Unclogging a toilet can be a messy business unless you know the best methods to get tough clogs out without flooding the bathroom. Many chemical drain cleaners that are safe for sink drains are not safe for toilets. Instead, you will need to look to other methods to effectively unclog your sometimes unruly toilet.
The plunger is probably the most commonly used tool for unclogging a toilet. When a clog occurs, turn off the water at the back of the toilet to stop any water overflow. Place the plunger around the drain hole and create a suction. Plunge into the hole several times and then release the plunger. The plunger may not relieve the clog the first time, so try several times before resorting to more forceful methods.
A pipe snake is useful for stubborn toilet clogs. Be sure to use a toilet-specific pipe snake that is covered in rubber or plastic to ensure you don't scratch the porcelain bowl. Pipe snakes work by insertion of a bendable wire into the drain. This is turned with a handle at the top to help break up the clog.
Use dishwashing liquid to help unclog a toilet. For this method to work, as little water as possible should be in the bowl. Pour several tablespoons of dishwashing liquid down the drain. After allowing it to settle, add very hot water, though it should not be boiling, which would risk breaking the porcelain. The clog should slowly start to break up. If the water starts to go down, flush. Otherwise, you made need a plunger to assist in pushing the clog out.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are a viable option for unclogging a toilet drain as long as there is not too much water in the bowl. Pour about 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and immediately add about half a cup of vinegar. Seal the drain hole with a plunger or a rag; a plunger is preferable as it is more sanitary. Leave the rag or plunger in place for 30 minutes. Remove the plunger and add several cups of hot water to help flush the unclogged debris.
- Photo Credit Toilet bowl and bidet in a toilet image by terex from Fotolia.com
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