How to Unclog a Toilet: Tips and Tricks

How to Prepare for Unclogging a Toilet

toilet unclogging prep

Having a clogged toilet can be stressful, but with the right tools and preparation, it doesn’t have to be a messy ordeal. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for unclogging a toilet:

  • 1. Gather the necessary tools: Having the right tools on hand can make all the difference when unclogging a toilet. A plunger is a must-have and can be found at most hardware or home goods stores. Additionally, having gloves, a bucket, and old towels or rags can help you avoid any unpleasant messes.
  • 2. Assess the situation: Understanding the extent of the blockage can help you determine your next steps. If you notice that the toilet is close to overflowing, you may need to turn off the water valve to prevent any water damage.
  • 3. Protective measures: Before you start unclogging your toilet, be sure to take protective measures. You should put on your gloves, and lay towels or rags around the toilet to protect your floor from any water or sewage that may overflow during the process.
  • 4. Plunge away: To unclog the toilet, place the plunger over the clogged drain and use a gentle but firm motion to create suction. Slowly lift the plunger up to see if the water starts to drain. It may take a few rounds of plunging to loosen the blockage, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work right away.
  • 5. Cleanup: After the toilet has been unclogged, be sure to clean up any remaining water or sewage with old towels or rags. Disinfect the area with a cleaning solution, and throw away or wash any dirty items.

By gathering the right tools, assessing the situation, taking protective measures, plunging methodically, and cleaning up thoroughly, you will be well on your way to successfully unclogging a toilet!

Tools and Materials Needed for Unclogging a Toilet


Unclogging a toilet is not something anyone enjoys doing, but with the right tools and materials, it can be a quick and painless task. Here are the items you will need for unclogging a toilet:

  • Plunger: A toilet plunger is a must-have for every bathroom. It is used to apply forceful pressure to the clogged toilet to push the blockage down and out of the drain. When using a plunger, ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger’s cup and create suction.
  • Rubber Gloves: Wearing rubber gloves when unclogging a toilet is highly recommended. Gloves protect your skin from harmful bacteria and waste that may be in the toilet bowl.
  • Bucket: A bucket is useful for emptying excess water from the toilet bowl. It also comes in handy when filling water into the bowl if there’s not enough water to use the plunger.
  • Clothes Hanger: Sometimes, the clog in the toilet could be caused by foreign objects that need to be removed manually. A clothes hanger can be used to reach and remove items that may be stuck in the drain.
  • Dish Soap: Dish soap can be used to break up the blockage in the toilet’s pipes. Pouring a few drops of soap into the bowl will help to lubricate the drain and allow the blockage to slide through more easily.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Baking soda and vinegar are natural alternatives to a chemical drain cleaner. By mixing a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar in a bucket and pouring the solution into the toilet bowl, a chemical reaction is produced, breaking up any blockages in the pipes.

Having these items on hand is crucial when dealing with a clogged toilet. They make the process of unclogging the toilet much more manageable and significantly reduce the stress.

Steps to unclog a toilet using a plunger

How to unclog a toilet with a plunger

Oh no! You flushed and the water is not going down. You give a few extra flushes until the water level is so high that you fear it might overflow. It’s time to take action! The good news is that unclogging a toilet with a plunger is often the quickest and easiest solution.

1. Gather your tools. First and foremost, you’ll need a plunger. Make sure it’s the right type: you want a flange plunger (also known as a toilet plunger) that has a soft, rubbery cup with a flap that folds out from inside the cup. You’ll also want a pair of rubber gloves and some old newspaper or rags to protect your floor from any splashes or spills.

2. Position the plunger. The plunger works best when it’s airtight. Fill the toilet bowl with enough water to cover the head of the plunger (about halfway up the cup). Place the plunger over the hole and press down gently to create a seal. Make sure the plunger is perpendicular to the bowl.

3. Plunge away. Push down on the plunger rapidly and forcefully, but not too forcefully that the seal breaks. This will force air and water into the drain to dislodge the blockage. Make sure to use a consistent and rhythmic motion while you’re plunging, ideally for around 20-30 seconds.

The key thing to remember is not to break the seal between the plunger and the bowl! This can let air into the system, which will reduce the effectiveness of plunging. Instead, you want to use the plunger to create pressure that will dislodge the blockage, and eventually, the water will flow freely again.

4. Flush and repeat if necessary. After plunging a few times, test the water flow by flushing to see if it flows properly. If it’s still sluggish or not flowing at all, repeat the process until the blockage has cleared. It may take a few attempts, but don’t worry! The key is to be patient and persistent.

With these simple steps and a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your toilet back up and running in no time.

How to use a plumbing snake to unclog a toilet

plumbing snake in a toilet

If the plunger fails to unclog your toilet, then a plumbing snake can be your next best bet. A plumbing snake, also known as a drain auger, is a long, flexible tool with a coiled spring at the end. It is used to fish out or break up any obstruction that has caused a clog. Here’s how you can use it to unclog your toilet:

Step 1: Before using the plumbing snake, put on a pair of work gloves and some eye protection. This is to protect your hands and eyes from any dirty water or debris that may splash out of the toilet bowl during the process.

Step 2: Insert the coiled end of the plumbing snake into the toilet bowl and slowly push it down until it reaches the clog. You can turn the handle clockwise to extend the cable as needed.

Step 3: Once you have reached the clog, turn the handle clockwise again. The coiled end of the snaking tool will grab or break up the obstruction. Be prepared to use some force and resistance especially if the clog is large and resistant.

Step 4: If you feel that you have successfully dislodged, demolished, or grabbed the clog, gently pull the plumbing snake out of the toilet bowl. Rinse the tool in some clean water and then flush the toilet a few times to ensure the clog is gone.

Step 5: If the clog persists, try snaking the toilet again or seek professional help. Do not attempt to use chemicals as they may damage your pipes and toilet bowl and also cause harm to the environment.

Using a plumbing snake can be a dirty and challenging work, but with patience, the right tools, and proper techniques, you can easily unclog your toilet and save money on professional plumbers.