How to Unblock a Toilet: A Comprehensive Guide to Tackling Toilet Clogs

How to Unblock a Toilet: A Comprehensive Guide to Tackling Toilet Clogs

Do you know that it was in 1859 when Melbourne got its first public toilet? It was right outside the post office on Bourke Street (now an H&M store). Interestingly, it was exclusively for the men. It took another couple of years for the authorities to build one for the women, and that happened in 1902. Fast forward to today, we have lavish restrooms across the city and, of course, in our houses too. If there is one thing common about the public and personal lavatory, then it has to be the clogs that may happen occasionally. For the public, authorities ensure there is a periodic maintenance schedule to avoid chaotic situations. As responsible citizens, we must use the public toilets appropriately. However, when faced with a clog at home, we must act swiftly. Whether trying to dislodge the clog or calling professional plumbers, we need to make rapid decisions to not worsen the situation. If you are also probing the internet to know how to unblock a badly blocked toilet, you are at the right place. We bring you a comprehensive guide with all the necessary measures to undertake in such a situation. So, let’s begin to undo the clog.

Understanding the Functioning of a Toilet

Before you learn more about how to clear a blocked toilet, it’s crucial to understand how it functions. It will help you examine the situation and implement the right tactics to get rid of the clog. A typical toilet comprises several integral parts, including:

  • Water supply
  • Cistern
  • Flushing mechanism
  • Toilet bowl or pan
  • Waste outlet

Water first reaches the cistern, where it cascades into the bowl with the help of a flushing mechanism. Here, it extrudes maximum pressure to remove the waste and take it down through the waste outlet.

Major Causes of Clogs in the Toilet

Toilet clogs are nasty, which is why we must ensure that these do not happen in the first place. Here are a few primary culprits that cause clogs in the toilet:

  • Excessive Usage of Toilet Paper
  • Flushing non-flushable items such as wipes, sanitary products etc
  • The buildup of organic materials like hair, soap scum, etc
  • Malfunctioning flush mechanism
  • Thick or non-disintegrating toilet paper
  • Problems in the main sewer line can affect the toilet
  • Improperly designed or outdated plumbing systems
  • Hard Water Deposits

Steps to Take Before Unclogging the Toilet

Once you know how to clear a blocked toilet, you will instantly want to try it and solve the problem. However, remember to take all the precautions before the deed so that you do not end up in a mess. Here is all that you need to take care of before unclogging the toilet:

Ascertain the Clog Type

Begin by determining the nature of the clog. Is it a simple paper blockage, or could a more stubborn object be causing the issue? Identifying the clog type will guide your choice of unclogging method.

Gather and Inspect all the Supplies

Now, you can proceed to assemble all the requisites for the deed. Get yourself-

  • Pair of rubber gloves
  • Mask
  • Few newspapers to cover the floor
  • Plunger
  • Plumbing snake
  • A bucket of hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Vinega
  • Enzyme waste remover

Thoroughly examine that all your supplies are in the best condition. Also, if there is a window in your toilet, do open it.

Turn the Shutoff Valves

For safety reasons, turn off the water supply using the shutoff valves near the toilet base. This precautionary measure prevents potential water spills and facilitates a smoother unclogging process.

Warnings Before Proceeding to Unclog the Toilet

Now that you have all your supplies and know how to unblock a toilet, so why delay? Well, you also need to be careful. Therefore, given below are a few things you must consider before venturing to unclog the toilet:

  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Chemical drain cleaners can damage pipes and pose health risks. Opt for safer, environmentally friendly alternatives.
  • Use the right tools: Ensure you are using the appropriate tools for the job, as improper usage may exacerbate the problem.
  • Wire hangers can be damaging: These have sharp ends and can harm the porcelain of the toilet bowl, so be considerate while using them.
  • Spare Coke or Mentos: These will damage the pipes and contaminate your entire bathroom, so leave them alone.

How to Fix a Blocked Toilet?

Now, let’s delve into the practical steps of how to unclog a badly blocked toilet. Below, we outline each step of the process so you can ace it well and achieve a clear, clog-free toilet.


The plunger is a classic and versatile tool for tackling minor to moderate toilet clogs. Also, these are easily available. Here is how you can use a plunger effectively to unclog the toilet:

  • Position the Plunger: Place the rubber end of the plunger over the drain opening, ensuring a tight seal.
  • Apply Firm Pressure: Push the plunger down firmly, then pull up sharply. This action creates suction and pressure variations, dislodging the clog.
  • Repeat if Necessary: Repeat the plunging process several times until the water begins to drain freely. If successful, flush the toilet to ensure complete clearance.

Hot Water, Baking Soda, and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are known to clear blocks and also help in multiple household cleaning activities. These prove to be a chemical-free method that can effectively break down organic matter, causing blockages. Here’s how to use hot water, baking soda, and vinegar:

  • Mix the Ingredients: Combine one cup of baking soda with two cups of vinegar. The mixture will fizz, signifying a chemical reaction that helps break down the clog.
  • Pour the Mixture: Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. It allows the solution to penetrate and weaken the clog.
  • Flush with Hot Water: After the waiting period, flush the toilet with hot water to clear any remnants of the dissolved clog. This method is particularly effective for organic blockages.

Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake, or auger, is a flexible tool designed to reach deep into the pipes and dislodge stubborn clogs. Here’s how to use a plumbing snake:

  • Insert the Snake: Insert the snake into the toilet drain and push it in slowly. Rotate the snake handle to maneuver it through the pipes.
  • Locate and Dislodge the Clog: When you encounter resistance, it’s a sign that the auger touched the clog. Continue rotating the snake to break up or hook onto the obstruction.
  • Withdraw the Snake: Slowly withdraw the snake, bringing the dislodged clog with it. Dispose of any extracted material responsibly.

Enzyme Waste Remover

Enzyme waste removers contain specialised enzymes that break down organic matter. Follow these steps for optimal use:

  • Follow Product Instructions: Read and follow the instructions on the enzyme waste remover product. Different brands may have specific guidelines for application.
  • Pour the Solution: Pour the recommended amount of the enzyme waste remover into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit for the prescribed time to maximise effectiveness.
  • Flush with Water: After the waiting period, flush the toilet to wash away the dissolved residue. Enzyme waste removers are particularly useful for ongoing maintenance.

Water Pressure

Harnessing the power of water pressure can help dislodge and flush away certain types of blockages. Here’s how to use water pressure:

  • Use a Bucket or Jug: Fill a bucket or large jug with hot water.
  • Pour the Water Directly: Pour the hot water directly into the toilet bowl from a height. The force of the water may help break up the clog.
  • Repeat if Needed: If the water drains slowly or not at all, repeat the process until you notice an improvement.

To-Do’s After Unclogging the Toilet

Regardless of whether you succeeded or not in the venture, there is an after-process that you must follow. Below is all that you must do:

Disinfect and Discard

Thoroughly disinfect the toilet bowl and surrounding areas. Dispose of materials like gloves, masks, newspapers, etc., used during the unclogging process.

Mop the Floor

Mop the floor to ensure cleanliness and prevent slips. This step completes the post-unclogging maintenance.

Tips to Prevent Toilet From Clogging

There is a very common old adage that says prevention is better than cure. The same goes for your toilet. Even though you now know how to unclog a toilet, it is imperative to take steps that ensure there are no toilet clogs in the future. To do so, consider these tips:

  • Use only the required amount of toilet paper
  • Avoid flushing wet wipes, sanitary pads, diapers etc.
  • Always close the lid when the toilet is not in use
  • Clean the siphon jet so it flushes at full force
  • Install toilet seat locks if there are kids at home to avoid flushing toys
  • Regularly clean the toilet
  • Take measures to tackle hard water

When Should You Call the Plumber for Toilet Clogs?

While DIY methods are effective for most toilet clogs, certain situations necessitate the expertise of a professional plumber. Recognising when to seek professional assistance is crucial to prevent exacerbating the issue and ensure a long-term resolution.

  • Persistent or recurrent toilet blockages despite
  • Unusual Noises or Odors Persist
  • Slow drainage not only in the toilet but also in other fixtures like sinks
  • Presence of Tree Roots or External Factors
  • Failed DIY Methods

Summing Up

A blocked toilet is a manageable inconvenience when armed with the right knowledge and tools. By understanding the components, causes, and effective solutions, you can confidently tackle toilet clogs. Remember the importance of preventive measures and when to seek professional assistance. Taking a proactive approach ensures a smoothly functioning toilet and minimises disruptions in your daily routine. For more complex issues or professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Your Local Plumbing and Drainage experts. They possess the expertise and equipment to address plumbing challenges, ensuring a swift resolution to toilet-related concerns. Trust in their reliability and experience for optimal results in maintaining your home’s plumbing system.

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