How to Unclog a Toilet

Toilet clogs seem to happen at the most inopportune moments. Fortunately, you can clear most clogs yourself without having to pay a plumber. Most clogs can be cleared with a good plunger or homemade drain cleaner made with hot water, baking soda and vinegar. For deeper clogs, try snaking the drain or using a wet/dry vacuum to do the job.

Method1: Plunging the Toilet

Keep the toilet from overflowing. If your toilet doesn’t flush properly after one flush, don’t flush again. This will cause more water to be pumped into the toilet bowl. Instead, take the lid off of the toilet tank and close the toilet flapper. Closing the flapper will keep more water from entering the bowl.
The flapper looks like a circular drain stopper attached to a chain.
The water in the tank isn’t dirty, so it’s fine to stick your hand inside to close the flapper.
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Prepare the bathroom. In case splashing occurs, place newspapers or paper towels on the floor to soak up liquid. The paper will make for easier cleanup later. You should also turn on the ventilation fan or open a window to rid the area of foul odors.
If the clog is serious, put on a pair of rubber gloves. Toilets are unsanitary, but a good pair of rubber cleaning gloves will protect you from any germs within. Choose gloves that reach up to your elbows.
You may also want to put on an old set of clothing, just in case things get messy.
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See if you can clear the obstruction. If you can see the cause of the clog, reach in and remove it from the toilet if possible. If you can’t clear it with your hands, but you know there’s an object (such as a child’s toy) causing the clog, skip the plunging and go straight to another method.
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Use a high quality plunger. It is important to use a large heavy-duty rubber plunger, either the ball-shaped type or one with a fold-out rubber flange on the bottom which forms a seal. Do not use the small cheap suction-cup type of plunger. These will often not work. Run the plunger under hot water before using it. This will soften it up, which will help with create a seal.
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Insert the plunger into the bowl. Make sure the plunger completely covers the hole. The plunger should be submerged in water to be effective. It is important to be pushing and pulling water through the opening, not air. Add water from the sink to the bowl if necessary.
Pump the plunger over the hole. Start slowly at first, since the first plunge will push air into the bowl. Push down, then pull up sharply to disturb the clog and loosen it. Continue vigorously pushing and pulling until the water begins to drain. It may take 15 to 20 cycles before the toilet unclogs. Be patient. As long as you’re sure there’s no hard object, plunging alone often suffices. It might not work immediately but will often work after a few repeated efforts and flushings, with each effort consisting of dozens of plunge cycles.

Flush the toilet to check the drainage. If the plunging eventually drains the bowl, but the clog is still blocking a free flow down the drain, leave the plunger in the bowl and fill the bowl with water again. Fill it to the point it is normally after a regular flush, then plunge again. Stubborn clogs might require you to do this a number of times.