Have you tried to flush only to find out you have a clogged toilet, blocked by foreign objects or faulty pipes? Before despairing or calling in professional help, you can always try to fix the issue yourself. After all, unclogging toilets is a great skill to have, especially if you’re hosting a party or, worse, are at someone else’s house when it happens… There are several ways to unblock your toilet, most of which use common tools or ingredients found in your home, so you don’t have to worry about running to the shop.
If you prefer an old-fashioned technique, the plunger is your ally. First turn off the water at the valve, in case of an overflow, and then make sure that you have the right plunger, as some designs may not be ideal for the toilet. If in doubt, just ensure that the plunger seals the opening of the toilet bowl to create the vacuum and pressure needed. After applying the plunger, try to flush – this method works most of the time, so it’s likely you can fix the problem like this. If not, there’s more you can do.
The ‘Pouring Liquids Down the Toilet’ Method
Resist the urge to keep flushing once the water has risen, because it can be challenging to work with a toilet that is overflowing and has no space to hold extra water. For this technique, you’re going to need:
- One clogged toilet
- Dishwasher soap and hot water
- Or baking soda, white vinegar and hot water
Choose your combination or, if one doesn’t work, try them both. For the dishwashing method, add the liquid to the bowl of the blocked toilet – then add hot water, which shouldn’t be boiling, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then try to flush it again. The alternative is pouring 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet, followed by 1 cup of vinegar. Leave it for a while and, when you return, pour hot water into the bowl. Hopefully the toilet should unclog.
…but you need to be extra careful when handling this product. You should probably try other methods before jumping to this one, as it can be fiddly. Caustic soda is corrosive, so protect your eyes with goggles and cover your exposed skin. Also, don’t pour it directly into the toilet, since it can solidify and create a bigger blockage; instead, add it to water (NOT the opposite, so the mixture doesn’t boil quickly) before using it to unblock your toilet.
The bowl should be empty when you pour the mixture in, and you should leave it overnight. In the morning, empty a pot of hot steaming water into the bowl and flush. The blockage should be gone.
If all of these techniques fail, it’s time to call in help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if your toilet needs to be unblocked or if you have any other issues with drains, as we’re trained to deal with a large variety of situations.