Most homeowners will go weeks, months, or years without giving their toilet a second thought, other than to clean it. However, the moment the toilet paper clogs in the toilet, it turns into the center of attention.
While most homeowners know enough to keep a plunger somewhere in the house, a remarkable number of people don’t know how to plunge a toilet properly.
Whether you realize it or not, while unclogging a toilet may seem like a straightforward and simple task, knowing how to use a toilet plunger requires proper technique.
How to Unclog a Toilet with Plunger
If you don’t already have a plunger at home, then you’ll need to head to the hardware store to purchase one if you want to unclog a toilet with plunger. However, there is more than one type of plunger, so make sure that you have one that is best to clear a clogged toilet.
The plunger that looks like a basketball that has been cut in half is commonly known as a standard sink plunger. Another kind features an extended flange, which is meant to fit snugly into the toilet drain hole to ensure a tight seal. When you have a good seal, it results in superior suction power.
Learn How the Toilet Works
To address a clogged toilet, you have to understand where you need to shut off the water to the toilet bowl. Behind the toilet, near the floor, there should be a small metal knob that shuts the water off manually. Turn the knob to stop the flow of water to the toilet to avoid any messy overflow.
Take the tank lid off the back of the toilet and shut the toilet flapper while wearing rubber gloves to keep from picking up harmful bacteria that live in the toilet. The flapper is a plastic or rubber piece in the toilet tank that lifts, via a chain, to provide more water supply to the bowl. To stop the water flowing into the bowl, push down this flapper manually.
Break Up the Clog
Pour four cups of hot water into a large bowl or empty wastebasket. Add several drops of liquid dish soap into the bowl of hot water. The dish soap will help to break up any fats that might be in the clog. You can also use some shampoo if you don’t have any dish soap. Pour the bowl of hot water directly into the toilet drain and let it sit for five minutes.
How to Use a Toilet Plunger to Plunge the Toilet
For the best results, warm the rubber cup on the plunger with hot water for 30 seconds. Place the toilet plunger in the bowl and try to seal it over the toilet drain. You can rub some petroleum jelly along the rim of the flange to create a better seal.
The angle that you need will depend on your specific toilet bowl; however, since the plunging needs to be performed in a downward motion, chances are you will need to stand directly over the toilet bowl.
Using quick strokes, push down on the plunger sharply until you create suction. Depress the plunger quickly four to five times. On the last stroke, promptly lift the plunger from the drain.
The sudden release of suction should help dislodge the clog, so the water level drains. If the water doesn’t drain, repeat the steps until the water entirely flows from the bowl. When you think you’ve eliminated the clog, turn on the water valve.
How to Make a Toilet Drain Cleaner
If you don’t have a plunger, or you’re toilet is still clogged, try this DIY toilet cleaner that will both unclog and disinfect your toilet with the help of hydrogen peroxide. There are many common uses of hydrogen peroxide, including cleaning and sanitizing your entire home.
The best part about this toilet drain cleaner and toilet cleaner is that it uses common ingredients that are inexpensive and that you likely already have in your home. Learn how to eliminate sewer odor with hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar, as they make excellent disinfectants.
To unclog your toilet with this homemade drain cleaner, remove as much water from the inside of the toilet bowl as possible with a disposable cup or by manually pushing down the toilet flange in the tank to cut off the water supply from the toilet tank. You must remove the standing water to avoid overflowing the toilet when you flush later. Not only will this recipe clean the drain, but it’s also a perfect natural toilet bowl cleaner remedy for those difficult-to-clean stains.
After you’ve removed enough water, pour the baking soda and vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let the ingredients sit for a couple of hours. Flush the toilet, and let the toilet bowl refill completely.
Remove as much water as possible using one of the above methods. When you’ve removed enough water, pour the hydrogen peroxide into the toilet and let it sit for an hour as a non toxic bathroom cleaner.
Flush the toilet to see if the water level goes down to normal. If the toilet flushes properly, you’ve successfully unclogged the toilet.
If it doesn’t, you’ll have to repeat the process until the clog is eliminated. This toilet cleaner recipe also works well to clean kitchen sink drain and garbage disposal.
How to Use a Toilet Auger to Eliminate Clogs
If the two methods above didn’t work to clear the clog from your toilet, consider purchasing a plumbing snake or closet auger to get rid of the clog. Put the end of the drain snake into the toilet drain. Turn the crank until you reach the clog.
You’ll know that you’ve reached the clog because the tape on the auger won’t go any further. When you’ve reached the clog, turn the crank backward in an attempt to pull the clog forward.
When you’ve pulled out the clog, discard it in the trash. To break up any additional clog, use several strokes of the plunger, as discussed above, until the water level goes down, then flush the toilet a final time.
Call a Plumber
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, there are simply some toilet clogs that you can’t get rid of yourself. If you’ve tried the above methods for unclogging your toilet, and it still won’t flush properly, you may have to call a professional plumber to take care of the problem.
Unclogging a toilet is never a fun endeavor. Not only can the process be messy, but it can also fail if you don’t know how to plunge a toilet properly. Use these steps to learn how to properly plunge a toilet and avoid shelling out the big bucks to have a plumber do what you can easily accomplish with a little know-how and elbow grease.
We hope you learned something about how to plunge a toilet properly with a toilet plunger. If you found the toilet plunging tips in this piece helpful, please feel free to pass on these toilet cleaning tricks to your family and friends.