Toilet clogs seem to occur at the worst possible moments. But when is there a good time for one? It’s among the most disruptive issues that can occur at home. And what if you don’t have a plunger handy? Fortunately, there are innovative ways to unclog a toilet, whether it happens when you have guests, a holiday dinner, or a moment to yourself. Try these 7 tips before you call for emergency plumbing repair.
1. Flush with Hot Water
Hot water isn’t hard to find (unless you have a concurrent water heater and/or stove issue). Fill a gallon-sized container with hot tap water, or heat it on a stovetop. Avoid pouring boiling water into a toilet as it can crack the porcelain. If the bowl isn’t filled with wastewater, add a cup of hot water to the toilet, let it sit for a few minutes, and flush. As you do, pour in the gallon of hot water to force the clog through the drain.
2. Liquid Dish Soap
If hot water alone doesn’t solve the problem, add liquid dishwashing soap. Avoid gel detergent, as it won’t dissolve as easily and can make a bigger mess. Liquid detergent is effective at disintegrating grime, grease, and fat. You can also add extra soap to the toilet bowl. Then after 30 minutes or so, pour the hot soapy water directly into the toilet’s drain. The water level in the bowl should start to lower.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can unclog a sink drain with baking soda and vinegar and unclog a toilet this way too. First, pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet, then a cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes and pour a few cups of water into the toilet bowl. It should be easier to dislodge whatever is causing the clog.
4. Chemical Cleaning
Epsom salt alone creates a neat chemical reaction. It fizzes up your toilet and can help unclog the drain. Once you pour it in, wait about 15 minutes and try flushing the toilet again. A more aggressive approach is to mix Epsom salt with baking soda and citric acid to create a reaction with organic waste. To proceed, mix the ingredients and then drop the mixture into the toilet with hot water. Let it sit for about two hours before attempting to flush again.
Bleach is a handy multipurpose cleaning solution. You’ll need several cups of it to pour into the toilet. Follow this with a dose of powdered detergent. This mixture should break up solid waste in about 10 minutes. After that, it should be possible to flush the toilet.
6. Toilet Brush
Use a toilet brush if you don’t have a plunger or snake to unclog the toilet. But this should be a last resort. This mechanical solution involves holding the handle and pushing the brush into the drain. Vigorously pull your arm back and forth without too much pressure. Wear gloves and old clothes in case the water splashes.
You can improvise without a plumber’s snake by finding a wire hanger, cutting it, and straightening it out. Secure a small cloth to one end with duct tape. While wearing rubber gloves, gently push on the hanger to dislodge any debris. The hanger can break up clogs that aren’t too far down. Just make sure the fabric is secure so it doesn’t worsen the clog or the metal wire doesn’t scratch the porcelain.
Call a Professional to Unclog a Toilet
If our innovative tips don’t unclog your toilet, your next move should be to call a plumber. A serious clog risks further damage and issues such as leaks, a water/waste backup, or an overflow. At Black Hills Home Services, our plumbing repair professionals in Olympia are experienced in solving various problems. They have advanced equipment that can unclog a toilet quickly. For prompt service, contact us online or call 888-579-5905 today.