FIXME Plumbing > News & Blog > Unblocking a Toilet: DIY Techniques That are Simple and Work Well
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Unblocking a Toilet: DIY Techniques That are Simple and Work Well

There are a large number of items that you really should avoid flushing down your toilet: cigarette butts, cotton balls, tampons, dental floss, and even “flushable wipes”. Try as you might, however, there are times when these items manage to find their way down there and clog up your toilet. When this happens, you may rush to your computer to look up how to unclog a toilet.

Fortunately, there are many ways to unblock a clogged toilet with a few household items that you may already have laying around somewhere at home. The next time you notice your toilet draining slowly or any other telltale signs of a clogged toilet, try using any of the following:

Tried and Tested Ways for Unblocking a Toilet DIY Style

1. Dishwashing Liquid and Warm Water

– Fill a large pot with roughly two litres of tap water and place it on the stove over high heat. As the water starts to heat up (but not boiling), pour about half a cup of dishwashing liquid to create a cleaning mixture. Once it is ready, bring the pot over to the clogged toilet and carefully pour the cleaning mixture into the toilet. Wait a few minutes to allow the mixture to work its magic. If your clog is caused by oil build-up or some other organic matter, the cleaning mixture should be enough to loosen the blockage. Once enough time has passed, try flushing your toilet. You should notice that your toilet is starting to flush freely again.


2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

– Dishwashing liquid and warm water isn’t the only cleaning mixture you can use to unclog a toilet. The tried and tested combination of baking soda and vinegar is another highly effective DIY method you can try. If you want to try this method instead, grab a measuring cup and add a cup of baking soda into the toilet. After waiting for a few minutes to let the baking soda dissolve, slowly pour roughly two cups of vinegar into the toilet. It’s advised to pour the vinegar slowly to avoid having the mixture bubble over and spill on the floor. After several minutes of waiting for the mixture to loosen the clog, you should begin to notice that your toilet is flushing properly again.


3. Wet Vacuum

– If you own a wet vacuum at home, you may want to try using it to help you remove stubborn clogs from your toilet. Put on a pair of gloves and empty the toilet of water. Position the vacuum hose into the toilet’s drain and wrap an old piece of cloth around the hose. This creates stronger suction. Firmly hold the hose in place and it should generate enough suction to pull out whatever is causing the clog. Please take note that this is only for WET VACUUMS. Never attempt this with a normal vacuum cleaner to avoid potentially electrocuting yourself.


4. A Plunger

– When all else fails, why not turn to a tool that was specifically designed to clear clogged drains? Plungers aren’t too difficult to use if you know the correct way to use them – and if you have the correct one for the job. For clogged toilet drains, it’s better to use plungers with a flange, a smaller cup protruding from the bottom of the plunger. This tiny section is important because it provides a better seal around the toilet drain. As a result, you’re able to create a much stronger suction. If you do not have a flange plunger at home, simply drive to your nearest hardware store and purchase one. Having one at home will come in handy should you experience a clogged toilet again in the future.


When Should You Call a Plumber to Handle a Clogged Toilet?

There will be times when you’re still facing a clogged toilet after following all of the DIY tips mentioned above. In such cases, the best way to unblock a toilet would be to call a trusted local plumbing service like FIXME Plumbing. There may be a chance that the clog is much deeper than you initially thought, making it necessary to remove the toilet temporarily to clear the obstruction.

Another instance where calling your neighbourhood plumber is a good idea is if you begin to notice water backing up in your shower or sink drains every time you flush your toilet. This is often a sign that the clog is in your main sewer drain. As you might expect, correcting such an issue will also require the help of an experienced professional.

Author: FIXME Plumbing