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How to plunge a toilet: a step-by-step guide

While it may not be a pleasant task, knowing how to plunge your toilet could prove useful. Follow these tips to make unclogging a toilet as easy as possible.


By Cleanipedia Team

how to plunge a toilet on a blue background with a toilet roll holder next to it

Key steps

  1. Keep plumbing in good condition, especially in winter when it’s more likely to rain and drains are more likely to become blocked.
  2. Always use bathroom products safely by making sure you have read the label. Never mix bleach with other cleaning products.
  3. Invest in a good-quality toilet brush and change it if it gets old; a poor-quality brush may break and block your toilet.

After a rainy start to the winter, you may be noticing that some of your drains are a little blocked, and water is draining sluggishly from your toilet and sinks. Blocked or waterlogged drains can cause water to back up and flood your bathroom, so it’s extra important in wet weather to keep all your plumbing in good condition.

Learning how to quickly unclog a toilet is one way to take pressure off your pipes and help your rooms stay dry and smelling fresh.

Keep your toilet bowl clean so that when the time to plunge comes, you are dealing with a slightly more sanitary environment! Domestos Thick Bleach is ideal for these situations. Always use it according to the label.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

So, how do you plunge a toilet?

  1. First, use rubber gloves, a jug, and a bucket to remove as much water as possible from the pan – this keeps the job cleaner, and makes it easier to create a vacuum to suck up the blockage.
  2. Then hold the handle of your plunger in the toilet bowl, over the mouth of the wastepipe, ensuring the entire hole is covered.
  3. Press down to expel the air and pull up to suck out the blockage, repeating the action rapidly to loosen the stuck material.

Once you’ve got the worst of it out, flush the toilet a couple of times, then use a cleaning product from Domestos to get rid of any leftover matter and protect against germs. 

How do I use products safely?

A major part of knowing how to plunge your toilet is understanding how to use bathroom products safely. Always read and follow the directions on the label of any cleaning product. When using toilet bleach, always keep windows and doors wide open to avoid breathing in the fumes. Wear rubber gloves at all times while handling the bleach bottle – it is also a good idea to wear goggles to protect your eyes from splashes.

You should also never mix bleach with other cleaning products; if you’ve just bleached your toilet, wait a couple of days before using bathroom spray on it. If you get any bleach on your skin or in your eyes or mouth, seek immediate medical attention. If the contact is external (on skin or eyes), rinse thoroughly with cool running water.

If you follow these simple rules, though, you can work perfectly safely with bleach. The bottle should also have clear guidelines for use. Find out more here about the products you can use to clean your toilet. 

Safety Warning

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Now, how do I keep my toilet clear?

While it’s handy to know how to plunge a toilet, you don’t want to have to do it regularly! Luckily, many sources of major blockages are mostly easy to avoid. Avoid storing things or displaying ornaments directly above the toilet, as they could fall in and block it. Similarly, keep toilet rolls on secure holders fixed to the wall, rather than on nearby shelves.

Clean your toilet with j-cloths rather than bulky tools like scouring pads, as they’ll loosen or burn away more easily if they get flushed into the pipes by accident. (You could also go for disposable, single-use toilet wipes, which can even be flushed away after you use them to disinfect the surfaces!) It’s also a good idea to buy a good quality toilet brush, and change it if it gets old; a poorly-made or overused brush could lose its head, which is the perfect shape for blocking a drain!

So, now you know how to plunge a toilet, and hopefully, that blockage is no more!

Remember to clean your toilet regularly and keep blockage hazards away from it, and you shouldn’t have to do it again too soon. Here's a good guide to deeply clean your toilet! Keeping your toilet clear will reduce pressure on your pipes, saving lots on plumbing bills over time, and leave you with the time and energy for more enjoyable jobs.

Originally published