How to Unclog a Toilet Like a Plumber

by Brett & Kate McKay on September 3, 2009 · 174 comments

in DIY Home Maintenance, Manly Skills


It’s every man’s worst fear. You’re at someone’s house, you  finish doing your business and flush the toilet, but instead of going down, the water comes up along with whatever you just deposited in the bowl. Would you be paralyzed with panic in that moment? Or do you know what to do?

For some reason, the lot has fallen to men to deal with clogged toilets. I guess in a time when we’re no longer needed to ride out in defense of the tribe,  our toughness is marshaled to do battle in the bathroom. But many men charge in brandishing their plunger but lacking a game plan on how to attack the clog. To help us learn how to effectively unclog a toilet, I called up Rod from Roto-Rooter and got the scoop.  Here’s his advice.

Stop the toilet bowl from filling up. If it looks like the water might overflow out of the toilet, Rod suggests taking the lid off the tank as quickly as possible and closing the toilet flapper. The flapper releases water from the tank and into the bowl. It looks like, well, a flapper. If you’re worried that your flush has a good chance of turning into a flood, take off the top before you pull the trigger. Then you can keep one hand close to the flapper while the other hands pushes the flusher. The minute it appears the water is rising, you’re ready to stop the deluge.


Toilet flapper (Image source: The Jay)

Get the right plunger. Once disaster has been averted, it’s time to unsheathe your plunger. To effectively use a plunger, you need a good seal between it and the toilet bowl. Funnel-cup plungers are the best plungers for this. They’re the plungers with a flange, or added piece, extending off the bottom of the rubber cup.


Funnel-cup plunger

Warm up your plunger. Stiff, hard plungers don’t work as well as soft and pliant ones. Run your plunger under some hot water before you use it. This will soften up the rubber, which will help you get a better seal on the toilet bowl.

Plunge correctly. Stick the plunger in the bowl and use it to form a solid seal over the exit hole. Rod said that most people only focus on the downward push when plunging. But the pullback is just as important. Give a few good up and down strokes with the plunger and flush the toilet. If the water clears from the toilet, then you’ve successfully unclogged it. If the toilet starts overflowing again, just close the flapper to stop water from entering the bowl. Repeat the plunge and flush sequence until your clog is gone.

Secret Plumber Trick: Add Hot Water and dishwasher detergent. Add a few cups of hot water to the toilet bowl before you start plunging. After you pour the hot water in, let it sit for a few minutes. To put it mildly, the heat helps break the, um, stuff up. This will make unclogging the toilet with the plunger much, much easier. The heat from the hot water can sometimes break up the clog without plunging, so this could be a good tactic to use if you a clog a toilet at a friends house and you don’t want to face the embarrassment of asking for a plunger.

Also, try adding some dishwasher detergent to the mix. The soap can help break the clog up, as well.

(Hat tip Ryan and Jim in the comments).

For harder clogs, use an auger. If the plunger doesn’t work, Rod says it’s time to bust out the auger. An auger is a cable like device that you snake through the toilet hole to help loosen up a clog. You can find augers at most hardware stores.

augerToilet auger

To use an auger, you simply snake the cable down the hole. Start turning the crank on the end you’re holding until it stops. This means you’ve reached your clog. The auger will either break up the clog or hook on to it. If it feels like you’ve hooked the clog, pull it out. Discard any waste on the end of the auger. Give the toilet a few good plunges to clear up any left over blockage. Flush. Shazam! Cleared toilet.


When to call the plumber. There are times when your own efforts just aren’t enough. How do you know when it’s time to call in the professionals to battle your clog? Rod says that if you see water backing up in the sinks or showers whenever you flush, it’s time to bring in a plumber. Water backing up in odd locations when you flush means you have a clogged main line. A plunger and auger won’t get the job done.

Avoiding clogged toilets. Rod’s parting advice was to avoid clogs in the first place. First, teach children that the toilet is not a Jacuzzi or water ride for their GI Joes. Rod says that the majority of his work with clogged toilets involves toys and other items that kids have flushed down the toilet.

Rod also says it’s important to ensure the jets around the toilet bowl’s edge are nice and clean. Stopped up jets will prevent the toilet from flushing at full power which in turn prevents you from clearing out the toilet and its contents. Weekly toilet cleaning with a brush will prevent build-up. If you haven’t cleaned the toilet in a while, you’ll probably have mega buildup. Rod suggests using an Allen wrench or screwdriver to clear out the junk.

Finally, take it easy on the paper. You don’t need an entire roll to wipe your bum.

Any more tips on how to unclog a toilet? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 174 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Skookumjam June 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

I read this while waiting for the kettle to boil so I could take some tea with me in a travel mug when I drove to the hardware store to get an auger. Toilet plugged since last night, plunging not working.

AFter reading this, decided to pour the kettle of hot water down the toilet with some dish soap. Unclogged in 10 seconds. Sheesh, thanks guys! And I’m the sole plunger in the house, too, but I”m the female. :)

102 Lois June 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

We have a Kohler Low Flush toilet that has a channel in the bottom and doesn’t let the plunger have a good seal. We tried hot water/detergent but doesn’t seem to help. Do they make a plunger for these kinds of toilets?

103 margaret July 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

I have the same problem as Lois.What did she do?

104 Rod July 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the “time and gravity” concept. Let “time” with the clog work on softening the human waste and break down the toilet paper. Sometimes it takes a few hours, but most of the time it it takes less than an hour. “Gravity” helps by keeping the toilet bowl full of water by adding water with a bucket, or I use my plant watering pitcher. The sheer weight of the water above the clog often clears the commode after a bit of “time”.
But …. I’m here today because I met my match with a particularly difficult clog. After reading this great article and comments, I let my bowl drain down to almost no water, then I put about 4 big squirts of liquid dish soap (Palmolive) and then filled up the bowl with hot tap water. Just a few plunges later and WOW!!! Clean as a whistle w/ the flushes and I believe it is actually flushing better now than it has in a long, long time. Thanks for the tips!!!!!!

105 Chris Grattan July 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

One other thing a plumber warned about: don’t try flushing wipes, even those marketed as “flushable.” Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate so as to not cause clogs. Wipes are not, And they will cause clogs, not just in a toilet, but farther down the line in your mains.

106 Cierra August 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm

And you can leave it sit for a while and then you can try to unclog a toilet.

107 poopfixer August 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

So after trying all these ideas with no results I took a garden hose, put one end into the hole as far as it would go and then blew in the other end repeatedly….boom fixed

108 Sean Love August 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Our toilet was clogged for about three days until I found this site. I poured two pans of hot water down the toilet and followed it a few minutes later with some Dawn dishwashing detergent. I then used my trusty funnel-cup plunger and after maybe five or six plunges voila! My flow was back to normal again…

109 Netta August 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

When I ran hot water on the plunger, then used it, that did the trick…. Thank You

110 BL August 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Thanks for all the tips! Utilizing the courtesy flush helps in reducing the cumulative load flushed at the end, but clogging still occurs with our 1.3gal toilet. Will definitely try the dish washing liquid and hot water solution along with the softened plunger. Hurray for AoM. Husband enjoys reading your articles and forwards his favorites to me and the kids.

111 Kathleen September 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Thanks for the tip about using hot water and dish soap. There some suds but it worked like a charm !

112 Karyl September 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

So far its not working. How long does this take? I’ve done hot water, dish soap everything everyone else says works and its STILL rises to the occasion…It will flush but verrrry slow. Anyone know any other tricks? It was only strawberries that went down there. you’d think they would have broken up by now.

113 Ccjjak September 27, 2013 at 5:06 am

I’ll be damned. Hot water and dish soap worked in one minute flat. My toilet seemed to clog every other day and what a hassle. Thank you much for the great tip!

114 Chris H September 27, 2013 at 5:12 am

Hot water , dish soap and one minute and I’m unclogged. Thanks for the great advice!

115 Malcolm Shute October 9, 2013 at 10:47 am

Our toilet clogs but only with “solids”. Liquids flush fine. Any suggestions?

Thank you
Mal in northern NH

116 Anthonie October 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Oh thank you soooooo much! I’m 16 years old and I do not know anything about plumbing. This saved me from getting grounded and it was fast easy.

117 Frugally Insane October 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Had a particularly tough clog once, none of the usual tricks were working, so I was digging around in the cabinet under the sink hoping for a forgotten bottle of Drain-o when an old box of Alka-seltzer kept getting in my way. I opened them all up and tossed them in my bowl (it was nearly empty of water); then added very hot water. Once the fizzing stopped I plunged & it cleared lickety split. I figure the bubbly action broke things up a bit..

118 Frugally Insane October 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Forgot to ask my Q.
Is there a routine more than just clearing the jets as a preventative type of maintenance that will keep it draining freely? Hoping for something that is not hard on the environment or wallet.

119 MichaelJ October 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm

After buying a new plunger and auger and having no luck, finally tried the soap and hot water method and was successful! thanks again!

120 Sam October 26, 2013 at 4:25 am

I just installed a clog free Kohler 5 days ago and now its clogged again!!
The soap and hot water not budging that monster, its just after 5.00 am in the morning, guess ill have to get that auger. Hope its metal free so it does not permanently scratch the bowl…..

121 Sam October 26, 2013 at 5:02 am

Well Im back, I continued to use dawn dish liquid on top of cascade dishwasher detergent in hot water and just gravity, now the monster is gone forever !!!!!!! YES !!!

122 Mandi October 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU. This toilet always clogs and I was just getting ready to call out a plumber….The dishwashing soap and hot water worked. Some advice – I’d heard about the hot water and tried it just once then gave up. This time I filled a pot 4 times with the hottest water from the tap and it worked like a charm. The water should be as hot as possible!

123 Marcus October 28, 2013 at 5:09 am

Could not get hold of such a plunger, used a mop instead, twisting it and pull pushing. It keeps the thing at arms length as well, with hot soapy water cleared in no time. Did ruin the mop though.
Thanks for the advice

124 Sonia October 28, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I used the dish soap and hot water and a little plunging did the trick for my clogged toilet, too. Thanks so much!

125 Barb November 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

It worked! The hot water and Dawn worked after I had been plunging and even a snake. Thanks for the advice and no more wipes.

126 Andrew November 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm

The hot water and detergent helped on a bad paper towel clog that plunging alone wouldn’t get, very nice.

127 Michelle November 12, 2013 at 6:14 am

Thanks a lot for these great tips!

It worked for me using the plumber.

128 Debbie November 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hoorayyy!!!!! I used to let my husband take care of this sort of thing but he has Lewy’s Body Disease and he can’t do stuff anymore. I was gonna go buy an auger and pray that worked but this worked like a charm. I’m gonna do the other commode for good measure. Thank you so much!!!

129 Anwar Kopeng November 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm

No plunger, no auger, it worked with dish washing soap and hot water, fantastic !
Thanks for the tips.

130 Anwar Kopeng November 14, 2013 at 10:37 pm

No plunger, no auger, I used only dish washing soap and hot water, it worked.
Thanks for your advice !.

131 Karrie November 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm

It worked!! Boiling water and liquid dish soap did it! Thanks for saving me a lot of money.

132 mbk November 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

Plunger was not working for me but the dish soap and hot water worked great.

Thank you.

133 Larry Caudle November 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I thought that the hot water and dish soap would be bogus. I brought some water to a near boil, added dawn to the water remaining in the bowl and then poured. Plunged a few times and that drain unclogged like nothing! Thank you! I was afraid I was going to have to pull the toilet.

134 yvette pugkins November 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

Hot water, soap and running plunger under water to soften it worked.

135 Jan November 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for the tips!
I’ve been using baking soda & vinegar (white) fairly successfully on clogs. Fizzes up and usually clears with just one application, or perhaps one pot of almost boiling water.
I’ve got the clog from hell right now, and will try the dish detergent w/hot water next. Plunging isn’t doing anything for this sucker (except hurting my back). I was looking for enzymatic cleaners when I stumbled onto your site.
So glad I did! Thanks!

136 laraine November 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

this does work. I saved 150.00

137 beth December 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

have a plastic duck toilet bowl deodoriser stuck in the toilet of which I cannot seem to shift have flushed lots and also put paper down and flushed again thinking that would help make the force of water flush it down the line but no luck. What can I try next!

138 John December 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm

A 2″x2″x1/2″ piece of plywood found its way into my toilet plugging it up. I’ve tried plunging, a plumbers snake,etc. How can I free it up so it will flush away?

139 mitz December 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I have a dual flush, high efficiency toilet with the squarish outlet. My funnel shaped plunger makes no seal. Is there a specially made plunger for this shape? Do plungers ever need to be replaced, regardless of shape? Thanks in advance!

140 Austin Wright December 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm

This article helped me a lot. I had to poo really bad and the toilet was badly clogged. Didn’t want to drive to 7 11, so looked on here found this half a bottle of dish detergent and 2 cups hot water and about 4 seconds toilet unclogged.

141 Angela December 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Just wondering if the hot water would crack my porcelain toilet or not?

142 Bryan McDonald January 1, 2014 at 2:05 am

I’ve been plunging like a mad man for two days…I could not even finish pouring the bucket of hot water and dawn down the hatch and it went down! Amazing!

143 Katrina Williams January 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I was stuck at home as my husband was gone for the day. The toilet wouldn’t flush and I plunged it till my back hurt. Well I Googled How to unstop a toilet and there you were… All I saw was Professional.. I did exactly as directed and I’m having a nice day off. Thanks a million!!! I get credit for the fix. LOL

144 Erika January 4, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for the advice – the hot water and dish detergent trick worked like a charm!

145 Ashley January 6, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Thank you so much! I was plunging to no avail when I googled tips for unclogging a toilet and found your site. I did the dishwasher soap and hot water then plunged. It took two rounds of this but I just got a flush. (Thank God) As we only have one toilet and we just had 12 inches of snow fall.

146 Scott January 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I tried plunging but made no progress. No water leaving the bowl.
I added dish soap and hot water and tried plunging but it still didn’t clear. I finally cleared the clog by letting the soap and hot water stand for 5 min before plunging again.

147 Jon January 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Had been trying to clear a clog for a few hours in my apt. Dish washer soap did the trick great thing to know!

148 jordi January 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

It became a battle of epic proportions. Me against the toilet locked in a battle that neither wanted to lose!!!!

I honestly thought we would have to call a plumber after three days of the toilet running slowly. Being the only female in a household of four it seems odd to me that I am the one they bring in when none of the strapping 6ft plus fellows can conquer a clog. To date I have never been beaten but this one came close.

Tried all the soap and hot water, soda and vinegar (which sat overnight) to no avail. I decided to upgrade our plunger from the harder plastic accordion type to the softer rubber type with a smaller opening so that I could seal the opening better and finally we have full flow.

TIP: We have a member of the family who shall go unnamed here but HE likes to ball up toilet paper; A BIG NO NO. It creates dreadful clogs.

149 Joie January 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I have a tip to add to the above “HE likes to ball up toilet paper; A BIG NO NO. It creates dreadful clogs” — don’t put ANY PAPER in the toilet. I have a covered trash container on the floor next to the toot.


150 jordi January 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm

I’ve thought of that Joie but I’m thinking an outhouse might be even better!!

I had thought that wipes might be a good idea originally but after reading recent publications that flushable doesn’t actually mean that they break down I have banned them too.

151 Andrew January 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm

“don’t put ANY PAPER in the toilet”

Toilet paper is designed to be flushed.

152 Happier Now January 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm

It took three pots (about 3-4 quarts each)of hot water and heavy squirts of dish soap before each pour, but this miracle cure worked. The third time (which may be why it took three times), I was careful to aim my pour into the waste hole. Before I was even done emptying the pot, the gray water drained right out! Amazingly, I did this _after_ running a closet auger through it twice to no avail. Thanks for the advice!

153 Thank you! January 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm

I was at my wits end plunging and plunging to no avail. I tried the boiling water and dish detergent trick and after 3-4 pots full of water, it finally worked. Thanks so much!

154 iamjkk January 31, 2014 at 11:19 am

I tried all of that. Boyfriend broke my flanged plunger. Cant find that kind anymore. Been few weeks clogged. Hot water, soap, drain cleaner, nothing works. No other sinks backing up. Suggestions? Thinking bout using shop vac…?

155 Robin February 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

My family of 3 live in a small one bathroom apartment. So when my husband clogged the toilet this morning (as he often does) with good old fashion s… and then left for work, leaving my son and I without a working toilet I was in a jam. I don’t know which worked or if it was all three but I followed your advise and poured dish soap (waited 10 min) and then boiling hot water (waited 10 min) down the bowl. With standing soapy water now in the bowl I reapplied the plunger taking note of your mention that the upswing is as important as the down. It worked! Thank you…husband is forgiven!

156 Kimberly February 4, 2014 at 1:22 am

dish soap who knew!!!
I had half gallons off bleach sitting in it for 2 days with very little drainage and tons of plunging and used the auger twice
added 1/4 bottle generic dish soap for 20 min used auger and its working :-)
now if only the suds would die lol

157 Barbara February 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

I TOLD my husband we needed a new toilet. Doing wash now with all the towels I needed for ‘the flood.’ Hysterical, I googled and found this website after plunging, hot water (5X+ 2 floods=disenchanted housewife). Landed here. Dishsoap!! Who would have thought!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

158 June February 6, 2014 at 1:53 am

I did a stupid thing. Was having problems with my kitchen garbage disposal so instead of using it I decided I could dump some liquid garbage into my toilet but didn’t notice I had a piece of chicken in the container until I flushed it and before I could grab it I had flushed. Now it’s stuck; I’ve tried the auger but don’t want to scratch my Kohler product. I’m going to try some of your methods but will probably need a plumber?? Right?? Let me know if I can do anything before I go to this expense. I’m a senior on a fixed budget. HELP

159 Sandy February 7, 2014 at 11:28 am

Whatever you do, don’t use drain cleaner. Unfortunately I did, and it cracked the toilet on both sides, right where it bolts into the floor…

160 Janet February 8, 2014 at 5:50 am

6AM on Saturday morning, can’t sleep so I decide to clean out the fridge….I thought the toilet was enough to handle that long leftover beef stew. Wrong! As I watched in horror as the tide rose, I couldn’t decide if I should run or take the plunder to it. I wanted to clear this up before hubby woke up, given the color and texture of what was in there. Even worse was the thought of having to call a plumber and explaining to him what is in there. After trying to flush and plunge numerous times, I took to the internet and found this site. The hot water and Dawn trick worked like a charm. I had doubts when I poured in the hot water and all the bubbles started to rise before I could get the plunger in place. I couldn’t tell how high it was so I just dove in (no pun intended) and hoped for the best. To my relief I flushed and it all went down and seems to be a stronger flush than before. You guys are a lifesaver. Now I have to put all my “tools” away before hubby gets up. He always tells me, “no good can come from cleaning so early in the morning!” Maybe he is right! Thanks everyone!

161 Tammy February 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm

We are having the time of our life trying to figure out what clog the toilet. No one had any poo today and the toilet was working fine until it just stopped. My kids never stuffed anything down there and neither my husband or I can figure out what the heck is wrong with the toilet. We never had an issue that the plunger couldn’t fix. I decided to utilize google and found this site and tried the soap/hot water, auger, another couple plunges and nada! I guess we might have to contact that plumber after all.

162 jeff February 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I tried everything on here and nothing worked so I turned my air compressor on put a extension on a high volume sprayer toilet half full of water and towel wrapped around extension under water and shoot air to push clog through. Good Luck and always remember to turn your face away when spraying compressed air in a toilet with nasty water in it.

163 Raul February 14, 2014 at 7:33 am

Toilet started clogging up slowly yesterday. Tried the plunger and it wouldn’t work. This morning, it wouldn’t even drain slow like it was doing. Googled how to unclog a toilet and came to this site. Boiling water and dish detergent worked! Thank you!

164 shelly T. February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Went on internet looking for help with clog toilet.
My grandson i think has threw a toy down toilet and now every time you flush you have to plunge it. I tried hot boiling water w/ dish deterenent in it and as soon as i poured it in the toilet it flushed, without me plunging it, i refilled pot w/hot boiling water &soap and it flushed again, so i let it fill up on its on, flushed, great …its fixed. The hot soapy water flushed the toy on down i guess, the toilet is working great. Could’nt have done it without you guys help Thank you so much for this tip i will never forget it.
Thank you again and again and again.

165 Nikki February 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Used the bathroom yesterday, flushed it but it wouldn’t flush down. Thought i clogged the toilet so i got my plunger and tried unclogging it but still the water didn’t go down. Tried hot water with soap and fortunately it flushed down. I thought that was the end of it but when i flushed it again to see if it would flush smoothly it didnt, the water would fill up the whole bowl and then slowly drain out . Ive also tried baking soda with vinegar but had the same results . Tried unclogging it with a plunger since yesterday but still nothing is working. Both of the bathrooms in my duplex are doing the same thing.
Should i call a plumber to come check out our main line ?

166 Blaine February 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Awesome – I am telling everyone about this, and giving the correct plunger, Dawn, and a plastic bucket, as part of a wedding gift, along with directions, and this web site. Should be a hoot but I bet everyone takes notes, just in case they need it one day. Better to be safe than sorry, and it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Good info. to kneaux.

167 lilpoopsies February 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Amazing. Dishwashing Soap and boiling water worked.

168 Ellen in Oregon March 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

Your advice was a godsend.I just wish I had read it before flooding my bathroom. After 2 days and no go, last night I decided to give the toilet one last flush before going to bed at 2 AM. Naturally, for the 1st time in 14 years it overflowed gallons onto the laminate floor ruining the entire floor before I could grab a bucket & start bailing. The plunger was stiff as you pointed out & basically worthless. I wish my brain had been sharper & thought to shut the flapper. Only proving that you really need to be prepared in the case of the potential for overflow. Just because it never happened before doesn’t mean it won’t now. I did shut off the water valve and drained as much of the bowel & tank as I could.
I live in a condo. & this may be a problem with the main pipe since this is day 3 with no resolution. I will now go & get a bucket of hot soapy water & give that a try after soaking the stiff plunger in it for a few minutes. Be prepared is now my mantra when it comes to toilet problems.
Thanks so much.

169 Kimberly K. March 4, 2014 at 12:24 am

I just wanted to say a big “THANK YOU” for posting this article. I am a dingle mom of three kids & the only go to fixer in the house. We just got 3 inches of snow today, it is 11:30 pm , & my toilet backs up. After plunging for 20 minutes, it would still not flush! I searched “cannot get toilet unclogged”, & found the link for your website article.

I used one cup of hot water from the tap with 3 squirts of Dawn dish soap, poured it directly over the waste hole, waited 5 minutes, plunged four times, tried to flush the toilet, & it still wouldn’t flush. I plunged the toilet three more times & the water sucked right out of the toilet, without me even flushing it! I probably should have used maybe one cup more of hot water & waited 10-15 minutes , ( But I am too impatient to wait ) then it probably would have gone down right away.

The combo of hot water & Dawn dish soap was a great tip! You really don’t have to use half a bottle of soap, unless you like the suds in your bowl. Getting a good seal on the waste hole & making sure to get a good pullback after the downward push on the plunger really helps clear the clog.

Thank you so much! I thought for sure I was going to have to buy an auger in the morning. You have saved me a bunch of money, that I don’t have to spare on a plumber. I will be passing these tips, especially about proper plunging, to all of my friends.

170 Hush March 4, 2014 at 9:26 pm

great tips thanks! i tried a coathanger and plastic bag covered hand around the bend to no avail. 2 cups of very hot water and half a cup of dishwasher dissolved my problem away. You just saved me a plumbers bill :)

171 C. Delaney March 12, 2014 at 1:30 am

I’m a (retired) plumber. My $0.02? First, be patient. Try the plunger, get it warm so it seals better, and be forceful with it. The warm water and dish soap often helps if the plunger doesn’t quickly fix the problem. If the warm water & dish soap doesn’t do it pretty fast, just WAIT a while. Be patient. Gravity, physics, chemistry and biology are your friends. Most of the time, unless it’s a non-biological clog, you’re golden in under 6-8hrs.
I do recommend getting yourself an auger. Spend a few bucks and buy the better one at the hardware store. This is a job you want to do right, and good tools are a great investment. The guy in the video made an error with his auger too. Do not let the steel part rub against the visible part of the porcelain bowl! It WILL leave marks, and you’ll scrub the heck out of it to remove that stuff. There’s a rubber part, draw the auger coil back into that, put it into the opening, and push it in. Once you have it, then start to feed the auger part down. Have a look at the bottom/back part of the toidy. See the convoluted shape of it? That’s what you’re feeding the auger into, so it’s gonna be a lilbit of work. Be patient, work it in there, roundy round and it goes on down!
Again, as the video shows, learn how to close the flapper at the bottom of the tank. That lets the water flow into the bowl, closing it is the very best way to avoid an overflow. Don’t worry, the water in the tank is fresh tap water. Avoid overflow, try plunger, try warm water/soap, gravity and time, then if no luck after a few hours, auger time. The auger’s rarely necessary, but buy yourself a GOOD one.
Do be careful with the top of the tank, you’ll pay dearly to replace it, if you can even find one that fits -your- toidy.
Of course, you can always call me, or one of my peers, we love these easy jobs! Good luck, folks! ;)

172 veronica March 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I had a really bad blockage and couldn’t get it to flush for anything. I tried the boiling water and like 10 squirts of Ajax dish soap, had to do it 3 or 4 times but it finally flushes. Only now it flushes real slowly. Am I missing something? Maybe I need to buy an auger?

173 Liz March 30, 2014 at 10:30 am

Adding hot water and dishwashing soap fixed it immediately!! I had been plunging for 1/2 before that – I will definitely remember this trick next time!

174 Anonymous April 1, 2014 at 5:41 am

Unblock your clogged toilet with the help of caustic soda.

1. I think this is the one of the best way to unblock a seriously clogged toilet. Especially when you have disposed organic waste into it and have tried, plunger, wire hanger, loads of water etc and have been unsuccessful.
2. Please take extreme care while handling caustic soda. You will require about 3 kgs of caustic soda, a plastic bucket, a plastic pipe or any long plastic object to help stir, rubber/plastic gloves, goggles for your own safety and protection.
3. It is ideal to do this at night. take about 3 to 4 liters of water in a plastic bucket, cover your nose with a piece of cloth, slowly add about 1 kg of caustic soda into the water very slowly. Stir the mixture slowly. make sure the room is well ventilated and do not inhale the fumes. Get away from the room if it is taking longer to mix water and caustic soda. Always add caustic soda to water, do not do it the other way, do not add water to caustic soda. the exothermic reaction between water and caustic soda will make the water boil quickly. so adding water directly to caustic soda is not advised.
4. The water will heat up during mixing and will generate fumes. do not touch the mixture with bare hands as it will be highly corrosive. if a drop of the mixture falls on your skin, wash it will lots of water.
5. once mixed, slowly pour the solution into empty toilet bowl, cover the toilet seat and get away from the toilet for about 45 minutes.
6. Again mix caustic soda and water as described above for the second time. and slowly pour it into the toilet and leave it over night.
7. in the morning pour couple of buckets of hot steaming water into the toilet from about waist length. By now the toilet will be able to flush out quickly. If not mix water and caustic soda again as described above and pour it into the empty toilet. Wait for couple of hours and pour hot water into the toilet.
8. Never pour caustic soda directly into the toilet. Caustic soda crystals can solidify inside the toilet pipes creating a bigger block. So it is advised to mix caustic soda in water first and use the solution to unblock your clogged toilet.

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