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How to Unclog a Toilet – Simple DIY Tips

Save Money on a Plumber - The Best DIY Methods to Unclog Toilets

As a builder and having worked with Plumbers for years, I know how frustrating it can be for homeowners to unclog a Toilet. It’s a common issue that can happen to anyone, and knowing how to handle it properly is vitally important.

In this article, I’ll share Ten Simple Tips on How to Unclog a Toilet like the Pros.

Understanding the Common Causes of a Clogged Toilet

Before we dive into the tips, it’s essential to understand the common causes of a clogged toilet.

Some of the most common causes of toilet clogs include:

  • Flushing too much toilet paper,
  • Flushing non-degradable items like baby, or personal wipes, and feminine hygiene products
  • Flushing items like cotton balls and Q-tip swabs can get caught in the pipes.

It’s also important to remember that toilets can become clogged due to plumbing or sewer line issues. So, it’s always a good idea to call a professional plumber if you’re experiencing frequent clogs or toilet issues.

The Best Tools to Use for Unclogging a Toilet

When unclogging a toilet, having the right tools is essential. These are the most important tools to have when you need to unblock your toilet:

  • Toilet Plunger
  • Auger (plumbing snake)
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum

Using a “Toilet Plunger” to Unclog a Toilet

Using toilet plunger - best home gear
Using Plunger to Unclog Toilet

A Toilet plunger is one of the most common tools for unclogging a toilet. From experience,  we recommend the combo toilet plunger and toilet brush from Mr. Siga.

However, other tools, such as a Drain Auger (plumbing snake), can be just as effective.

Using an “Auger” to Unclog a Toilet

Using Auger to Unclog a Toilet
Using a “Closet Auger” to Unblock Toilet – Besthomegear.com

A drain auger may be the solution if you have a stubborn clog that can’t be cleared with a plunger.

When using a manual closet auger, Insert the auger into the toilet bowl and turn the handle clockwise. Keep turning the handle until you feel resistance, then loosen the clog by turning the handle counterclockwise.

Continue this process until the clog is cleared.

An Auger is a long, flexible tool that can reach deep into the pipes to break up and remove clogs. Professional plumbers use more expensive motorized snake augers like Populo, including an electric motor and 25′ auger snake to reach long expanses of toilet drain lines.

Populo Electric Augers under $100 – Check out this Populo Tool Video.


If you would like a less expensive “Closet Auger,” a shorter manual 3′-0 Auger, such as those offered by Cobra, can also be very effective for minor clogs.

Using A “Wet/Dry Vacuum” To Unclog Toilet

Use Wet Dry Vac for Toilet Clog - Best Home Gear
Wet Dry Vacuum for Toilet Clogs

While not our first choice, Another tool that can work in a pinch to remove stubborn toilet clogs is a Wet/Dry Vacuum. 

Important; when using a wet/dry vacuum to remove water, first remove the paper HEPA filter from the inside of the waste container.  It’s usually mounted to the motor.

Also, when using a wet vacuum to unclog a toilet, pay close attention to the sound of the motor.  If the motor is straining, you will hear it and need to shut it off immediately.

A laboring wet vac means it isn’t strong enough to remove the obstruction from the toilet, or there is an obstruction plugging the vacuum hose.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

If you don’t have a plunger on hand, don’t worry. There are still ways to unclog a toilet without one.

One method is to use hot water and dish soap. Pour hot water into the toilet bowl, followed by a few squirts of dish soap. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then flush the toilet.

Another method is to use a Wire Coat Hanger. Straighten out the hanger and use it to loosen and remove the clog.

Note:  Be careful not to scratch the porcelain finish on the toilet bowl. To do this, wrap a small piece of duct tape around the end you will fish into the toilet bowl.

Fix a Clogged Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar can be a powerful combination for unclogging a toilet. Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Next, add a cup of vinegar. The mixture will start to foam and bubble.

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then flush the toilet. This method can be effective for mild to moderate clogs.

Using Safe Effective Drain Cleaner (Liquid) For Clogs

should you use drain cleaner for toilet - best home gear
Using Drain Cleaner to Unclog Toilet – Besthomegear.com

When soap, hot water, vinegar, and baking soda don’t cut through your toilet clog, you can also buy safe and effective drain cleaners such as Green Gobbler drain dissolver, capable of dissolving hair, personal wipes, or other gunk in your toilet bowl. 

The Most Effective Ways to Plunge a Toilet

Knowing the proper technique is essential when using a plunger to unclog a toilet. First, make sure the plunger is completely submerged in water.

Next, create a tight seal around the toilet bowl with the plunger. Then, push down and pull up on the plunger quickly and steadily but not too forcefully. Repeat this process several times until the clog is cleared.

Note: If 4-5 uses of the toilet plunger do not clear the obstruction, stop.  Wait 5 minutes and resume 4-5 plunges again. 

If you cannot clear the obstruction, use a Drain Cleaner overnight and try again.  

“never use extreme force While using a plunger. If you do, you risk forcing toilet water past the wax ring of the toilet bowl and onto the bathroom floor”.

Tips on How to Prevent Toilet Clogs

Prevention is vital when it comes to toilet clogs. Some tips to prevent clogs include flushing only toilet paper and human waste, avoiding flushing non-degradable items, and reducing the amount of toilet paper used.

It’s also important to remember to clean the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner regularly to prevent buildup.

When to Call a Professional Plumber for Help

While many toilet clogs can be cleared with DIY methods, sometimes it’s best to call a professional plumber for help.

If you’re sure your household isn’t disposing of the wrong materials down your toilets, and you are experiencing frequent clogs, the issue may be with the plumbing system or sewer line.

A professional plumber can diagnose and fix the issue quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion: How to Unclog a Toilet 

In conclusion, unclogging a toilet can be a frustrating experience, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a simple process.

Fixing a toilet yourself can also be Rewarding – Plumbers charge between $150-$200 or more to unclog a toilet.

Remember to understand the common causes of a clogged toilet, use the right tools for the job, and practice prevention to avoid future clogs. And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for help 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  What is the Fastest Way to Unclog a Toilet?  A: The fastest way to unclog a toilet is using a Toilet Plunger.  Toilet plungers are handy, practical, and often kept near a toilet.

Q: Is Drain Cleaner Safe to Use in Toilets?  A: Some drain cleaners are considered safe for use in toilets and sewer pipes and are Eco-Friendly and Enzyme-based drain cleaners, such as Green Gobbler and Flow-Zymer. 

Q: What Types of Materials Clog Toilets?  A: Too much toilet paper is the most common reason for clogging toilets. Next, and perhaps more serious – is when flushing personal/baby wipes or feminine products down a toilet.

References & Additional Resources

Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear. In addition to his work in publishing, Kevin enjoys exploring the Outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, Hiking, Cycling, Fishing, Reading, and Completing Projects for Home and Garden.

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