5 Proven Steps to Achieve a Clear Toilet Every Time

Blocked toilet? Learn how to clear your toilet quickly using five proven steps. We’ll walk you through each approach, from the correct plunging method to a few unexpected household solutions, equipping you with the tools and techniques you need for a hassle-free fix to clear toilet issues.

Key Takeaways

  • For effective unclogging, use a flanged plunger with a proper plunging technique, ensuring the plunger is submerged in water to create the necessary suction and pressure.

  • Hot water (not boiling) and dish soap can be used separately as methods to soften and clear toilet clogs, but must be poured carefully to prevent porcelain damage or overflow.

  • Baking soda and vinegar can naturally unclog a toilet, while a DIY drain snake made from a coat hanger can physically remove tough clogs; persistent toilet blockages may require professional plumber intervention.

1 The Plunger Power Play

Person using a plunger to clear a toilet clog

Plungers: simple yet mighty tools in the battle against toilet clogs. From tampons to excessive toilet paper, these common culprits stand no chance against the power of a plunger. And the beauty lies in the simplicity and effectiveness of this first line of defense.

But what’s the best way to utilize your plunger? Let’s explore!

Choosing the Right Plunger

You might think all plungers are created equal, but that’s not the case. The hero of the day when dealing with blocked toilet drains is the flanged plunger. This specially designed plunger sports a soft rubber flap or flange, which provides a better fit over toilet drains and creates the necessary suction.

Armed with this reliable tool and rubber gloves, you’ll find it easier than ever to unclog a toilet and tackle the common issue of unclogging toilets.

Proper Plunging Technique

Now that you’ve chosen the right plunger, it’s time to learn the art of plunging. The secret lies in creating an effective seal and maintaining water pressure. Start with a gentle push to remove any trapped air, then increase the force to disturb and dislodge the clog.

Don’t forget, water is your ally. Make sure your plunger is submerged in water to generate the necessary pressure to dislodge the clog.

Troubleshooting Common Plunger Mistakes

Even in the world of plunging, mistakes can happen. An effective plunge is all about water, not air. Keeping the seal intact and maintaining a vigorous plunging action using both in and out motions are key to loosening most clogs.

If the clog persists, top up the water to the usual level and give it another go, repeating as needed. Follow these guidelines and your clogged toilet will be clog-free swiftly.

The Hot Water Solution

Pouring hot water into a toilet bowl

Meet your new best friend in clog-busting: hot water. But not just any hot water. Very hot, but not boiling, water can work wonders in clearing a clogged drain. By carefully pouring the hot water into the toilet bowl and letting it sit for a few minutes to soften the clog, you’ll have a clear drain in no time.

Finish off with a rinse of hot water in your bathroom sink, along with an antibacterial cleaner for a spotless, clog-free toilet.

Temperature Matters

What should be the water’s temperature? It needs to be just shy of boiling - sufficiently warm to dissolve the clog, but not so hot as to risk damaging the toilet bowl’s porcelain. Safely using hot water requires careful temperature control, so heat the water to the highest temperature without reaching boiling, and then pour slowly into the toilet in stages to prevent damage.

Gradual Pour Technique

Pouring hot water into the toilet is an art form. Start by pouring the hot water in stages, using the hottest water from the faucet while avoiding boiling temperatures. Pour from approximately waist height to generate enough force to aid in dislodging the clog.

Once the waiting period has passed, utilize a bucket of water for flushing rather than the toilet’s own flush mechanism to control the water level and mitigate the risk of overflow.

Baking Soda & Vinegar: The Natural Unblocker

Baking soda and vinegar mixture fizzing in a toilet bowl

Imagine being able to handle a plumbing emergency with items you’ve already got in your kitchen. That’s the beauty of the Baking Soda and Vinegar method. This homemade drain cleaner, also known as the Model Volcano Method, can be a natural and effective way to tackle toilet clogs, especially those caused by waste.

Measuring the Mix

The secret to a successful baking soda and vinegar solution lies in the proportion. Start with one cup of baking soda, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. This equal parts mixture is generally recommended to create a potent clog-clearing solution.

Application Process

Applying the baking soda and vinegar mixture is as easy as sprinkling the baking soda into the toilet bowl and then carefully pouring the vinegar to avoid overfilling. The key is to allow the mixture to sit for an hour or even overnight to maximize the reaction’s effect on clearing the clog.

Follow-Up Flush

Once the baking soda and vinegar concoction has done its job, proceed with flushing. A clear indication of a successful unclog is when the toilet makes a quick sucking sound and the water begins to drain to the average level. Follow-up flushes help push any remaining material down the drainpipe, thus fully clearing the path.

If the water level remains unchanged or the blockage continues, consider reapplying the baking soda and vinegar mixture prior to initiating a subsequent flush.

DIY Drain Snake Solutions

Homemade drain snake made from a wire coat hanger

If plunging, hot water, and the baking soda-vinegar combo have failed to banish the clog, it’s time to bring out the big guns: a DIY drain snake. With a wire coat hanger and a little ingenuity, you can create a flexible tool that can navigate through the bends and curves of a toilet drain to tackle deeper clogs.

Crafting Your Own Snake

Creating your own drain snake is easier than it might seem. Here’s how:

  1. Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it out.

  2. Bend a small hook at one end of the wire.

  3. Add some padding to the hook end to prevent damage to your pipes.

  4. Use the hook end to snag and pull out the materials causing the blockage.

Now you have a trusty DIY toilet snake at your disposal for drain cleaning.

Maneuvering the Homemade Snake

Maneuvering your homemade snake requires some care. It’s all about gently navigating the coat hanger within the toilet drain to:

  • push past the obstruction without forcing the clog further down

  • aim to reposition or fragment the clog to help it move through the drain with less resistance

  • be cautious not to apply excessive force to prevent scratching the toilet bowl.

Enlist the Help of Dish Soap

Pouring dish soap into a toilet bowl

Dish soap, another common household item, could prove useful in your mission to eradicate clogs. Its lubricating properties allow clogged material to slide down more easily, reducing the resistance within the pipes.

Soap Selection

Not all dish soaps are created equal. High-quality soaps are denser and contain less water, making them more effective at breaking down clogs.

The Soap and Hot Water Combo

Mix dish soap and hot water together to create a potent solution for busting clogs. Pour half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl, let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then add hot water.

Wait an additional 10-15 minutes for the soap to soften the clog before attempting to flush.

Maintaining a Clog-Free Toilet

As they say, prevention is the best cure. Keeping your toilet free from clogs doesn’t require a PhD. It involves mindful flushing habits and regular cleaning, which can go a long way in keeping those nasty clogged toilets and blocked toilets at bay.

Mindful Flushing Habits

Being mindful of what you flush down the toilet can prevent many clogs. Stick to flushing only water, toilet paper, and human waste.

Items like cotton balls, Q-tips, tampons, and so-called ‘flushable’ baby wipes do not break down easily and are common culprits in toilet blockages.

Regular Cleaning Recommendations

Regular maintenance is key to a clog-free toilet. This includes:

  • Cleaning the plunger after use

  • Inspecting the toilet’s internal mechanisms

  • Addressing external factors like outdoor pipes that could affect your toilet’s drainage system.

When to Call in the Professionals

Despite all efforts, there are times when a clog simply refuses to budge. Persistent issues, strange sounds, and unpleasant smells are all signs that it’s time to call a professional plumber.


From the humble plunger to DIY drain snakes, from hot water magic to the power of baking soda and vinegar, we’ve explored a variety of strategies to tackle toilet clogs. Remember, prevention is key, and mindful flushing habits can prevent many a plumbing emergency. But if a clog does occur, you now have a toolkit of simple, effective strategies to tackle it head-on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to unblock a toilet?

The best way to unblock a toilet is by pouring hot (but not boiling) water into the bowl to break down the clog. If the water level goes down, the toilet is successfully unclogged.

How do you clear a clogged toilet Australia?

To clear a clogged toilet in Australia, create a mixture of 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar. When it starts fizzing, pour it into the clogged drain to remove the blockage.

How do I make my toilet clear?

To make your toilet clear, mix one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar, pour the mixture into the toilet, wait for 30 minutes for the reaction to break down the clog, and then follow with hot water.

What is the most effective tool to unclog a toilet?

The most effective tool to unclog a toilet is a flanged plunger. It is often the first choice for the job.

Can I use hot water to clear a clog?

Yes, you can use very hot but not boiling water to clear a clog by pouring it gradually and letting it sit for a few minutes.