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How to fix a clogged toilet

This article explains various methods which help in getting rid of the clog from the toilet. Use of vacuum cleaner wet/dry type, wire hanger, toilet snake, enzymes, warm water, liquid dishwashing soaps/shampoos are all effective methods to fix a clogged toilet.


A clogged toilet is often responsible for giving a dramatic twist to our day. Toilets usually get clogged due to the decrease in water pressure. Sometimes clogging takes place when materials get trapped in the exit hole of a toilet sink or even when they get trap deeper in the pipes. Whatever may be the reason, it is not difficult to fix a clogged toilet. There are various tricks and tips which if we follow properly then within minutes, we will be able to drain away the clogged material. Toilet bowl will then start getting flushed normally, just the way it used to before clogging. Know How to fix a clogged toilet using a plunger to get rid of clogged material easily. Apart from plungers, there are various methods which will help to open up the drainage. These methods should be adopted depending on the type of clog that is formed and its location. Some clogs can be seen with naked eyes and thus require mechanical methods and different techniques for their removal. Some clogs are deep enough and require special enzymes and equipments like plumbing snake for their removal. Make use of these below-mentioned methods and tips to fix the clogged toilet easily without the need to call a plumber.

Methods to fix a clogged toilet

  • Treatment with enzyme product-
    Enzymes are popularly used to break down waste materials. They are therefore used in septic systems. These enzymes are not damaging to the pipes and thus can be used safely to drain away the wastes. They can only liquefy organic waste materials. This is the reason that if we can see some toy or other object being stuck in exit hole; we need to remove it manually with hands or by using some tools. Enzymes are not going to liquefy such stuck materials. Purchase a product which contains a mixture of enzymes. Follow the instructions and pour the amount that is been written. Let it stand in toilet bowl overnight or for a number of hours recommended. Enzymes will liquefy the clogged material within the mean time and drainage will thereby take place efficiently.

  • Toilet snake-
    Toilet snake wire is very flexible and long enough. It is when introduced into the exit hole, it snags the clogged material and pulls it out. It is a long wire coil. Its tip is corkscrew-like. It is introduced into the pipes until it comes across a clog. When it no longer is able to make it way across the pipe, it is turned clockwise so that debris winds onto the wire. Crank the handle of toilet snake to enable rotation of wire. It also helps in breaking up of clogged material thereby solving the whole problem.

    It is also called as a plumbing snake or auger. It can reach deeper than a wire can because of its flexibility. It can curve its way through a drain. The closet auger is the best among others. Once the debris seems to be broken or else if it seems to come out winded onto the wire then flush the toilet. If water drains out normally that means toilet has been fixed. Run the toilet snake in an opposite direction, if a hard obstacle gets encountered. For better results, use plunger and toilet snake together. First, make use of toilet snake to break down the clogged material and then use a plunger to drain down the debris so that toilet gets fixed quickly. Toilet snakes are easily available in hardware stores.

  • Wire hanger-
    A wire hanger is easily available in each and every household. It is of great help if clog formation has taken place in the first few inches of the exit hole. All we need to do is unravel and straighten it i.e., cut the wire hanger with the help of wire cutters and then make it straight. End of the wire needs to be layered with a rag. We can make use of duct tape to keep that rag in place. If the wire is inserted in the drain hole directly then it can damage the porcelain. To avoid any damages, rag should be wrapped around the end. It is best to use a plastic wire hanger to avoid the risk of any damages.

    Rag end should be introduced in the drain. Just twist it, push it forward and backward or else move it in circular or anti-circular motion. If there is any clog, it will get removed or it may adhere to the ragged end and come out easily. If any obstruction can be felt then just push against it which will automatically cause its removal. Any debris if present will get cleared and water in the toilet bowl will drain. If water is not getting drained and obstruction cannot be felt then it means that clog formation has taken place deeper in the pipes and thus opt for plunging combined with the use of plumbing snake or else can also use enzymes for the same purpose. If water gets drained with the help of wire hanger then pull out the hanger and flush toilet once or twice to clear it of all the debris which clogged it.

  • Vacuum cleaner-
    Ordinary vacuum cleaners are not able to cope with the water and hence to fix a clogged toilet, a wet/dry vacuum is essential. If it is available then make use of it when all the other methods have failed. Before using wet/dry vacuum cleaner, make sure that toilet bowl is free of water and other debris or waste materials. The flexible portion of the vacuum hose of the cleaner has to be introduced inside the drainage exit hole. Cover the end with a rag or else with a paper towel. A seal thereby gets created between hose and drainage exit. Turn on the power. Chances are very high that vacuum will suck out the clogged material and toilet will get flushed normally.

  • Warm water-
    It may sound very ineffective that water alone can get rid of the clog, but it is as effective as any other method can be. Warm the water and fill it in the bucket. Make sure that water is warm and not hot enough to cause any damage to the porcelain. Hot water can even crack the porcelain. Thus, we need to be careful with a temperature of pouring water. Pour the warm water into the toilet bowl. Cover it and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Warm water not only loosens fat but also breaks the clogged material.

  • Liquid dishwashing soap/shampoo-
    Introduce some liquid dishwashing soap in the toilet bowl. It can break up the fat present inside the clogged material. Shampoo can also be used for the same purpose. Bar soap can be broken and bits can be thrown into the bowl. It also works but may not be as effective as dishwashing soap or shampoo can be. Pour almost a liter of warm water and let it stay there for 20-30 minutes. Clog material gets broken down with the action of soap/shampoo along with warm water and toilet starts getting flushed as previously.

  • Bleach-
    Bleach method should be adopted when there is fear of a serious clog. 2 to 3 cups of bleach should be poured into the toilet bowl. To this add 1 cup of powdered soap which we use to clean utensils. Add a liter of warm water to it. Cover the toilet bowl with its seat and cover and let the whole solution remain there for a period of 15 minutes. Chemical reactions take place which will ultimately help in breaking of clogged material and water in the sink drains down. Later flush the toilet 2 to 3 times.


Clogged toilet can really pose a problem as clogged materials which are settled inside exit hole or deeper in pipes prevent regular drainage of water. This will result in accumulation of water and wastes inside the toilet bowl and it does not get flushed. Even if water gets drained then it takes place quite slowly. Repeated flushing will increase the water level in a toilet bowl and may spoil bathroom floor resulting in a messy situation and generate nasty smell which becomes unbearable. There are many appliances and ingredients which if used can effectively help in removal of clogs from the toilet. Most effective and simple method is to pour warm water inside a toilet bowl. We can also add liquid detergent soap or shampoo to it for quick dissolution of clogs. Bleaches are also effective. Wet/dry vacuum cleaner can effectively suction wastes from the pipe and drainage takes place normally. Wire hangers are easily available in each and every household. Just cut them through wire cutter, straighten them and use to get rid of clogs, especially if they are near drainage hole. Use enzyme products which can breakdown clogged material and facilitate easy drainage. We can even use plumbing snake which is a wire coil. It is efficient enough to get rid of clogs which take place deeper within the pipes. By using these ingredients and right techniques, we can easily get rid of clogs from our toilets and improve their drainage and flushing efficiency. Know how to make use of drain cleaners, go through How to fix a clogged toilet using drain cleaning agents.

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Author: Natarajan14 Dec 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Nice practical tips about DIY for blocked toilet bowls. The warm water and detergent method sound so simple and easy. Frankly, I'm uneasy about using the vacuum cleaner for the blocked toilet.

Last year, I learnt a simple trick from a plumber to came to fix our toilet block. He asked for a few big plastic cover, I gave him 3 plastic bin liners or black garbage covers. He pulled on two covers on his hand and without hesitation put his hand into the hole and poked around, he pulled out a kerchief that was likely dropped on my kids. He carefully just inverted the covers and put a knot. There was no spillage and his hands were dry.

While cleaning such blocked toilets, I feel we should be careful about children who are curious and nosy. The can unnecessarily get splashed with dirty water or chemicals on their faces or eyes.

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