Blocked toilets aren’t the stuff dreams are made of, but before calling a plumber there are several methods you can try to clear a blocked toilet yourself. The first thing to note is that if your toilet doesn’t flush away after the first attempt don’t flush again; you could end up completely filling the bowl. Toilets are not sanitary, but if you’re covered up to the elbows with rubber gloves you’ll be ok to reach in and see if there’s something obvious causing the blockage. Once you’ve established there isn’t anything obvious you can give these methods a try.
How to unclog drain with a plunger
The oldest, most tried and tested method to clear a blocked toilet is with a good old plunger. Start off your plunging plan by putting down paper towels to catch any overflow. Grab your plunger and push it over the hole, making an airtight seal. If it’s not airtight you can wrap rags round the bottom of your plunger to make the surface a little bigger and lock the air in. Work it up and down firmly to clear the blocked drains and flush the toilet to check if it’s now clear. If not, try again before moving onto a different method.
Blocked drains: use a toilet snake
Snaking a toilet can be great way of clearing your toilet and getting water to flow through your once clogged drain pipe again. Toilet snakes are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. All you have to do is unravel the long coil down your blocked toilet and when you feel a blockage start to twist it. The end of your toilet snake should start to break up the obstruction and help unclog drain blockages. Give the toilet a flush and hopefully everything will be clear.
Homemade de-blocker for a blocked toilet
Sometimes blocked drains and toilets require de-blocking solutions, and it’s easy to make your own. Whilst caustic soda has been shown to work, if you’d prefer a less corrosive option a combination of hot water, baking soda and vinegar can work wonders. You’ll need:
- Half a gallon hot water (boil and then let cool a little before adding)
- 1 cup baking soda
- 2 cups vinegar
Pour the baking soda and vinegar into your blocked toilet whilst the water is cooling to the temperature of a hot drink. Finally, pour in the water and let the solution get to work overnight; the chemical reaction created by the baking soda and vinegar can fizz the blockage away.
Trying to clear a blocked toilet is worth a try before you call a plumber. If all else fails you’ve always got that option anyway, so there’s nothing to lose by having a go yourself. However, if it’s clear that these easy-to-follow methods aren’t working you shouldn’t investigate further as you could end up doing damage – that’s the time to call out the professionals.