The unclogging process doesn’t have to be messy or gross…
But we all know that it CAN be.
Here are different ways to try and unclog your toilet, hassle-free.
How to unclog a toilet without a plunger
There are two methods to unclog a toilet if you don’t have a plunger.
One uses dishwashing liquid and hot water and the other uses plastic wrap. Put some towels on the floor around the toilet because nothing in life is guaranteed.
USING DISHWASHING LIQUID TO UNCLOG A TOILET IN 6 SIMPLE STEPS
The idea behind this method is to use dishwashing liquid to “lubricate” the clog.
Pour a generous amount of dishwashing liquid — and we mean generous, anywhere from ½ to a full cup — of dishwashing liquid into the toilet.
Get a bucket, dishpan, or other large container and fill it with hot, hot water from the bathtub.
Pour it gently into the toilet to help the dishwashing liquid flow around and through the clog. Then wait for 20 minutes to allow the dishwashing liquid and hot water to work its magic.
Then fill your container again with hot water and dump it forcefully into the toilet. That should (hopefully) dislodge the clog and the toilet should drain.
USING PLASTIC WRAP TO UNCLOG A TOILET IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS
This method of unclogging a toilet relies on air pressure. Grab the plastic wrap from your kitchen cabinet and cover the bowl with it.
With a lot of it.
The bowl has to be completely air sealed with the plastic wrap, so put some more on if you’re not sure. You may even want to use something like masking tape to make sure that the plastic wrap is completely sealing the bowl.
Then flush the toilet.
As water fills the bowl, the trapped air begins to inflate the plastic wrap. As the plastic wrap balloons out, push down forcefully. You’re using the air pressure to force the clog down the drain. And voila! You’re back in business.
How to unclog a toilet with a plunger or a closet auger
You’ll need to make a trip to your local hardware store or home center for these tools.
There are two types of plungers — a cup plunger or the common sink plunger and a toilet or flange plunger.
The cup plunger, the one with the red cup that one often thinks of when picturing a plunger, only works on flat surfaces, like in a sink.
A toilet/flange plunger has a fold-out flap that comes out of the cup that creates a good seal inside the trap-way of your toilet.
Make sure you get a good seal between the plunger and the opening. The plunger has to be wet to create a seal, so add water to the toilet bowl if need be.
Plunge straight up and down, making sure that you maintain the seal between the plunger and the toilet.
You’re never supposed to use drain cleaning chemicals in your toilet to begin with. Making that an even worse idea, you can splash yourself with these toxic chemicals while you’re plunging.
Just don’t try it.
Reminder: While you can use a flange plunger in a sink, don’t do that after you use it in the toilet. Ick!
How to use a toilet auger to clear a clog
If it’s time to bring out the big guns, go to your hardware store or home center and buy a closet auger. You can buy one for less than $10 but don’t bother. This is your home. Buy a decent tool because you will definitely use it again.
The sun will rise, birds will chirp, toilets will clog. Spend $30 or $40 on a good closet auger.
A closet auger is comprised of a coiled spring cable enclosed in a metal tube that’s about 3-ft. long with a crank handle. The bottom of the tube has a curved rubber guard on it to keep from scratching the porcelain in the toilet. Toilet augers are typically offered with cable lengths of either 3-ft. or 6-ft.
To use it, pull the cable up the metal tube so only about 4-6-inches are showing.
Place the cable into the trap-way of the toilet with the rubber guard resting on the bottom of the toilet.
Gripping the metal tube, use the handle to push the cable down into the trap-way of the toilet while cranking the handle clockwise until all of the cable is in the toilet.
Crank the auger back up and pull the toilet flapper up by hand a little to see if the water is going down. You may need to auger a second time. Flush the toilet to test it. It’s a good idea to put a little bit of toilet paper in the bowl for a flush test.
You may need to call a pro
Sometimes even using a toilet auger won’t do the job and it’s time to call a plumber. The pros will tell you that the design of the insides of some toilets make them difficult even for experienced plumbers to unclog them. At least you fought the good fight.
If you need a pro, take a look at our Plumbing services. Feel free to book a service with GEM or chat with us today!