How to unblock a toilet – four ways to clear a blockage without using a plunger

The Home Depot explains how to unblock a toilet

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Toilets can become unusable when blocked up with excessive toilet paper or non-flushable items, leaving many homeowners reaching straight for the plunger. While forcing out a blockage is one way to clear a clogged toilet, there are plenty of less messy ways to get a toilet back in use. Here are the four best ways to clear a blockage without using a plunger.

A blocked toilet will quickly fill up with water, leaving it unable to drain away as it should.

While some blockages will still allow the bowl to slowly empty out, a rising water level comes with the risk of an overflowing toilet – so how can you get rid of it?

Using a plunger should always be avoided when the bowl is full to the brim, and there are plenty of simple ingredients which can be used instead.

Dish soap and hot water

Clearing a clogged toilet can be easily done with just two ingredients, and you don’t need to get your hands dirty at all.

This method is best suited for blockages which have filled the bowl up more than usual but still not to the rim of the seat.

Before pouring the dish soap into the toilet, lay a few old towels around the foot of the toilet, in case of any overflow.

Squeeze a generous amount of the washing up liquid directly into the bowl until soap bubbles begin to form.

Fill up a large bowl with hot water and slowly pour it into the toilet until the water level reaches the top.

Leave the solution to sit for 20 minutes to allow the soap to penetrate the clog and lubricate the pipes, making the items easier to dislodge from the drain.

The water level should have gone down a little during this time, which means there is room to pour in more water.

Using some fresh, hot water, pour the water in with more force than last time to put pressure on the blockage.

In a few minutes, the water should drain away as normal when the clogged items have been released from the bowl.

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Baking soda and white vinegar

Removing a soft blockage like tissue can be done using just these two powerful ingredients, and you probably already have them in your cupboard.

Generously sprinkle baking soda into the full toilet and watch the water level rise.

Pour in a large amount of white vinegar into the bowl and leave it to sit for 25 minutes.

The tissue should rise to the top while the baking soda fizzes, though the water level should also drop after a while.

Pour in hot water after the liquid has been left to sit and watch the blockage drain away.

Flush the clear toilet to remove any remaining tissue.

Use salt and baking soda

For this method, start by mixing half a cup of baking soda with an equal amount of table salt.

Pour this directly into the toilet bowl and add six cups of hot water.

Use a toilet brush to slowly stir the solution into the bowl without pushing it into the drain.

Leave the solution to sit overnight to loosen the clogged drain.

You should remove as much surface tissue as possible using gloves before using a toilet brush to move the water down the bowl.

Watch the water level drop and flush the remaining water away.

Rock salt

Pour one cup of rock salt into a bucket with two gallons of hot, but not boiling water.

Leave the salt to dissolve before pouring the solution into the toilet bowl.

Add the solution into the toilet and leave it overnight to break down the clog, then flush in the morning if the water level has reduced.

This can be done on a regular basis to prevent blockages and maintain your toilet.

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