When this fixture gets blocked, it's important to determine the cause. This guide is about unclogging a toilet.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
If the Closet Auger, Plunger and Dish Detergent Failed to unclog your toilet, try this!
I used the auger, plunger, and the dish soap resulting in a number of failed attempts. As I read several home improvement books online, the note that stuck in my head was entitled, "how to check if the upper flush holes are not clogged, by using a mirror". These holes are located out of sight, in the upper portion (underside) of the bowl. Anyway, if the goal is to maintain a good seal so that you can obtain the force needed to unclog the toilet, I suddenly realized that every time I thrust the plunger, more air was being directed from the upper flush holes, than the lower portion of the bowl. This decreased the force going into the desired location (lower portion of the bowl).
Solution: I took a clear plastic bag, cut a hole in the top, placed the handle of the plunger through the hole, to help prevent anything from splashing from the bowl, and I tucked the remainder of the plastic bag under the underside of the toilet to block some of the upper flush holes.
Despite not being able to block all of the upper flush holes, the few I did effectively block were enough to strengthened and re-direct the force of air going into the lower portion of the bowl, where the plunger was placed. Instantly my toilet was unclogged!
By majorshadow from San Diego, CA
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
Tips to help you unclog a stuck toilet.
If there is an object stuck in the toilet, the best thing to do is remove the toilet and place in tub or shower. Pour water into bowl and plunge. You can even try to use a coat hanger going in from the bottom to loosen the object then plunge again. It is a lot of work but it does work. My kids flushed an apple core. Putting in the tub will keep object from clogging pipes causing more problems. Just be sure to replace the wax seal. (05/12/2004)
Using a wire coat hanger, poke the end of the hanger into each little hole just under the rim of the bowl. Sometimes it is a calcium build up that causes the problem. I remembered this tip from our rental house years back ... that was what the plumber recommended to the tenant. After plunging with not much success, tried the tip above and it worked great. Saved having a plumber come out! (05/12/2004)
Unclogging a Toilet
Is it a flush problem - water running out of the cistern slowly? Then the build up of mineral salts may be the problem as others have described. Or is it a drainage problem - the water flushes into the bowl OK but the bowl fills up and drains slowly away? If so the cheapest method is to get a large plunger - a rubber suction cup on a stick available for a few dollars at hardware shops. Plunge that up and down until the obstruction moves by the alternating negative and positive pressure. You may need to do this numerous times. If that doesn't work plumbers have a long snake like thing they put down round the bend and it rotates and breaks up any obstructions. Preferable to having to disconnect the toilet I would think. If the obstruction is further along, e.g. tree roots growing into the underground drain pipe, this can also be bored out by a plumber but is not a permanent solution as they will grow back unless the offending plants are removed. (05/12/2004)
By Jo Bodey
We recently had problems with our toilet not flushing properly. The plumber said we had tree roots in the drain in the front yard. He said to go to Home Depot or someplace like that and by a bottle of stuff to put in the toilet to kill the roots. You have to do this twice a year. Just ask one of the people working there and they will show you what you ned to buy. (05/13/2004)
We recently had this problem and had to "snake" the toilet. We priced a snake at Home Depot and it was less than $20 -- but then a co-worker offered the use of his snake, so we didn't even have to spend that! It takes a little elbow grease, but it's a lot cheaper than calling a plumber! Also some major hardware stores may allow you to rent a snake, rather than purchase. (05/18/2004)
By Becki in Indiana
Add 1 cup of liquid dish soap, let it sit for a while, and flush to unclog toilets.
The dish soap tip works great! This method has worked for me every time. I usually give three big squirts from the bottle, let it sit a moment then flush again. Sometimes it takes plunging, but usually not. (05/20/2005)
Try Again In The Morning
Don't pull the toilet. the hole in the toilet is about an inch and a half and the drain pipe is at least 3. you can try a plunger but the toilet auger i.e. snake always works best. Also, if it doesn't stink too bad you can shut the lid and try again in the morning. The paper will dissolve over night (07/05/2005)
Bucket of Water
Try this if the plunger or auger fails... fill a bucket with warm water...about a 1/8 or 1/4 high and dump the water into the bowl from waist high into a nearly empty bowl. The water pressure from this impact sometimes will force any plugs in the trap to break up and flow through. You may have to do this more than once. (05/22/2006)
By Formerly Frustrated
The dishsoap idea worked! I used Dawn...if it dissolves grease, it will dissolve anything. I had paper towels stuck inside the pipe somewhere. I let the soap work overnight, then this morning I flushed and plunged. When I saw pieces of paper towel coming up I knew it had dissolved. Thank you for the great money saving idea! (07/10/2006)
Our toilet was backed up with kitty litter and paper towels - an impossible combination! We tried plunging, hot water, dish soap overnight...and were about to go to the hardware store to buy an auger when the Scunci came to mind. A Scunci, if you haven't seen on TV, is a hand held steamer which produces a jet of steam out a little nozzle. You're probably not supposed to do this, but we recalled how well it worked unblocking a clogged shower drain, so gave it a try. We first bailed out most of the water in the bowl and then put the end of the Scunci nozzle at the base of the toilet, hit the steam button and after just a couple of minutes and one more plunge, the toilet flushed perfectly. (09/09/2006)
By We Love Scunci!
Dishwashing liquid did the trick. Thank you! I had never heard of the concept but it worked like a dream. Some soap and my plunger then the problem was solved! (09/20/2006)
In order to unclog a toilet you will need dish soap and boiling water. Pour boiling water into toilet and then add some dish soap. Get a plunger and keep pushing. Eventually your toilet will suck up all the water and your work is done. Good Luck! (11/22/2006)
With 6 daughters are toilet is always clogging. At night we will pour a gallon of vinegar and let it sit overnight. This is a precaution. A gallon of vinegar is cheap $2-3. (01/29/2007)
I love all these ideas! With my three kids and a couple potty training, I will have plenty of opportunity to try these. I thought I'd add though, to not only keep a plunger nearby but purchase a "snake" from your local hardware store. This WILL fix any clog- trust me (lol). They are cheap, easy to use, and what the plumbers use. (02/04/2007)
My day began with nothing more pleasant (not!) than a clogged toilet. I've only experienced the joy of unclogging a toilet once before, so I didn't have a plunger on hand. Thank goodness I checked your website before running out to the store! I started first with dish soap, letting it sit for about 5 minutes, and then I poured in nearly boiling water. I let this combo sit for about 10 minutes before I went at the toilet with a coat hanger. Less than a minute later, my toilet was as good as new! Thank you! (02/10/2007)
It really worked. I just went to the home depot and bought a snake to unclog my toilet which I'e been working on for almost two hours. It didn't work. Then I read everyone talking about the dish soap. All I can say is thank you toilet clogging gods. it works like a champ. (02/17/2007)
By brian g
I never give my name over the internet but I tried the soap and boiling water to unplug my toilet and it worked. I really thought that it was a really ridiculous thing to try. It worked like a charm. Thank you very much. I was just going to call a plumber but did not want to put a mortgage on my house. Thanks again. (02/21/2007)
By MICHAEL MEGAFFIN
I've been at it for a week and tried everything Walmart has, nothing worked! A few squirts of soap and two pots of boiling water and a little plunger action and it WORKED! (02/23/2007)
Dish Soap and Boiling Water
Awesome solution. I just added some dish soap solution and 3 pots of boiling water and 2-3 plunges. It worked like a charm. Thanks a lot. (02/24/2007)