How To Unclog A Toilet When Nothing Works

How to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works

Anthony Barnes

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A clogged toilet is everyone’s worst nightmare. The only thing that makes it worse is when you’ve tried everything and it just won’t unclog. 

This is one of those situations that can get pretty disgusting as well, and that makes it even more stressful. 

But worry not! In this article, we will be going over some of the methods and options you can use to unclog a toilet when nothing else seems to work

1. Toilet Cleaner

Toilet cleaner is designed for unblocking toilets so it’s usually a good idea to try this option out first. Because it’s designed for this purpose, you don’t need to worry about damaging the toilet or drains. 

Pour the toilet cleaner into the toilet bowl and wait until it’s covered all the waste.

The chemicals need time to work, so give them about 15 minutes and then you should start seeing the water drain from the toilet. This is a slow process though, so don’t expect it to work quickly. 

It’s important to remember that some toilet cleaners work differently to others, so always read the instructions and guidelines before you use it. 

Once all the waste has flowed out down the pipe, you can finally flush the toilet again and then use a toilet brush to clean thoroughly. 

2. Pour Hot Water

It might seem like such a simple method, but you’d be surprised how effective pouring hot water down the toilet can be. 

You can either boil a kettle or just use hot water straight from the faucet. Pour the hot water into the bowl and keep checking to see if the water is running through to the pipe or if it’s rising.

You have to make sure you don’t accidentally overflow the toilet. You also have to make sure it doesn’t start leaking because this will just be another problem you have to sort out. 

If the water goes down though, it’s working. This option works better for partially blocked toilets rather than ones that are fully blocked. Also, be careful the water isn’t too hot because it can cause damage to the pipes. 

3. Use A Wire Coat Hanger

If you have any wire coat hangers in your house, they are a viable option for unclogging your toilet! 

To start, you need to grab the wire coat hanger and straighten it out. This is quite easy to do with wire coat hangers because they are designed to bend.

If you’re worried about the coat hanger scratching your toilet bowl, you can cover one of the ends with something like a cloth and secure it with duct tape. 

This method is good for when the water is quite shallow in the bowl. Make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves and place the fabric covered end of the wire hanger in to the bowl. 

Once it’s in place, put the wire hanger into the drain and twist it. You might feel resistance, but keep pushing and twisting.

If you need to, add a little force to your motion. The wire will move through the drain and clear out any blockages that are clogging it. 

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another option you can try is baking soda and vinegar. Be mindful of how much water is in your toilet bowl because if you use this method, you will need room for the baking soda and vinegar.

If it’s already too full, you risk overflow and leakage. 

You need about two-thirds of vinegar and one-third of baking soda for this to have a good chance of working.

Pour the mix in to the bowl and wait for 20 minutes. The chemical reaction needs time to work. The baking soda and the vinegar will break down the clog if it works right. 

If you notice that the water is starting to flow out of the bowl, you can then use a toilet brush or a wire coat hanger to give the clog an extra push.

5. Use An Enzyme Product

Enzyme products can liquify waste materials found in toilets and this makes unclogging a toilet a fast, uncomplicated process. 

Enzyme products are usually used in septic systems to disintegrate waste, so when it comes to unclogging your toilet, it’s a perfect solution.

It is important to note though that this only works for biodegradable and organic waste, it wont work for things like toys. 

The first thing you need to do is pour the required amount into your toilet bowl. The required amount can be found on the label. Then, you need to wait between 10 to 30 minutes for the enzyme product to start working. 

Once you’ve waited the required amount of time, you can flush the toilet and check if the water flows. 

6. Chemical Drain Cleaner

If you need a more powerful option than the ones already listed, you can use chemical drain cleaner, but you have to be careful with this option. 

Chemical drain cleaner can be found really easily at home improvement and grocery stores. This type of cleaner is designed for organic waste. It dissolves it, so it will flush down the drain. 

It is very important to know that chemical drain clear is toxic because of the substances found within it.

It can negatively affect your drains, your pets and your health. Make sure any pets you have aren’t able to get in to the bathroom, keep your windows open and wear a mask if you can get one to minimise any risks. 

Because this option holds more risk, it is heavily advised to only use it as a last resort before you call a plumber.

Using cleaning tools that aren’t designed for your toilet can lead to damage which could be a long term problem.

So, if you do go for the chemical drain cleaner option, make sure you thoroughly check that the drain cleaner you pick is designed for the toilet. 

7. Suck Out The Clog

This option requires that you get hold of a wet/dry vacuum. If you’ve never heard of them before, you can get them really easily from home improvement stores.

For better suction, it is heavily recommended to get a heavy duty model. 

Start by setting the vacuum to the “wet” option and use it to suck out all of the water in the toilet bowl. 

Now that the toilet is emptied, place the vaccum hose into the drain of the toilet, pushing it gently as far as it will go. 

Finally, you need to power the vacuum back on to remove the clog. Give it a minute or two and see if you can flush the toilet

If this option doesn’t work, you might need to try another option. 

8. Call A Plumber

If you’ve tried all of these options and you’re still not having any luck (or you feel like these options have made it worse) it’ll probably be in your best interest to call a professional plumber.

Plumbers are trained to deal with these issues, and sometimes, even when we’ve tried everything ourselves, it’s better to call in a professional to avoid causing any further damage or issues which would end up getting really expensive. 

It is important to remember as well that you simply might not have the right tools and if you don’t have any experience in fixing toilets, you can’t be expected to know exactly what tools you need.

Luckily, the plumber will have the correct tools and they should be able to solve and fix the problem for you without much issue. 

How to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works (1)

Can A Toilet Unclog Itself?

Before you attempt to unclog it yourself, have you given the toilet the chance to do it naturally?

Toilet paper is designed to degrade and break down the longer it’s been submerged in water, so if you leave it alone for a little while and let it break down, sometimes unclogging the toilet can be a really simple task. 

Keep in mind that it could take up to five hours before it starts to unclog itself, so this might not be the best solution, especially if you need to use the toilet during those five hours!

How Do You Prevent The Toilet From Overflowing?

An overflowing toliet is usually what causes even more problems when it comes to trying to unclog it.

For alot of the options that have been provided in this article, you need some space in the toilet in order for the methods to work.

To prevent overflow, you can simply just close the shut-off valve. All you have to do is turn the knob clockwise and this will stop anymore water flowing in to the tank. 

Another option is to simply tell the rest of your household to avoid using and flushing the toilet.

It will be an inconvenience, especially if someone in the house really needs to use the toilet, but if no one is using the it, the water in the tank cannot enter the toilet bowl and it reduces the risk of overflowing considerably. 

If you do go for the second option, then you need to make sure you’re sorting the problem out as soon as you possibly can so you and the rest of the household can use the toilet again. 


No one likes a clogged toilet and no one likes having to unclog it, but it is simply one of those gross tasks that you have no choice to sort out, otherwise you won’t have a toilet. 

Remember that all these options are viable, but depending on the type of blockage, some options won’t work, so it is important to know what type of blockage you have in the toilet before you try these options. 

When you’re at the end of your rope trying to fix the problem, calling a plumber is always your best option though.

Yes, it costs money, but sometimes a larger expense in the short term can save you an even larger cost in the long term. 

Hopefully this article will help you with your toilet troubles and hopefully the methods provided will work.

Just be mindful when using some of these options and remember to always get professional help when you can. An experts opinion is always the best opinion! 

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age