Toilets get clogged mainly because of excessive toilet paper or foreign objects being flushed down the drain. It’s one of the most common household problems here in Canada.
If you’re like most people, the sight of a clogged toilet is enough to make your blood boil. And if you don’t know how to unclog toilets, that becomes a living nightmare, doesn’t it?
Although it’s certainly not the most pleasant task in the world, it’s necessary to know how to do it if you want to keep your home clean and functioning correctly.
How to Unclog Toilets in 7 Easy Ways
If you ignore a clogged toilet or try to flush it multiple times, you may end up with a flooded bathroom and a much bigger mess. So, knowing how to unclog toilets is an essential homeowner skill.
This article will show you how to unclog toilets using some simple (and relatively mess-free) techniques.
How Do Toilets Get Clogged?
Knowing how clogs appear in the first place is just as important as knowing how to unclog toilets efficiently. Cleaning a clogged toilet becomes much easier if you know what caused it in the first place. Tissue paper, baby wipes, paper towels, and other sanitary products are usually the main culprits.
These materials don’t break down in the water as regular toilet paper does, so they can easily clog the drain and cause a buildup.
Here are some of the most common objects that can cause clogs:
- Excessive amounts of toilet/tissue paper
- Sanitary products, such as tampons and pads
- Baby wipes or wet wipes
- Paper towels or napkins
- Hair and personal hygiene products (such as cotton swabs)
- Foreign objects, like toys or jewelry
Wait, aren’t toilet paper and wipes supposed to be flushable?
Yes, many manufacturers label their products as “flushable,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will break down in your pipes. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and throw these items in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet.
Can a Toilet Unclog Itself?
It may unclog eventually if the clog is caused by toilet papers, but other than this, unfortunately, no. Although your toilet may seem to flush just fine after a clog, the blockage is still there and will likely cause problems again in the future. It’s important to address the issue as soon as possible before it gets worse. Will toilets unclogged by itself? read this article to get a better understand.
If you ignore the issue, the clog may worsen and cause the toilet to overflow, leading to a flooded bathroom and water damage. If that happens, you’ll need to contact Citizen Plumbing to fix the problem.
Ways To Identify A Clogged Toilet
How can you say if your toilet is clogged or not? Seems like a pretty obvious question, right?
Sometimes it’s easy to tell that your toilet is clogged, but other times the signs may not be so obvious. Here are some common signs of a clogged toilet:
- The water in the toilet bowl rises when you flush and doesn’t go down.
- Multiple attempts at flushing result in weak or slow drainage.
- There’s a strong smell coming from the toilet.
- You hear gurgling noises in the pipes.
How To Unclog Toilets: 7 Different Methods
There are many ways you can unclog a toilet, and it may take a few attempts before finding the method that works best for you. Let’s figure out how to unclog toilets in 7 different ways:
1. Use a plunger
Using a plunger is often the go-to method for unclogging toilets. Make sure to use a rubber cup plunger (also known as a flange plunger) specifically designed for toilets, rather than a smaller sink plunger. This is how to unclog toilets using a plunger:
- Place the plunger firmly over the toilet drain
- Push it down several times to create suction.
- Rapidly pull up the plunger to break up the blockage and clear the drain
- Repeat this until you’re happy with the result
Before plunging, add some hot water to the toilet bowl to help loosen any buildup.
However, many people aren’t comfortable using a plunger and I often get questions like how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, how to unclog toilets without any harsh chemicals, or how to unclog toilets using household items. Keep reading to find out more.
2. Wire Hanger
If you don’t have a plunger handy, you can try using a wire hanger to break up the clog. Here’s how to unclog toilets using a wire hanger:
- Straighten out the hanger
- Bend one end into a small hook shape
- Carefully insert it into the toilet drain
- Push it back and forth to break up the blockage
- Once the clog is broken up, flush the toilet to clear out debris
Be careful not to scratch the toilet bowl with the hanger.
3. Use a sewer snake
You can also use a sewer snake, or Drain Snaking tool, to break up and remove a clog. This tool features a long, flexible wire that can be inserted into the toilet drain to reach and clear blockages.
The tool is also known as a plumber’s snake, or toilet auger and is arguably the best tool to unclog toilets that are blocked with paper towels or tissue paper.
Here’s how to use a plumber’s snake to unclog toilets:
- Insert the wire into the toilet drain
- Push the wire through until you feel resistance from the blockage
- Rotate the handle to break up the clog
- Pull out the clog alongside the wire
- Flush away the toilet to get rid of any remaining debris
It’s important to note that Drain Snaking tools can be difficult to use and should be used with caution to avoid damaging the pipes.
It may also require some physical effort and strength to operate the tool effectively. In some cases, it may be best to call professional drain cleaning experts to handle the job.
If you do choose to use a Drain Snaking tool, make sure you are wearing protective gloves and eyewear.
4. Hot Water Treatment
If you ask people, “does hot water unclog a toilet,” you’ll probably get mixed answers. Not everyone knows how to unclog toilets using hot water which ends up damaging the system.
Hot water can potentially help break up the blockage, but it’s important to use caution when attempting this method. Pouring boiling water into the bowl may cause damage to the porcelain and can also be dangerous if splashed on the skin.
It’s best to try using hot (but not boiling) water from the tap first. Here’s how to unclog toilets using hot water:
- Flush the toilet
- Remove as much water from the bowl as possible with a cup/bucket
- Pour the hot water slowly into the bowl
- Wait about 10 minutes
- Flush again
- Repeat the process if necessary
However, this method isn’t recommended as the first line of defense and may not work for tough clogs. If you want to know how to unclog toilets from tougher clogs, read along.
You can also try adding a cup of dish soap to the hot water for extra cleaning power.
5. Baking soda and vinegar
Here is a list of harsh chemicals you don’t want to use to clear your toilets?
Fortunately, there are other eco-friendly ways. You can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to unclog toilets easily. Baking soda contains mild abrasive properties that can help break up clogs, and vinegar helps to dissolve buildup. This is how to unclog toilets using baking soda and vinegar:
- Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl
- Add ½ cup of white vinegar and
- Let it sit for about an hour
- Flush the toilet
- Repeat the process if necessary
You can also try pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the toilet drain to clear any excess buildup in the pipes.
However, it’s important to avoid mixing baking soda and vinegar directly in the toilet bowl, as the combination may cause a foaming reaction that could overflow onto the bathroom floor. It’s best to pour them into the bowl separately.
Overall, using baking soda and vinegar is a safe and affordable option for unclogging toilets, but it may not work for all types of blockages.
You can also try adding a few drops of dish soap to the baking soda and vinegar mixture for extra cleaning power.
6. Chemical cleaner
If other methods haven’t worked, you can try using a chemical cleaner to unclog your toilet. Pour the cleaner directly into the toilet bowl and let it sit for several hours (or as directed on the product label) before flushing.
It’s important to use caution when using chemical cleaners and always wear protective gloves and eyewear. Additionally, some chemicals may not be safe for certain types of plumbing or septic systems. It’s best to consult a professional for advice on which is the best chemical to unclog toilets for your particular situation.
One popular option for clearing tough clogs is a liquid drain cleaner containing sulfuric compounds, like Liquid-Plumr or Drano. These types of cleaners can be very harsh and may damage pipes if used improperly. However, a sulfuric compound is the best chemical to unclog toilets that are seriously clogged.
Another option is an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Green Gobbler or Drano Max Build-Up Remover. These types of cleaners use natural enzymes to break down organic matter and are typically safer for plumbing systems.
Overall, using a chemical cleaner is often a quick and effective solution for unclogging toilets, but it’s important to use caution and choose the right product for your needs.
If you don’t know how to unclog toilets in any other way, this might be the only option for you, aside from asking for professional help.
Before using any type of chemical cleaner, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly and follow all safety precautions. It’s also best to avoid mixing different chemical cleaners, as this can cause hazardous reactions.
7. Get Professional Help
Last but not least, sometimes it may be best to call in a professional plumber to handle the job. A plumber has the experience and knowledge to safely assess the issue and determine the best solution for unclogging your toilet.
They simply know how to unclog toilets the best way. They also have access to specialized tools and equipment, such as hydro-jetting or a toilet auger, that can effectively clear tough blockages. In some cases, there may even be an underlying issue with your plumbing system that only a professional can identify and fix. Can’t find the solution? you can read this article to unclog the toilets, this might be helpful
While it may be more expensive than DIY remedies or store-bought cleaners, hiring a professional plumber can save you time and ensure the problem is fixed correctly.
When hiring a plumber, make sure they are licensed and experienced in handling toilet clogs. Ask for references and read online reviews to ensure they are reputable and trustworthy. Not everybody knows how to unclog toilets without causing any damage to your drainage system.
If you’re looking for the best drain-cleaning experts in Toronto, Citizen plumbing can help. Contact us today for all your drain cleaning needs.
Tips To Prevent Toilets From Clogging
Prevention is better than cure, right? So it’s better to know how to prevent toilets rather than how to unclog toilets. However, both are something every homeowner or plumber should know.
If you maintain good toilet habits and regularly clean your pipes, you can avoid troublesome clogs in the future. Here are some tips for preventing clogged toilets in the future:
- Avoid flushing large quantities of toilet paper at once.
- Break up multiple sheets before flushing or use flushable wipes instead.
- Don’t flush non-flushable items, such as cotton balls, sanitary products, paper towels, dental floss, and cigarette butts.
- Regularly clean out the pipes with hot water, and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to remove buildup.
- Teach children proper toilet habits so they don’t accidentally cause a clog.
- Use a toilet plunger or snake regularly to clear any buildup in the pipes
- Consider installing a sewage grinder pump if you have an old or weak plumbing system
So there you have it, our top tips for unclogging toilets. As with most things in life, prevention is key- so be sure to keep an eye on what you’re flushing down, and hopefully, you won’t find yourself in a messy situation.
But if all else fails and your toilet does become clogged (or maybe it was already clogged when you moved in), don’t panic! Just follow our simple steps to clear it right up. By now, you know how to unclog toilets in 7 different ways.
You can also read this article to do home plumbing by yourself. And remember, if at any time this seems like too daunting a task or you just don’t have the time or energy to deal with it yourself- give us a call! We are more than happy to help solve your plumbing problems (and save your sanity)!
At Citizen Plumbing you will get 24 hour plumber for Residential and Commercial Plumbing Services, Drain Cleaning Services and many more plumbing services that you need.