No one likes to admit it, but everyone’s felt their blood turn cold as they watch the toilet water rise instead of drop. To top it off, you could be in a carpeted bathroom of an acquaintance. Well, don’t worry; here’s how to keep the clogged toilet a secret.

The Easiest Way to Unclog a Toilet

Occasionally, disaster strikes and there isn’t a plunger in the bathroom. Don’t despair. Here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, even if you only have the typical resources a bathroom holds.

  1. Quickly take off the lid of the tank, and close the flapper. The flapper is the rubber piece that is lifted up when you push on the handle to flush. You’ll need to stick your arm in the tank to push the flapper down. Don’t worry, though. Tank water is very clean.
  2. Add some hot water to the clogged toilet. This can often break apart what’s doing the clogging (unless a cute child threw something like a toy in the toilet earlier that day). You’ll need something to transport the hot water from the sink or tub into the toilet. A toothbrush holder or anything like a cup or bowl will do the trick. If things get dire, you could resort to dumping out the contents of the trash bin and using it as a water carrier. Leave the water to sit for a couple of minutes. Everything might naturally flush down at this point.
  3. You tried the step above, but nothing – or not enough – has happened. Now try adding a few drops of soap to the toilet. Dishwasher soap would be the first choice, followed by hand soap, and shampoo can be your last resort. Again, wait a few minutes for the soap to do its magic. Then, try flushing again.

The Simple Way to Unclog a Toilet

If the hot water and soap isn’t working for you, you could try baking soda and vinegar.

  1. Start with adding one cup of baking soda to the clogged toilet. Let it sit for a few minutes so the baking soda can start working.
  2. Follow by slowly adding two cups of vinegar to the toilet. Be sure to be slow. Otherwise, the toilet contents could bubble over.
  3. After leaving the baking soda and vinegar to sit for another couple of minutes, flush.  

The Good, Old-Fashioned Way to Unclog a Toilet

There’s nothing wrong with getting out the plunger to conquer the clogged toilet.

  1. If you can, get the best plunger. There are three kinds of plungers.
    • A sink plunger. It has a regular round edge. Nothing too crazy going on there. This is typically the most common kind of plunger, but it isn’t very effective for toilets.  
    • An accordion plunger. This looks like the most heavy duty. So, you may be tempted to think it’s the best for toilets. It isn’t a bad option. But, it can be difficult and bulky to use.
    • A toilet/flange plunger. This is our winner. It looks like a sink plunger with an additional circle coming out at the bottom. That addition fits right into the entrance of the toilet drain, and it’s great for the suction a plunger needs.  
  2. Run the plunger under hot water. This makes it more malleable and more effective.
  3. Again, suction is the key to effective plunging. And a good seal is the key to suction. So, apply pressure and move the plunger around a bit until it feels solidly stuck to the bowl.
  4. Push and pull on the plunger a time or two. Then, flush the toilet. If everything doesn’t go down, repeat plunging again.

The Hardware Way to Unclog a Toilet

If your toilet is still clogged and you’re starting to feel discouraged or furious, don’t fear. A toilet auger (also called a plumbing, closet, or toilet snake) will reach out the the clog and allow you to dislodge the blockage.

  1. Find a toilet snake. If you go looking at the store, remember that this is a tool of many names. Most hardware stores will call it an auger instead of a closet or toilet snake. There are also many types of augers, and the toilet auger will be best for the job.
  2. Maneuver the auger down the toilet drain. Extend it until you reach the blockage. Then remove the auger. You may need to repeat the process once or twice.
  3. Flush once you can tell that the blockage was broken up.

The Innovative Way to Unclog a Toilet

This technique might be the solution if you have an especially stubborn clog. But, be ready to get your hands dirty.

  1. Put on a pair of gloves and dirty clothes.
  2. Find a wet and dry vacuum. This is very different from a regular vacuum. Do not use a regular vacuum.
  3. Vacuum the water out of the toilet bowl.
  4. Snake the vacuum hose down the toilet drain. Put a towel around the hose where it meets with the toilet drain. This will help with suction.
  5. Hold the hose in place and turn the vacuum on. This can suck the obstruction out of the way.
  6. Clean the vacuum thoroughly.

The Professional Way to Unclog a Toilet

You can clear almost all clogs with the above techniques. But, sometimes the plumbing is in need of professional help. Don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you can’t unclog the toilet, especially if sink or shower drains start to bubble up with water.

The Prevention Way to Unclog a Toilet

If learning how to unclog a toilet isn’t your favorite pastime, you might want to learn how to avoid a clogged toilet.  

  1. Keep the jets in your toilet clean. If these jets get blocked then they can’t flush the toilet with as much force.
  2. Teach children not to throw items in the toilet.
  3. Don’t be too indulgent with toilet paper. Too much paper down the toilet is an easily avoided clog.

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