into the toilet and forcefully plunge it up and down. Make sure the bottle remains entirely underwater. The vacuum you create should pull the clog out and back into the main drain.
Unblock Your Toilet With Vinegar and Baking Soda
Your blockage could be due to a calcium buildup. A solution of vinegar and baking soda may break up the clog. First, if your toilet is filled to the top, be prepared for an overflow or empty some water. Next, pour one mug of baking soda and two mugs of vinegar into your toilet drain.
When the two ingredients combine, the chemical reaction will bubble and loosen the clog. Wait about 30 minutes, follow up with hot water, and see if it drains. If it doesn’t work, repeat the process one more time.
This method is often more effective at removing what may remain of a clog once you’ve removed the main offender.
Head to the Store for a Better Plunger
Depending on how dire your current situation is, you may want to pop out real quick and pick up a different kind of plunger. Sometimes, the $5 plunger you can buy at the supermarket isn’t strong enough for those extra-tough clogs.
Instead, go shopping for a ball-shaped plunger or one like the plumbers use. These have a flange on the bottom that pulls out of the plunger to form a seal around the toilet’s drain.
You should also run hot water over the plunger before you use it. This loosens up the rubber on the plunger and helps it form a better seal. Then, plunge away!
Flush Only One- or Two-Ply Toilet Paper
To avoid toilet clogs and sewer backups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages Americans to avoid flushing disinfecting wipes or anything but toilet paper.
In addition, we recommend avoiding three-ply, “ultra-plush,” or quilted-type toilet paper. These thicker-made papers take longer to disintegrate in your pipes. Instead, look for single or 2-ply brands that quickly break down into tiny pieces.
Toilet Still Won’t Unclog? Give Plumbing By Jake a Call!
Sometimes, a toilet clog is too substantial or too deep in your drain lines that there’s nothing you can do to remove it. That’s when it’s time to call in the professionals. Our licensed plumbers are available 24/7 to help you with any emergency you may run into.
No problem is too large or too small for our expert plumbers. Plus, we’re proud to offer you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our parts and repairs. Give us a call, and we’ll be at your home in no time. So, don’t let a clogged toilet get you down — contact Plumbing by Jake today!