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Are you experiencing a clogged toilet, yet you don’t have a plunger or drain snake? It can be frustrating, especially if you can’t find a solution to unblock it. You may try to unblock your toilet in many ways but fail each time, leaving you frustrated. Unfortunately, it is a problem that forces you to spend money when all you want to do is save the dollars for a rainy day.
But have you ever known that you can unclog your toilet at a meagre cost with things already in your home? Yes, you don’t need to call your plumber, and the procedures covered in this article are safe. Read on!
How to Unblock a Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you had tried to unblock your toilet using clog removers or chemical drain cleaners, never add baking soda immediately as the mixture can produce poisonous gases that can make you sick. Follow the procedure below for good results.
- Remove the Excess Water
If your toilet bowl is full to the brim, you should remove the excess water before adding anything else. Otherwise, the reaction will cause an overflow in your bathroom. Reduce the water till it is halfway up your toilet bowl. If the blockage is severe, be careful to avoid making a mess on your bathroom floor.
- Add Baking Soda
If the blockage is severe, be cautious and add half a cup or less of baking soda at one go to avoid an overflow. If the blocked toilet is less than half full, use a cup of baking soda in the bowl.
- Add Vinegar
Use an equal measure of vinegar as baking soda for a perfect reaction. This means that if you use a cup of baking soda, you should also use a cup of vinegar. As soon as you add your vinegar, you will notice an immediate shaking reaction and hear a fizzling sound.
- Relax and Wait
The chemical reaction will be intense at first, but it will start to decrease. Observe the reaction as you monitor for any overflow. Wait for around five minutes before taking any other step; keep monitoring.
- Add Hot Water
Once your reaction recedes, get a jug of hot water and carefully empty it into the toilet bowl. This should be the final step in unblocking your toilet. Check to see if the water is draining normally and if it is, listen for a quick sucking sound as the barrier goes away.
- Flush the Toilet
Flush your toilet to make sure the clog has gone. You can flush a few times to ensure the toilet is completely unblocked. If it flushes normally, good work – you have managed to unblock your toilet.
So, what should you do if your toilet does not flush normally? In some cases, you will need more than one dose of vinegar and baking soda. If your first attempt is not successful, start over from the first step.
During the repeat treatment, allow the mixture to rest for at least 30 minutes before adding hot water. For better results, you can use a plunger once the fizzing sound decreases just before adding the hot water.
How to Unblock a Toilet with a Wire Coat Hanger
The next best thing you can use to unblock your toilet is a coat hanger. Yes, you heard right! A coat hanger will help you to reach your blocked drain better than your hands. To use a coat hanger, you need to unravel it from its shape to a long wire and insert it into the toilet drain.
When unravelling the coat hanger, do not unravel the hooked part as it will help you push the hanger down the toilet drain. This technique is cheap and gives you instant results. However, you should be careful not to damage the drain by using too much force. Here is a step by step procedure you can follow to get your desired results.
Things you Will Need to Clear a Toilet with a Coat Hanger
Before obtaining a coat hanger, you need to ensure it is a wire coat hanger and not wood or plastic, as you cannot unravel such hangers. What are the supplies that you will need for this task?
- Rubber gloves
- Wire hanger
- Duct tape
- Washing detergent
- Hot water
Steps to Take When Using a Coat Hanger to Unblock a Toilet
- The first step is to put on your rubber gloves and unravel your coat hanger. Where the two ends meet, open it up to get one long wire. Leave the hooked part as it is to insert it into your toilet.
- In the hooked part, wrap a rag to prevent your porcelain from getting scratches.
- Proceed to secure the rag with duct tape or else it remains in the toilet causing more clogs.
- Now, insert the wrapped end of your coat hanger slowly in the toilet drain and work against all resistance. Keep pushing the clog.
- Twist and move the hanger around to dislodge the clog.
- Keep pushing and twisting until you notice water draining from the toilet bowl.
- Pour washing detergent and allow it to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Pour your hot water into the toilet bowl.
- Flush the toilet to ensure the clog is resolved.
How Effective is the Coat Hanger Method?
Using a coat hanger is similar to using a toilet snake as both methods push the clogs to the pipes. Unfortunately, a coat hanger can only be used to unclog clogs that are not further than the trap way.
Using coat hangers is better than using a plunger but you should be careful as it can damage the ceramic or porcelain material used in toilet bowls. It can also damage the pipe in a toilet drain. If your drainpipe material is made from weak plastic, too much force can burst it and this is something you should avoid.
How to Prevent your Toilet from Clogging
Now that you know that unblocking your toilet is not a walk in the park, you can shift your attention to some clever tips to observe that will prevent your toilet from blocking. Keep reading!
- Mindful Flushing
The easiest way to prevent your toilet from blocking is by practising mindful flushing. This means that you are aware of the things you flush down your toilet drain. If it is paper, ensure it is of the right quality and amount.
The best rule to follow is to ensure that you only flush everything that you extract from your body and toilet paper. To ensure the above rule is followed, make a simple list of the things that should not be flushed and stick it on your bathroom wall. It will serve as a reminder for other household members or guests.
- Use the Double Flush Method
After relieving yourself, flush the toilet before throwing the toilet paper and then flush again after throwing the toilet paper. The second round will make sure that the tissue is indeed flushed deep into the drain.
- Trace and Deal with Any Tree Roots
If your toilet blocks frequently, it may be a case of tree roots in your compound affecting the sewer line. The roots can reach the sewer pipes as the tree grows, penetrate the sewer pipes, and block them up.
Dealing with such a problem needs extensive attention. The first step you should take is to contact a professional plumber for an inspection. Subsequently, practice regular maintenance. You should also look out for warning signs. Other than frequent blocks, watch out for slow-flowing or overflowing drains. Again, listen to the sloshing sound when flushing your toilet.
- Teach your Kids How to Use the Toilet Properly
If you have kids, educate them on the proper way to use a toilet when potty training. However, you should also teach older kids how to flush, what to flush, and what not to flush. Help them understand how to clean the toilet as well. By doing the aforementioned, you will not only prevent blockages but also instil good life skills in them once they leave your nest.
- Buy and Learn How to Use a Plunger
A plunger is probably the cheapest toilet fixture. You will be surprised by what you can accomplish when you use it with a bucket of boiling water.
- Keep the Tanks Clear
Do not use your toilet tank as a storage space. Avoid placing your tissue, brushes or soap as you can accidentally knock them into your toilet bowl. Such items can cause avoidable toilet blockage.
- Take Immediate Action
Once you notice a slow drain or weak flush, do not delay. Address the matter immediately instead of ignoring the situation. However, your immediate action should not be to call a plumber. Try using your plunger, coat hanger or vinegar and baking soda as you have learnt above. If all the above fails, call a reliable plumber immediately.
- Regular Cleaning
Make it a habit to clean your toilet regularly. By doing this, you can spot potential leaks and slow drains faster and take immediate action. You will also notice small leaks and trace the problem early before a major catastrophe.
- Keep Off Chemical Drain Cleaners
When buying toilet cleaners, stick to safe cleaners. Some chemical drain cleaners can be too strong for your drainpipes, causing damages. Wear and tear of your drainpipes is a costly affair to fix. Therefore, steer away from chemical cleaners always.
Ensure you undertake toilet inspections twice a year. Thorough inspections will ensure that all the inner fixtures of your toilet are functioning properly. You can also replace or upgrade some fixtures during the inspection. Sometimes replacing your toilet seat can be economical in the long run.
A Badly Blocked Toilet May Need a Plumber
It is always cheap and easy to use natural methods to unblock your toilet. Home DIYs for a blocked toilet is a safe alternative to using drain chemicals – they reduce risks to your drainpipes and your health. Before buying industrial chemicals to unblock your toilet, always try a plunger, coat hanger or a baking soda and vinegar combination. When you use baking soda and vinegar, you not only unblock your toilet but also eliminate the unpleasant drain smells.
The above are simple and reliable methods that you can use when you want to unblock your toilet. However, the methods are not long-term solutions to the clogs as they will come back after some time. Again, if you encounter a bad blockage, hiring a plumber is the best you can do. Therefore, if you have no idea where to start, contact a plumber.