A toilet can clog up at the most inconvenient time; when a plumber is nowhere near. The strange and unpleasant odours synonymous with a clogged toilet make a home both unappealing and uninhabitable. The good news is that, with the requisite knowledge, you can deal with this problem quickly and effectively. The following seven tips will help unclog your toilet.
1. A Bent Wire Hanger
If after clearing the visible debris the clog does not go, your next port of call is a bent wire hanger, which you can make from a regular coat hanger. Straighten it out as best as you can and make a hook at the end by bending it.
Next, carefully push it into the toilet and fish for anything that could be blocking your toilet. Feel for debris and then twist it gently to hold firmly, before pulling it out. This way you can pull out debris such as hair and other stuff.
While at it, make sure you are pulling ‘out’ debris and not pushing it further into the drain. Finish the job by running hot water into the drain to clear your toilet and return it to normal function.
2. Vinegar and Baking Soda
You can also unclog a stubborn toilet by using a mixture of vinegar and soda. Take a 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda and mix it with a 1/3rd cup of vinegar. Pour the contents into the clogged drain. You will hear a fizzing sound as the mixture goes down the drain, removing the gunk, grime and hair from the toilet. Leave it for a day and then flush with hot water.
Alternatively, pour baking soda and vinegar into the drain, let them sit for a while and then flush the toilet with hot water. This should clear your toilet of anything blocking it.
3. Wet & Dry Vacuum
A wet and dry vacuum cleaner can be useful in unclogging blocked toilet drains. While at it, remember to cover the vents to avoid making a mess of it. Start by setting the cleaner to vacuum liquids. Next, cover the vent and create a tight seal over the drain. Make sure the settings are set at the highest level. After placing the cleaner on the toilet bowl, switch it on. This procedure should unclog your toilet. In the event it does not, try any of the tips below.
4. Caustic Soda
A solution of caustic soda is another effective way of unclogging toilet drains. If using this method, be careful to use rubber gloves and eye protection since caustic soda can cause burns. The beauty with caustic soda is that you can easily buy it from your local hardware store. Pour 3 cups of caustic soda into a 3/4 gallon with cold water. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture thoroughly.
Once it begins to fizzle and heat up, pour it into the clogged toilet drain. Leave it for about half-an-hour and then flush with boiling and water. Repeat the process if necessary.
5. Cleaning the Pipe
Although this sounds like a job for a skilled plumber, it is something you can do with some guidance. Place a bucket under the U-shaped pipe also known as the trap, which is usually behind the toilet bowl. The bucket is meant to collect spilling water.
With a plumber’s wrench, loosen the nuts on the pipe to free the trap. Once you have freed the trap, flip it to empty its filthy contents into the bucket. Remove any debris inside the trap and the pipes holding it. Then rinse it with water and put it back in place. This is an effective way of unclogging blocked drains but may also be messy if due care is not taken. Use gloves and appropriate masks to protect yourself from odour and dirt.
6. The Drain Snake
Every home should have a drain snake. This is a long flexible metal rod that is inserted into drains to push or fish the debris out of a drain. Insert the rod gradually until you reach the debris blocking your toilet. Twist to hook it and then pull it out. Repeat the procedure until your drain is unclogged.
7. Dishwashing Detergent
Get some dishwashing detergent from your kitchen and pour 1/4 cup into the toilet bowl. Pour hot boiling water into the bowl and start plunging. The soapy solution should help clear every greasy debris blocking the toilet. If this does not work, get yourself some gloves and remove the debris. It may be unpleasant to do this, but it is a sure way of getting yourself a working toilet without spending on a plumber.
A clogged toilet is not only an inconvenience; it is also a potential health hazard. Since it is not every day you can reach a plumber, these tips should at least help you unclog your toilet before the plumber comes in for a more thorough job.