What to Do When Your Toilet is Blocked
Mar 21, 2022
Before jumping on the phone to your local plumber, try these simple fixes.
- Hot water and dish soap
Before you buy all kinds of cleaning tools, it’s a good idea to first try the items that you have around the house. One of the simplest methods of unclogging your toilet is using hot water and dish soap. The hot water will soften the materials that are blocking the drain and the dish soap will provide lubrication. As a result of this, the clog can be easily flushed away.
If you want to use this method, you’re going to need to heat up around four litres of water. It’s important that you turn off the heat before the water boils completely. Boiling water can easily damage the plastic parts of your toilet drain.
Once the water is heated up, pour a good amount of dish soap into the toilet and then pour the hot water afterwards. Leave the mixture in the toilet for 15 minutes and then flush.
- Baking soda and vinegar
If you’ve done some cleaning around the house before, this mixture isn’t going to be unfamiliar to you. When mixed together, baking soda and vinegar create a foamy chemical reaction. This chemical reaction is able to remove stains and loosen build ups on various surfaces. Additionally, the mixture also acts as a great deodoriser. Because of this, baking soda and vinegar is often used for cleaning carpets, removing dark grout lines and washing various appliances. Lucky for you, this famous duo can also be used to unclog your toilet.
As a general rule, when using this mixture to clean something, you must use a 1:2 ratio between baking soda and vinegar. In other words, for every cup of baking soda that you use, you must use two cups of vinegar.
With this in mind, you should begin by adding a cup of baking soda to your toilet. After a few minutes, pour two cups of vinegar in your toilet bowl and wait for the chemical reaction to occur. It’s important that you pour the vinegar slowly as the mixture could end up overflowing. Allow the reaction to do its job and then flush the toilet once it’s finished. For severe blockages, you might have to repeat this process multiple times.
- Drain snake
As unpleasant as it may sound, sometimes you just have to get in there and physically clear the toilet drain with a drain snake. This method is often used when chemical mixtures aren’t enough to loosen the clog.
A regular drain snake consists of a flexible auger that you feed into the toilet. The auger is usually made out of coiled metal, but there are also plenty of drain snakes that use plastic as an auger. The snake also comes with a manual crank that you can use to rotate the auger as it goes through the drain. This rotation action will break up any material clogging your toilet.
If you look up drain snakes online, you might come across a couple of sites that urge you to use a re-purposed wire hanger instead. We don’t recommend this as a wire hanger can easily scratch the surface of your toilet.
- Enzyme products
If your toilet is clogged by organic waste then you might want to look into enzyme waste removal products. Enzyme products are specifically designed to break down natural waste and remove odours from your septic tanks, pipes and drains. They can clear build ups of hair, grease, fats and faeces.
Enzyme cleaners can easily be found in most hardware stores and are generally affordable. The best part is, most enzyme products are ecologically friendly and won’t harm the environment.
- Your local plumber
If all else fails, you can always call up your local plumber for some help. With a professional plumber, you’ll likely end up spending more money than you want to. However, when you consider the expensive consequences of botched DIY repair jobs, you can argue that hiring an experienced plumber is well worth the price.
With the help of a specialist, you can be assured that your toilet (and the rest of your plumbing system) is properly taken care of and is safe to use. This peace of mind is indeed priceless.
There you have it, five ways of unclogging your toilet. If you’re unsure about anything or if you deem the task too dangerous to carry out, we recommend consulting a professional for advice. Your toilet is an important part of your home and it should be treated with proper care. If you don’t, who knows what might come to the surface.