How to Unclog a Toilet | Roto-Rooter
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How to Unclog a Toilet

A clogged toilet can turn into a red alert crisis situation very quickly if it's not handled correctly. When your toilet is clogged, it shuts down the bathroom making your life more difficult. Whether toilet paper, waste or other items are the culprit, it's essential to understand how to remove the blockage in a fast and effective manner. Here are a few ways to help you unclog a toilet.

Method 1: Using a Plunger

A plunger should be a mainstay tool for any bathroom and is the preferred toilet unclogger solution. In fact, two different types plungers should be in every home. A toilet plunger and a sink plunger. A toilet plunger is usually black and has a deeper cup than a sink plunger which is specifically design for clogged toilets. Sink plungers are usually red with a shallow cup that are meant for other drains. Sink plungers aren’t very effective on toilets so you’ll get far better results if you’re using a proper toilet plunger. However, if all you have is a sink plunger, it can work fixing a clogged toilet.

Obstructions in your toilet, sink or bathtub pipes are going to happen, so a pair of quality plungers will be a worthwhile investment. Being armed with these toilet uncloggers will ensure your drains remain flowing.


• Toilet Plunger
• Sink Plunger (Optional)

Step One: Place Your Plunger in the Toilet

Begin first by positioning your plunger in the toilet directly over the drain. Try to make a tight seal with the drain opening.

Step Two: Start Plunging

Once your plunger is positioned correctly you can start pushing down on the plunger. Start with soft plunges at first, then use more vigorous motions to loosen the clog and push it through. If the clog is pushed through, the toilet water should start receeding down the drain.

It may take some time to fully force down the blockage, but alternating between steady strokes and vigorous ones will often create enough pressure to get the job done.

Step Three: Flush the Toilet

After you have removed the blockage from the drain flush the toilet. The toilet should drain as normal.

Method 2: Using a Plumbing Snake

If you're not getting anywhere with the plunger and the toilet is clogged still, you may need some other tools to help your efforts. A plumbing snake can clear the drain of debris by either breaking it up or pulling it out.

Step One: Place the Drain Snake in the Toilet Drain

Begin by feed the end of the plumbing snake down through the drain. Work the snake all the way till it gets to the obstruction.

Step Two: Twist Plumbing Handle & Pull Obstruction Out

Begin twisting the handle of the plumbing snake so that it can work its way through the obstruction. Once it's gotten through the obstruction, pull the plumbing snake out of the toilet but do not twist the handle. The obstruction should come free with the plumbing snake.

Method 3: Use Chemicals

Chemicals should only be used if you've already tried the first two options. An enzyme waste removal product can break down waste and can be found in most hardware stores but they tend to take longer than caustic chemicals. Don’t forget to wear eye protection when using chemicals. It’s important to follow the directions as shown on the bottle, and you will likely have to wait overnight for chemicals or enzymes to clear a toilet clog.

Method 4: Using Hot Water & Dish Soap

If you need a more immediate solution, hot water and dish soap can be your best bet. This should help break up the obstruction enough to flush it. This method can get messy, so make sure to prepare your bathroom beforehand.

Carefully pour some dish soap into the toilet, wait a few minutes, then wash down with a bucket of hot water.

If you've tried all of these methods to unclog a toilet and still can’t clear the clog, it may be time to call in a professional. If a kid puts a toy down the drain or another object ends up in your drain system, a plumber can easily find and remove the item. Contact a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional to help with your plumbing, sewer and drain problems any time of day or night.