How to Unclog a Toilet

One of the worst occurrences that you can experience in the bathroom is a clogged toilet. The odor and general unpleasantness of the situation will turn most people off, and that is in addition to the panic many feel when they realize they are in this tricky situation in the first place.

Although it may be intimidating, clearing clogs from toilets is actually much easier than you may realize. All it takes is 10-15 minutes and the implementation of one of the genius hacks listed below.

What Happens If You Don’t Unclog Your Toilet?

When you see that unattractive clog in the bottom of your toilet, the first instinct may be to leave it alone and hope that it resolves itself, and that certainly is a possibility. If the clog consists of mostly organic material, it will decompose over time and loosen up until it can be easily flushed. 

Keep in mind that if you decide to let the clog take care of itself, the process can take at least an hour, so if there is a smell, you may want to take care of it sooner. If the object blocking the toilet is not organic, then you will want to take care of the problem before using the toilet again or it could get lodged deeper into the pipe and cause extensive damage that will require expensive repairs.

What NOT To Do

When you see that clog in the toilet, the other natural reaction is to keep flushing in the hopes that it will loosen up and eventually move through, but this is a bad idea. 

If the clog is that severe, then the water will keep rising as you keep flushing. This could result in the toilet overflowing onto your floor and it may not be easy to stop once it starts. 

Physical Tools For Removing Clogs

A plunger is the best tool for removing a clog since it is designed for that purpose. But there are other items around your home that you can DIY that could also remedy the issue. Let’s talk about how to use them.


Place this tool in the toilet far enough so that the water covers the cup of the plunger. If there is not enough water, add some. The cup of the plunger should also completely cover the hole of the toilet. Then, with even pressure, push and pull the handle of the plunger, and after about 20 seconds, it should unclog.

Wire Hanger

If you don’t have a plunger in the home, there are other hacks you can try, including using a wire hanger. It’s simple. Straighten out the hanger and push one end into the clog. Prod the blockage until it comes loose and goes through the drain or you can tell that it can be flushed.

Toilet Brush

Much like the wire hanger, a toilet brush with a long handle can also be used to push at the clog until it becomes loose. The bristles on the brush can be helpful in poking holes in the blockage.

Chemical Options

If the physical objects are not an option, then you can turn to chemical solutions, many of which may already be in your bathroom.

Hot Water

If you have a mop bucket in the bathroom, fill it with hot water, but not boiling, as too much heat could crack the porcelain. Go to the toilet and pour the water down from waist level. The idea is that the heat combined with the force of the water may unclog the toilet. 

Dish Soap

If there is too much water currently in the toilet, then pouring more water in could make the problem worse. In that case, try pouring in a half cup to a full cup of dish soap, such as Dawn Dish Soap. The idea here is that the soap will create lubrication and the clog may slide down the drain after 10-15 minutes.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you don’t have dish soap or the clog persists, then search the kitchen for baking soda and vinegar. For this fix, you will need the toilet bowl to be at least halfway full. If it isn’t, add hot water to get it to that point. Then, pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl. 

Next, take a cup of vinegar and slowly pour it into the toilet. This will create a chemical reaction that should work to loosen up the clog. However, don’t pour it all at once or the solution could fizz too much and overflow from your toilet and make a mess.

Once both components have been added, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and if the clog isn’t removed, give it one flush.


For exceptionally stubborn clogs, the chemicals above may not make an impact, so you may have to turn to bleach. Safety and slowly pour three to four cups of bleach into the toilet bowl and let it stay for 10 minutes before flushing. This trick should work for both organic matter and toilet paper clogs.

Prevent Clogs From Occurring

Even though there are some great hacks for removing stubborn toilet clogs, the best solution is to prevent a clog from happening in the first place. Never try to flush items down the toilet that don’t belong there in the first place and teach your kids to only use the toilet for its intended purpose.

Often, it is an excess of organic waste and toilet paper that is the culprit, so just be careful not to flush too much down at once. Flush in increments as you use the toilet and clogs should be few and far between. 

So there you have it, many helpful hacks for ridding your toilet of disgusting clogs. Try the tips above and keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean.

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