How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works

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Dealing with a clogged toilet is an experience everyone dreads, especially when it occurs unexpectedly or in an unfamiliar environment. When faced with such an issue, it’s essential to know how to tackle it without resorting to calling a plumber immediately. Clogged toilets are a common problem, and despite the embarrassment and discomfort they can cause, there are various methods available to address the issue promptly.

In this article, we will offer solutions on how to unclog a toilet, providing you with the knowledge necessary to handle the situation confidently, whether it’s in your own home or a friend’s. By exploring alternative DIY methods and discussing some of the best toilets designed to minimize clogging, you’ll be well-equipped to deal with any bathroom emergency.

How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works


  1. Combining Hot Water and Dishwashing Detergent

Start with a simple solution like hot water and dishwashing detergent. Begin by boiling a few cups of water and pouring it into the toilet. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, as hot water can sometimes be enough to break up the clog. If the clog remains, add detergent to help dissolve the clog even more effectively.

  1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another home solution for unclogging a toilet is using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet, followed by a cup of vinegar, poured slowly.

This combination creates a fizzing chemical reaction that can dissolve toilet clogs. After a few hours, add a gallon of hot water to further break down the clog. Wait 6 to 8 hours before flushing to give the mixture time to work. Keep in mind that this method is only suitable for waste clogs, not obstructions caused by foreign objects.

  1. Wet Dry Vacuum

A wet/dry vacuum can be an efficient method to unclog a toilet. Make sure to use a suitable vacuum designed to handle water. First, empty the toilet bowl, and then insert the flexible hose into the bowl, wrapping an old towel around it to create a seal around the drain. Apply pressure to ensure a proper seal. The vacuum should eventually suck the clog out.

  1. Traditional Plunger or Airsnake

A plunger can be highly effective in unclogging a toilet. To begin, soften the plunger by running it under hot water. Establishing a solid seal is key when using a plunger, so it’s essential to master the proper technique. A few up and down strokes usually solve the problem, but if not, repeat the process until the water flushes the contents of the bowl.

  1. Using an auger

If the aforementioned tricks fail, a stubborn clog might require the use of an auger. This cable-like tool can easily snake through the toilet to reach the clog. Push it as deep as possible and move it left and right to loosen the clog. Once loosened, you can finish the job with a plunger. Be prepared for potential messes; wearing gloves when cleaning the auger is a good idea.

Tips for Preventing Toilet Clogs

Taking steps to avoid clogs in the first place should be a priority. Teach children not to flush toys or other inappropriate objects down the toilet. Additionally, maintain cleanliness in your toilet by cleaning jets around the bowl’s edge to ensure adequate water pressure. Finally, be mindful of how much toilet paper you use to minimize the chances of clogs.

When to Call a Plumber

There may come a time when you are unable to unclog a toilet on your own. If water backs up in various locations when flushing the toilet, it may indicate a main line clog, in which case a professional plumber should be contacted.

Prevent Bathroom Flood First


To promptly address an overflowing toilet and prevent a bathroom flood, it’s essential to halt the rising water in the toilet bowl. Start by swiftly removing the tank lid and then close the toilet flapper, effectively stopping the release of water.

As a helpful recommendation, use one hand to hold the flapper and the other to push the flusher. This method serves as an efficient way to provide some space for further action in handling the obstruction in the drain.

In situations where the water supply overflows too quickly for the above steps to be completed, grab all available towels, paper towels, or newspapers to absorb the excessive water and avoid damage. It’s crucial to act quickly and efficiently so the water doesn’t reach other areas.

Additionally, keep in mind that adequate ventilation is vital in these situations, so opening a window will help prevent unwanted odors from lingering in the bathroom. By incorporating these steps, you can effectively manage the issue of an overflowing toilet and maintain the water level under control as you work to eliminate the solid object blocking the drains.

Having toilet water on the bathroom floor can pose health risks, as it may contain bacteria and other contaminants.

Related: Can You Flush Kleenex 

The Essence of the Matter

Taking action is essential when faced with a clogged toilet, regardless of whose home you’re in. The following are five effective techniques to resolve this issue swiftly:

  1. Use a plunger: The most common and often successful tool.
  2. Boil some water: Pouring hot water into the toilet can often dislodge clogs.
  3. DIY drain cleaner: Combining baking soda and vinegar can sometimes help break down blockages.
  4. Use a plumbing snake: A helpful tool for reaching deeper into the drain.
  5. Vacuum the obstruction: Using a wet-dry vacuum can suck out the clog if other methods fail.

While mastering these methods will generally resolve clogged toilets, remember that professional plumbers may be necessary as a last resort when the situation becomes too complex.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most potent chemical solution for clearing toilet blockages?

Strong chemical solutions, such as sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide-based drain cleaners, can effectively break down and dislodge toilet clogs. However, use caution when handling these chemicals as they can damage pipes and pose safety risks.

How can I use a toilet auger for challenging clogs?

A toilet auger (also known as a toilet snake) can be inserted into the toilet bowl and maneuvered through the drain to break up or retrieve stubborn clogs. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a toilet auger.

What other methods can help to clear clogged toilets?

  • Try pouring hot (but not boiling) water into the toilet bowl to help loosen the clog.
  • Combine dish soap and warm water to help dissolve blockages.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the obstruction from the toilet.

What might cause frequent toilet clogs without an obvious reason?

Repeated toilet clogs could be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Insufficient water pressure in the flush
  • Foreign objects getting stuck in the drain
  • Tree roots infiltrating and obstructing sewer pipes
  • Incorrectly installed or malfunctioning plumbing systems

How can I clear a toilet filled with waste and water?

If the toilet is full of waste and water:

  1. Put on gloves and clear any debris from the bowl
  2. Use a plunger to dislodge the clog
  3. If the plunger doesn’t work, try using an auger or chemical solutions
  4. In extreme cases, call a professional plumber

What steps can I take if a plunger is ineffective at unclogging the toilet?

If a plunger fails to work:

  • Attempt using a toilet auger to break up or retrieve the clog
  • Pour a mixture of dish soap and warm water into the toilet to help dissolve the clog
  • Employ a potent chemical drain cleaner, taking safety precautions as needed