How to Deal With a Clogged Toilet: Your Step-by-Step Guide

A clogged toilet has got to be one of the most common plumbing issues that people face. Yet, despite the millions of ‘clogged toilet’ events that occur all over the U.S, it remains a challenge to know what to do. One thing is for sure, if you’re the person that UNclogs the toilet, your popularity in the family will soar!

A clogged toilet may seem to be a simple problem, yet it’s notoriously awkward and very unpleasant to deal with. So are there any trade secrets? In this article, we’ll talk you through several different methods you can use depending on what tools are available and to what extent the toilet is blocked.

If you’re the man of the house, you’d better get to grips with this article because most likely you will be the first port of call in a clogging crisis.

Know Your Enemy

If your toilet seems to get blocked often, don’t be too quick to blame the rest of the family. The type of water supply to your home could make a difference. For example, hard water can cause a build-up of mineral deposits that over time can restrict water flow in narrow parts of the piping.

Besides natural blockages, the most common cause is self-inflicted. This could be baby wipes, cotton buds, feminine hygiene products, toys, and lots more. Toilet tissue can clog the toilet but the advantage is that it  normally breaks down over time.

Before you tackle a clogged toilet, think about what the cause could be as this will help you decide on the method to fix it. Don’t be in a rush to flush the toilet again and again, because if you’re not careful, you could cause a nasty overflow.

Choose Your Weapon

Clogged toilets are a real pain, but with this easy guide from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, you'll be a clogged toilet expert.
Perhaps the most common tool used to unclog your toilet is a sturdy plunger. Buy one that has a long handle and a large head. As you ‘plunge’ this pumps the water and works any blockages free. If for some reason, you don’t have a plunger handy, you could use a metal coat hanger.

You will have to shape the hanger so that it can be used in the toilet. This can be used to break up anything stuck down the toilet. If you can’t use a hanger then consider using the toilet brush to try to do something similar.

Explosive Nature

Sometimes a plunger isn’t enough and a more explosive solution is required. After multiple unsuccessful attempts with a plunger, you might feel tempted to use a stick of dynamic. Instead, reach for the vinegar and baking soda.

This combination is explosive in that it will create bubbles. This gas-like effect combined with a plunger can help shift stubborn blockages. When you pour these chemicals into the toilet, wait a few minutes to let them get to work, and then you can start plunging again.

De-Clogging Muffin

If the previous method didn’t work, then consider this de-clogging muffin recipe. You will need to mix baking soda, Epsom salt, and dish soap and pack it all together in a muffin liner  to form a dry sort of cake overnight. The next day, drop your muffin into the toilet and leave for several hours.

Once again, you can combine this method with plunging and using the tools mentioned. Another great tip is to follow up by using boiling hot water. Pour this into the toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes or so.

Hot water helps break down otherwise hard substances. Once they soften, then the water can flow and the force of plunging or flushing will help shift the blockage. You may find that you need to use several how water runs before it is really effective.

Desperate Measures

Perhaps the most desperate stage is to actually get your hand into the toilet. Rubber gloves will not help as they will not extend up your arm as needed. Instead, you can try using a large black bin liner.

You can wear it like a glove and sleeve. This will allow you to get your hand right into the toilet and feel for what is blocking around the s-bend. This method is useful if there is an object that one of the children has dropped into the toilet and has become jammed around the s-bend.

Of course, the final resort is to call in the professionals. Don’t let embarrassment hold you back. These guys have seen it all before and accept that this is just part of the job.

Prevention Better Than Cure

Once you’ve had a few unpleasant experiences unblocking the toilet, you don’t want it to happen again. So make sure the only thing that goes down the toilet is water, human waste, and toilet tissue. Everything else should go in the bin, no matter what it is.

Clogged Toilet Pro

In this article, you’ve read about how to deal with a clogged toilet. If you follow the steps in this brief guide, your family will think you’re a clogged toilet pro. Occasionally you may get a blockage that not even TNT can shift.

When that dreaded day occurs, it’s time to call your local plumber. They have the tools, knowledge, and experience to get the job done quickly and saving you any unpleasantries. If you have questions or need any help with your plumbing, then you can get in touch with us here.