How to Unclog Toilet Rim Holes

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Partially or completely clogged holes in the toilet's rim will result in weak flushing.
Partially or completely clogged holes in the toilet's rim will result in weak flushing. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A toilet bowl uses a series of small drain holes located around the bowl’s rim to drain the water out of the tank and into the bowl, flushing out the old bowl water and filling it with fresh water from the tank. Deposits from hard water or sediment in the plumbing gather over time, partially or even completely obstructing the holes. The clogged holes can result in the toilet flushing weakly, but you can correct the problem with either an instrument or a cleansing solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire hanger
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • Eye protection
  • Bucket
  • Muriatic acid
  • Water

Straighten a wire hanger, but leave a hook on one end. Lower the hooked end into the toilet bowl, being careful to not scratch the porcelain, and push the end of the hanger into the holes in the toilet’s rim, pushing through the deposit or sediment buildup.

Put on rubber gloves, a face mask and eye protection and open a window or turn on the bathroom fan for ventilation. Pour one part muriatic acid to ten parts water into a bucket, being careful to not splash the acid.

Take the lid off the toilet’s tank and set it aside. Place the end of a funnel in the toilet tank’s overflow tube, then pour half of the bucket slowly into the funnel and down the overflow tube.

Wait 30 minutes for the acid to eat away at deposits in the drain holes. Pour the remainder of the acid solution into the drain pipe, then flush the toilet after waiting another 30 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove the toilet from the bathroom and perform the acid flush outside if your house uses a septic system.

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