The Best Way To Unclog A Toilet When Nothing Works

The Best Way to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works

Anthony Barnes

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It’s always frustrating to see that your toilet has clogged, but it is even more frustrating when nothing seems to work after trying to unclog it.

However, this is no reason to give up. There are various methods which can be used to unclog your toilet which we will be detailing within this article.

After discovering these hacks, your toilet troubles will finally be over for good.

The Signs Of A Clogged Toilet

Having a clogged toilet is never fun but what is worse is that not everyone knows the signs.

There is more than one way of clogging your toilet and these are signs which we should all be aware of in order to mend the situation faster.

Below, we will be listing the many signs of a clogged toilet:

The Toilet Bowl Is Overflowing

This first sign is the easiest way to tell that your toilet is clogged and one which most people will recognize quickly.

If you flush the toilet but instead of the water sinking down it rises up, your toilet is clogged.

In this situation, one of two things will happen. Either the toilet water will rise and fill the entire toilet bowl or the water will completely overflow upon flushing, flooding your bathroom.

The Toilet Water Is Draining Slowly

Another sign is the speed the toilet water is flushing down. When you flush a toilet (see also ‘Can You Flush Hair Down The Toilet?‘), the water is supposed to flush down in a speedy fashion.

If, however, the water is slowly descending and is taking much longer than usual, that is a clear sign that your toilet is in need of unclogging.

Unfortunately, this is a sign which people tend to ignore – so long as the water is flushing, they feel there is nothing to worry about.

Having a mindset like this will only leave your toilet clogging up worse.

There Is An Obvious Odour

Another sign of a clogged toilet is the foul smell, however this can be easy to miss.

Naturally, the bathroom is the worst smelling place in the home, so to smell an odour from your toilet may not seem a huge issue.

Although this may sometimes be the case, the foul smell could actually be a build-up of sewer waste in your pipes.

To be on the safe side, it is highly recommended to unclog your toilet (see also ‘How To Unclog A Toilet When Nothing Works‘) even if you disagree with this reasoning. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Why Do Toilets Clog?

You may be wondering why toilets clog. You think you are doing all of the right steps to protect your toilet from harm, yet there still always seems to be some kind of issue.

So, why is this? Well, there are a lot of reasons behind having a clogged toilet:

You Have a Weak Toilet

It may be that you simply have a weak toilet. Unknown to many, toilets vary in quality.

This means that you will get toilets that are very powerful and toilets with a weak system.

If your toilet is continuously clogging up and you are sure that you are doing nothing to create this mess, it may just be because you do not have a good quality toilet.

If this is the case, you may want to consider investing in a higher quality model with more power.

You Are Using Too Much Toilet Paper

Another common reason for a clogged toilet is the toilet paper. There are plenty of people who when they wipe use way too much paper.

This can be for any reason. It may be that they are having personal bowel issues meaning they are in need of more paper, or it could be that they are not aware of how much they are using.

Who knows, maybe you have a mischievous kid who likes filling your toilet bowl up with toilet paper for fun. Whatever the reason, it is important to be aware of this issue.

If you have no choice but to use more toilet paper, simply flush the toilet before using more.

Whilst this may seem like a waste of water, it is better than breaking your toilet entirely.

There Is Something Stuck In The Toilet Pipes

If it isn’t toilet paper, then it is something else that is stuck in your toilet pipes.

The pipes in your toilet are only narrow and when the toilet flushes the waste will break up and flush out through them. However, it is not always that easy.

It is very common for toilets to clog up due to an individual’s waste. If this excrement is too much for the pipes to handle (and this can happen if someone was to have stomach problems), then this can lead to your toilet clogging.

It might not always be waste either. Although a much rarer excuse, you may have simply accidently dropped an item of yours down the toilet such as a ring. This will easily clog up your drain.

Not The Right Toilet For You

Many people assume that all toilets are “one size fits all” however this is very far from the truth.

Not all toilets are for everyone, and this can be from a number of reasons (e.g., they are too big, they have stomach problems which don’t suit the toilet’s design).

Because of this, this can cause your toilet to fail on you, therefore leading to clogging issues.

Before you install a toilet into your home, make sure it is the right one for you. This will make coping with your toilet easier in the long run and allows a lesser risk of clogging.

The Best Way To Unclog A Toilet

Is nothing working for you? Do you feel like giving up? Well, there is no need to, for there is always an answer for a clogged toilet.

Whilst a clogged toilet may make you want to scream from the rooftops (especially if this is a frequent occurrence), there is always a way to fix the issue.

In this section, we will be giving you a variety of ways you can unclog your toilet.

The Best Way to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works (1)

Using A Plunger

This first method is the most obvious which people usually turn to first.

Plungers were made with the intention of unclogging toilets, designed with a long handle to hold and a rubber suction cup at the end to plunge into the toilet.

What a plunger does is push the water in on itself, pushing down any trapped waste and clearing a pathway for the pipes.

Whilst this may seem simple (and should be) not everyone is so lucky in the plunging department.

This is because you have a low quality plunger. In terms of choosing the right plunger, the bigger the better.

You want one that is both large and strong, one that will really push everything down and clear your toilet’s pipes. Plungers can be found in most stores and online.

Using A Toilet Snake

Another method is to use a toilet snake. This method is fairly similar to using a plunger but is less known by many.

This is a great tool to use, particularly when it comes to taking out larger objects from your toilet bowl.

It may be that your child was messing around in the bathroom and decided to throw some clothes and towels into the bowl.

Inevitably, this will clog up the toilet, but using a plunger will be of no help. Instead of pushing it further down through the pipe, you are wanting to remove it altogether.

This is where the toilet snake plays its part. Simply use this item to hook onto the object and pull it out.

With this said, however, it is necessary to mention that it is not the easiest to use a toilet snake.

It takes some manoeuvring to get it right so don’t be disheartened if you struggle to succeed right away.

Using Baking Soda And Vinegar

There is no need to use traditional methods and equipment if you don’t want to.

You can instead use the things you have in your own home to unclog a toilet effectively.

One great method to use is the baking soda and vinegar method. For this to work, your toilet bowl will already need to be half full with toilet water.

This will not work if your toilet is overflowing or is flushing slowly. What you should do is pour one cup of baking water into the toilet bowl and then pour in one cup of vinegar.

From here, you will soon notice a reaction – the water will start to fizz. This fizzing will then extend further into the clog which will break whatever is trapping the water flow into little pieces.

This will eventually release the water, allowing it to flush normally once again.

Using Dish Soap

Another option is to use dish soap to unclog your toilet.

This method is only for toilets which are not overflowing with water or which have water sitting in the bowl unable to flush down. For this method, take half a cup of the dish soap and pour it down the toilet.

Once this has been done, wait around 30 minutes for the soap to lubricate the clog; this should allow the clogs to eventually clear up.

We recommend after 30 minutes to also pour some boiling hot water down your toilet too.

This will help alongside the dish soap to further lubricate the clog. This method is particularly good as you will always have dish soap and access to boiling hot water in your home.

Using Household Bleach

If you are looking for a guaranteed method then try using household bleach.

This method works in the same way as using dish soap but is stronger and made for clearing up clogs.

All you need to do for this method is get 2-3 cups of bleach and pour this down the toilet bowl.

Wait a couple of minutes before pouring down one cup of powdered soap. Wait another 10-15 minutes before flushing and watch as your toilet becomes unclogged.

Should You Call A Plumber?

The easy option is to call a plumber, but this is not always necessary. If you resort to calling a plumber straight away then you are simply spending money you don’t need to as well as wasting time.

It is much easier to get your hands dirty and try out the various techniques to unclog your toilet.

However, is this to say that having a plumber come over is never an option? Of course not.

Sometimes plumbers are the only ones who can do the job, but make sure that this is only a last resort.

Before thinking about contacting a plumber for a clogged toilet, be sure consider the following:

Is There Water At The Base Of Your Toilet?

If you see water at the base of your toilet and are sure you have not accidently spilled anything, then this is a cause for concern and should be looked at by a professional.

Does Your Toilet Fill Back Up After Flushing?

A good toilet, after flushing, should immediately fill up with water again. If this is not the case, then this is a worry.

Do You See A Crack?

It is not a good sign if you see a crack on your toilet because this can lead to leakage in the future.

When Should You Call A Plumber?

Contacting a plumber for a clogged toilet should only be a last resort.

This is because clogged toilets only require basic repairs which can be done by anyone at home using items such as the plunger or household bleach,

However, sometimes you will find that you need a plumber to come take a closer look. So, when is the right time to do so?

Your Methods Are Not Working

By this point you would have probably tried everything in the book.

You would have used a plunger, household bleach, even a toilet snake, yet your toilet is still completely clogged. If this is the case, you should immediately call a plumber.

This is not only for the sake of health and hygiene but because having a working toilet is a necessity for every home.

You Are Worried You Will Make It Worse

It may be that you have low confidence in mending the clogged toilet. You may believe that your actions will only make it worse and therefore are worried.

If you are feeling this way, then there is no need to be ashamed in calling a professional over. They will be able to clear your clogged toilet pipes with no issues.

You Think The Issue Goes Further Than The Toilet

You may also want to call a plumber if you believe that your clogged toilet goes much further than being a simple issue.

If you have some other concerns regarding the situation, then it is best to voice these concerns to a professional plumber who knows what they are talking about.

Final Thoughts

No one enjoys a clogged up toilet and no one enjoys getting their hands dirty when fixing it, but it has to be done.

To keep your toilet healthy and working, be sure to refer to all of our methods above. With these great methods, your toilet will be unclogged in no time.

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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