The best method to unclog a toilet

David Kent

Clogged and overflowing toilets are every man’s worst nightmare. When the toilet gets clogged, it starts overflowing and can ruin your floor, your day and you nerves in a matter of minutes.

But before you start panicking and make things even worse by trying to flush multiple times hoping that the problem will just magically disappear by itself, take a deep breath and make a plan. The last thing you want is for water and waste to end on the floor.

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What’s the reason that the toilet became clogged in the first place? Here are a couple of the most common ones.

  • You tried to flush down something that isn’t meant to be flushed. The toilet is designed to flush human waste and toilet paper and nothing else. The most common non-flushable items include tampons, dental floss, condoms, diapers, tissues, cotton swabs, etc.
  • There’s a problem with your sewer line. Buildups of toilet paper, waste material and non-flushable items tend to create clogs in the sewer line through time in which case it’s best to find professional help before the problems get worse and start threatening health of your family.
  • You have a poorly designed toilet. Toilets used to flush down 3.5 gallons of water or more per each flush. When the government limited the water consumption to 1.6 GPF, many toilets were not as clog proof as they should be. In this case the only thing you can do is buy a new toilet.

Here’s a couple of methods you can use to try to unclog the toilet.

Method 1 – using natural ingredients

baking soda

Some people don’t like to deal with chemicals. If you are one of them, you can try unclogging your toilet with natural methods. You will need a vinegar and couple of teaspoons of baking soda which you can buy in most grocery stores.

What to do

Place couple of teaspoons of baking soda into the drain and pour one cup of vinegar on top of that. Wait for about 30 minutes for ingredients to start dissolving and then flush your toilet with hot water from a large bucket.

Method 2 – Using chemicals

Using chemical ingredients that are designed especially for unclogging a toilet is usually much more effective than using baking soda and vinegar.

There are several of them on the market, but we recommend using Pure Lye Drain Opener. It’s a biodegradable chemical that offers industrial strength, so it’s probably the only product you will ever need to unclog your toilet.

What to do

Pour the Pure Lye Drain Opener into the drain, wait for about 30 minutes and flush the toilet. Be aware that when you are handling the Pure Lye Drain Opener, it’s recommended to wear gloves that are resistant to chemicals.

Method 3 – Using tools

If your toilet is clogged with stubborn materials that are nearly impossible to dissolve, you will probably need to use a plunger. But beware that there are two types of them and only 1 is appropriate for toilets. If your plunger has a flat bottom, it’s designed for sinks.

What to do

Put the plunger into the drain and make sure that you get it to make a seal. Ideally water in the drain should be couple of inches above the plunger. Start pumping the plunger and make sure you don’t break the seal. When water starts disappearing from the drain, you are on a good way to success. You might have to repeat the process a couple of times and flush the toilet afterwards, just to be sure that your toilet is unclogged.


What is your favorite method to unclog a toilet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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