Almost everyone has had the experience of flushing toilet paper or something else down the toilet and having it back up again. Cleaning a toilet is never fun. Whether it be from a minor clog or an all-out blockage, the best way to resolve the problem is with some serious elbow grease. Most of the time, this will do the trick, but what if it doesn’t? There are a few more steps you can take to get that toilet back to its normal self. So what do you do? Here are some tips on how to unclog toilet when nothing works.
The main ways how to unclog a toilet when nothing works are to:
- Use a plunger
- Use baking soda and vinegar mixture
- Dish Soap and hot water
- Use a plumbing snake
- use a wire coat hanger
- Use an enzyme product
- Suck out the clog with a wet and dry vacuum cleaner
- Use a chemical drain cleaner
Before going into depth on how each method unblocks a clog, let’s look into how the clog got their first.
- 1 What Causes Clogged Toilet: Determine the Cause of the Clog
- 1.1 Older Low Flow Toilets
- 1.2 Flushing Non-Flushable Materials
- 1.3 Excessive Toilet Paper Use
- 1.4 Clogged Toilet Trap
- 1.5 Blocked Toilet Vent
- 1.6 Clogged Sewer Line
- 2 Materials Needed On How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works
- 3 8 Most Effective Solutions On How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works
- 4 1. Use a Plunger to Unclog Toilet
- 5 2. Use a Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture to Unclog the Toilet
- 6 3. Use Dish Soap and Hot Water
- 7 4. Unclog the Toilet Using a Plumbing Snake
- 8 5. Use a Wire Coat Hanger When Nothing Works
- 9 6. Use an Enzyme Product
- 10 7. Suck Out The Clog With Wet and Dry Cleaner
- 11 8. Use Chemical Drain Cleaner to Bust the Clog up
- 12 Contact an Experienced Plumber
- 13 Tips to Prevent Toilet Clogging
- 14 Final Thoughts
- 15 FAQs
What Causes Clogged Toilet: Determine the Cause of the Clog
If your toilet keeps clogging, there are various possible causes of this problem. Issues with the toilet itself, problems with your drain lines, and what you flush down are all potential causes.
Normally, clogging has to do with what goes down your toilet, the toilet itself, or your plumbing. Here are some common causes when your toilet keeps clogging:
- Your sewer line is clogged.
- The toilet vent is obstructed.
- The toilet trap is blocked.
- You use too much toilet paper.
- You flushed things that shouldn’t be flushed.
- Your toilet is an older model.
Here’s a quick breakdown of each cause and how to solve them.
Older Low Flow Toilets
If your house has an early model low-flow toilet, then this could be the very reason why your toilet keeps clogging. Some older low-flow toilet models just do not have enough pressure to consistently push stuff through the trap and drain. Additionally, poor flushing pressure leaves material behind, which causes frequent clogging.
The Solution to Uncloging Older Low Flow Toilets
The sure-fire way to get rid of the constant clogs caused by lack of flushing pressure is by simply replacing your older low flow toilet in your home.
Low flow toilets were considered the first-general models designed back in the mid-1990s. And these days, they are the most prone to clogging issues. If your toilet is an older model, search for new low-flow toilets and do some upgrades on your house to improve flush pressure and ultimately reduce toilet clogs.
But if you can’t afford a replacement, then try reducing the amount of materials such as toilet paper flushed to help prevent toilet clogs.
Flushing Non-Flushable Materials
The only materials meant to go down your toilets should be toilet paper and human waste. If you start to flush other kinds of paper or certain hygiene products down the toilet, your fixture will surely get clogged as they are not meant to be disposed of in toilets.
This kind of consistent clog problem affects all types of homes. Many homeowners have been deceived about what can and can’t go down their toilet. One good example is so-called “flushable” wipes which many plumbers don’t like.
Some individuals have developed the habit of flushing all bathroom waste such as cotton balls and Q-tips down the toilet for disposal, which causes constant clogging. Non-flushable materials are typical clog hazards that many homeowners should be aware of, especially if they have kids who are curious about the toilet.
The Solution to Flushing Non-Flushable Materials
If a clog forms because of flushing non-flushable items in the toilet, you can use a flange plunger to solve the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can use a toilet auger to disintegrate materials and clear your toilet.
Also, you should always remind your family members of what goes down your toilet and what needs to be kept out. If you have young kids, instruct them that the toilet is not a play area, and their toys and other stuff must never be put into the toilet and get flushed!
Excessive Toilet Paper Use
We all know that toilet paper is designed to go get flushed down the toilet without causing clogs, but that is when you do not abuse flushing it down.
If you use too much toilet paper, they won’t disintegrate properly, making them stick to your toilet and will cause clogs.
Additionally, some kinds of two-ply toilet paper don’t always disintegrate well, which causes clogging. Though toilet paper certainly provides convenience, it tends to create more issues for your home.
The Solution to Unclogging Excessive Toilet Paper Use
Most consumers use around eight to nine squares of toilet paper per wipe – when in fact, three to four squares can do the job. Instruct your family members to minimize their toilet paper usage to stop toilet clogs.
It will also help to mark the proper length of toilet paper on the cabinet or wall down from the dispenser to help them use the correct amount every time they use the bathroom.
Furthermore, rather than utilizing ultra plus toilet paper, you can fold your toilet paper sheets to make the thickness suited for you. Always fold the toilet paper for use instead of balling it up since this habit contributes to clogs. With more awareness use of your toilet tissue, you can help prevent toilet clogs.
Clogged Toilet Trap
Most household owners know about a sink’s P-trap, but are you aware that your toilet comes with a trap too?
Rather than a P-shape, the toilets’ trap is an S-shape and sits between the drain line and toilet bowl. Similar to a sink’s P-trap, the design of the toilet’s trap is to catch items and prevent them from moving to the drain line, which causes a clog.
Because of the S-shape traps’ design, they are a common area of toilets where items tend to get lodged. Excess non-flushable items or toilet paper and waste can become stuck in the toilet trap after they’re flushed. If there’s a big mass stuck in the toilet trap, your toilet will keep clogging.
The Solution to a Clogged Toilet Trap
If you think a blockage sits in your toilet’s S-shape trap, try plunging the toilet to move the clog along. Try using a flanged toilet plunger to push water through the trap and dislodged the clog.
Now, if plunging doesn’t work, try using a toilet auger which is another option to clear the clog. Just insert the auger into your toilet drain and move it forward until you feel resistance.
If there’s resistance just beyond the toilet bowl’s drain, there is most likely a clog in your toilet trap. Rotate the auger to disintegrate the clog material and hold on to pull the excess material out of the drain.
If you can’t clear the clog from your toilet’s trap, you can try some of the most effective unclogging methods we will discuss below. Or, if you want a quick fix and you have some extra budget, you should call a plumber for drain cleaning services.
Blocked Toilet Vent
You probably don’t realize it, but your house’s toilets are linked to a vent that exits your home, usually through the roof. The toilet vent enables fresh air to enter your house’s plumbing system, which improves the pressure of flushes.
If a toilet vent becomes obstructed, the toilet loses flushing pressure. With low pressure, the toilet keeps clogging more often and clogs become a constant issue. A blocked toilet vent creates other home issues such as sewer odors indoors, slow drainage throughout the home, and gurgling noises from the toilet.
The Solution to a blocked toilet Vent
Toilet vents usually become obstructed at their opening on the roof, or where they link to your sewer line inside your house. If you think your toilet keeps clogging because of an obstructed toilet vent, your first step is to inspect your roof.
Get a ladder and a potter to safely climb on your house’s roof and check where the toilet vent penetrates through the roof. It is normally above where your main bathroom sits.
Take out the vent cap to inspect for debris that has got in the vent. Reach into the vent to get rid of any debris you can get a hold of.
However, if the water backs up out of the vent opening, it’s a sign that the toilet blockage has not moved through the line.
Another thing you can do is try inserting a toilet auger into your toilet vent. The auger must be at least twenty feet long, or it may not stretch to the vent/sewer line connection. Rotate the auger to bust through the blockage and then take out the auger.
Then flush some water down your toilet vent to check if the obstruction is cleared. If water continues to back up, you must get a plumber to fix the problem.
Clogged Sewer Line
Some blockages can fully exit individual drain lines and your plumbing fixtures but become lodged in the house’s main sewer line. Clogs in the sewer line cause issues with the drainage across the entire house and are hard to fix on your own.
Occasionally, sewer lines become clogged because of outside sources such as sewer line infiltrations, sewer line breaks, and even tree root penetrations.
These issues sometimes cause consistent clogging since they impact the plumbing and drainage’s ability to move waste out of your house. Sewer line repairs are required if this issue is present.
The Solution to Clogged Sewer Line
Sadly, sewer line clogs should be fixed by a plumber. Ignoring sewer line clogs means your toilet keeps clogging, and sooner or later, more damage will be done to your house’s plumbing system. If you think a sewer line clog is present, you should call a plumber to schedule drain cleaning services.
Materials Needed On How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works
Flushing toilets can be a big issue when it gets clogged. Fortunately, we have the step-by-step instructions below on how to unclog toilet when nothing works.
But before starting, here are the tools and materials you might need to unclog your toilet:
- Plumbing Snake
- Dish Wash Soap
- Wire Coat Hanger
- Enzymes Products
- Wet and Dry Vacuum
- Plunger or Suction Cup
- Chemical Drain Cleaner
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Hot Water or Boiling Water
The best part is that some of these tools needed for the job are most likely readily available around your home.
But if you don’t have them, don’t worry because we have included our trusted products that you can use for the job throughout the article.
Before calling a plumber to unclog toilet, be sure to try all these tools first, especially if you’re limited with your budget!
8 Most Effective Solutions On How to Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works
After many attempts to unclog the clogged drain, it becomes much easier to get frustrated and quit trying.
Clogged toilets are probably every house owner’s worst problem. The worst part is when you don’t have the budget to get a plumber to fix the problem.
That’s why it is very important that you learn how to unclog your toilet so you can fix it instead of hiring a plumber, which can be costly.
Here are some of the most effective solutions for unclogging toilets when nothing works:
- Use a plunger
- Use baking soda and vinegar mixture
- Dish Soap and hot water
- Use a plumbing snake
- use a wire coat hanger
- Use an enzyme product
- Suck out the clog with a wet and dry vacuum cleaner
- Use a chemical drain cleaner
1. Use a Plunger to Unclog Toilet
One of the cheapest and simplest methods of unclogging toilets when nothing works is by using a toilet sink plunger or a suction cup.
A cup plunger is a very good tool for unclogging compact and corner toilets installed in a small area.
Plungers normally come in two versions. The first version is heavy-duty built, while the other one comes with a flange. It’s up to you which one you’ll choose based on your budget.
Unclogging toilets using a plunger is easy.
Step 1: Wear Gloves
The first thing you want to do is to wear rubber gloves to protect yourself against toilet water splashing on your hands.
Step 2: Grab the Plunger
Next is to grab the plunger by the handle and insert its rubber part into the toilet bowl until you achieve a totally airtight vacuum.
Step 3: Start Pushing Down
Then begin pushing down the plunger slowly while gradually adding more force.
Step 4: Pull Out the Plunger
Continue doing this over and over until you achieve a tighter vacuum, then pull the plunger out once.
The blockage should easily loosen after you pull out the plunger, enabling everything to flow down the drain.
The following flushes should be smoother and easier. But this simple method might not work depending on the nature of the plug you are dealing with.
2. Use a Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture to Unclog the Toilet
If a plunger can’t help you fix the problem, then a baking soda and vinegar mixture might do the trick. It’s an effective and cheap method of unclogging a toilet when nothing works.
A mixture of white vinegar and baking soda offers a readily available solution to unclogging toilets that have been clogged for quite some time.
Step 1: Prepare the Materials
Be sure you have vinegar and soda at home before starting mixing the solution. Other tools you need to make the solution are cups, a bowl, or any container, and you also need some water.
Step 2: Mix the Water and Baking Soda
Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of water into the bowl. Blend the solution thoroughly and pour it into your toilet bowl.
Step 3: Pour the Vinegar
Now put two cups of vinegar into the bowl and give it a couple of minutes. Do some kitchen chores while waiting for the vinegar to get deep into your toilet.
When you put vinegar in the bowl, it triggers a reaction that will be visible with the prescience of bubbles.
This chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will make the stuck materials on your toilet loosen up and enable water to flow freely.
Step 4: Clearing Some of the Residue
To easily get rid of some parts of the solution from your toilet, boil a gallon of water using a water heater, and pour it down. This should help clear the solution fragments within a few hours.
Step 5: Wait for About Six to Eight Hours
Wait for around six to eight hours before flushing the toilet after using this method.
If it doesn’t work, here’s the next toilet unclogging method.
3. Use Dish Soap and Hot Water
It’s ironic how one of the most effective methods of unclogging your toilet could just be right in front of you without noticing.
Sometimes, all you need to unclog your toilet is by using hot water and dish soap.
Step 1: Boil a Gallon of Water
To start with, you must boil a gallon of water and give it some time to cool down until it is warm.
Step 2: Add the Dish Wash Soap
Pour the dish was soap into your toilet bowl, and then pour the warm water, and give it a few minutes.
Step 3: Flush Your Toilet
After some time, flush your toilet so that the solution can get down the drain and push out any disintegrated clogs.
This very simple method loosens the clog enabling the toilet pipe to be free of any clog.
With this method, you should now be able to fix your toilet problems.
But if this method didn’t still work, we’ve prepared some more options that you could try below.
4. Unclog the Toilet Using a Plumbing Snake
If your house has an active, functioning toilet, having a plumbing snake or also known as Closet Auger is a good cheap investment.
A toilet snake is a flexible wire that is very useful for cleaning toilets. If you don’t have one yet, you can always find it online at very low prices.
If you want our recommendation, the Kinglev brand makes our favorite plumbing snake.
While utilizing this effective tool, you will have little to worry about your porcelain toilet since it comes with a rubber coating to protect your toilet from scratch. This tool is also an effective way to use if you want to navigate your way deep down your toilet.
Step 1: Wear Rubber Gloves
If you don’t want to get some unpleasant water splashes from your toilet, make sure to wear rubber gloves first.
Step 2: Inserting the Close Auger
Once everything is prepared, insert one end of the plumbing snake into your toilet and push it down until you feel some resistance down the drain.
Step 3: Push Further
You can push the closet auger further while twisting it to push the clog into the drain. Continue on pushing until you feel there’s nothing blocking the way to set the water entirely free.
Step 4: Flush
If you see that there’s no blockage anymore, you can now flush the toilet and observe how fast the water flows. If the flow is faster, obviously, there’s no obstruction anymore.
But if it’s not, it means some clogs might still be in there, and you might need to redo this method. If it’s really not working, move on to the next steps below.
5. Use a Wire Coat Hanger When Nothing Works
This is another inexpensive yet very effective method of unclogging a toilet.
Step 1: Use a Wire Coat Hanger
If you have a wire hanger lying around your house, grab it, loosen it, and straighten it up in readiness for this next method.
Step 2: Cover the End of the Wire with an Old Towel
If your toilet is porcelain, cover the wire with an old towel at one end to prevent it from scratching your toilet. Then to achieve a good seal around your wire hanger, wrap up the old towel with some duct tape.
Step 3: Insert the Wire Coat Hanger
Then insert the covered end of the wire hanger into your toilet, then push it into the drain while twisting it to get rid of any blockage so water can move freely down the drain.
Step 4: Keep on Pushing
Continue pushing even if you can’t feel any resistance coming in from the toilet. Just stop when the water starts to flow again.
Step 5: Flush It!
You can now flush the toilet to get rid of any residual blockage inside the bowl.
If the wire coat hanger isn’t working for you, try the next method below.
6. Use an Enzyme Product
What enzyme product does is that it liquefies solid organic waste in toilets.
Though “enzyme products” sounds expensive, they are actually cheaply available in local plumbing and online stores. An enzyme product is primarily used to disintegrate waste in septic systems. This tool only works effectively to get rid of organic waste that is blocking your toilet’s drain. Anything that is not organic will need another specialized tool.
Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Read the Product Instructions
If you want to use an enzyme product to unclog your toilet, begin by reading the product instructions so you can understand how to use the product.
Step 2: Pour the Enzyme Product
Pour the suggested amount of the enzyme product into the toilet bowl and wait for a couple of minutes for it to take effect on the clogs.
Step 3: Try to Flush
Flush your toilet to check if the organic waste has been broken down for easy water flow.
If using this method didn’t work, try the next one!
7. Suck Out The Clog With Wet and Dry Cleaner
This unclogging technique can be a bit frustrating, but it is very effective compared to some other methods out there.
Step 1: Decide What Type of Vacuum to Use
Choose whether to use a regular vacuum or those heavy-duty models for faster and better results. But keep in mind that whichever you pick, be sure you use the wet and dry version as it can tolerate water.
Step 2: Wear Your Rubber Gloves
Next, wear your rubber gloves and use the vacuum to suck out the water from your toilet completely. You do this so that the vacuum can easily remove any debris that is clogging your toilet.
Step 3: Emptying the Toilet Bowl
Once you empty the toilet bowl, place the vacuum hose into the toilet and push it down slowly into the toilet drain. Wrap an old towel around the hose and press it a few inches into the hole to make a suction effect. Then press the vacuum switch to start sucking out the clog from your toilet.
Step 4: Flush the Toilet and See Now, flush the toilet and see if the water flows well now. If it flushes slowly, it implies that there are still some clogs – which is why you might want to consider the next toilet unclogging method below.
8. Use Chemical Drain Cleaner to Bust the Clog up
If your toilet is still clogged, try using a chemical drain cleaner to unclog your toilet. If you don’t have it readily available at your home, you can easily find it online.
As for us, we personally use this chemical drain cleaner.
This toilet cleaner works great to soften any solid materials clogging your toilet. But take note that they contain harmful substances that can be toxic to you, pets, and your drain pipes. These chemical products primarily contain sodium hydroxide or better known as caustic soda and are sometimes mixed with bleach.
There are also some acid uncloggers that contain hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid. This can dissolve fatty substances and proteins through hydrolysis, and dehydration reaction for toilet papers.
Moreover, this method needs serious precautions for use, such as tightly sealed rubber gloves, protective goggles, and mask. Only use this method as a last resort if the methods above don’t work.
Before starting out, you should avoid using chemical cleaners that are not specialized for toilets since this can cause big damage to your pipes because of corrosion.
Step 1: Open All Windows
Be sure to open all windows to keep your toilet well ventilated before starting this method. The toilet seat should also be up when you pour the chemical so that it doesn’t sprinkle on it.
Step 2: Read the Instructions
Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions on the container.
Step 3: Pour the Chemical Product
Pour the suggested amount into your toilet. Wait for about five to ten minutes, and then flush the toilet to push down any clogs.
If this method doesn’t fix the problem, you should call a reliable plumber.
If this toilet unclogging method fails too, you have no choice but to call a trusted plumber.
Contact an Experienced Plumber
If you’ve tried all the methods to unclog a toilet and they still didn’t work, then you need to call your trusted plumber.
Sometimes your toilet might need to be pulled out entirely to fix this clogging problem.
Because you probably don’t have the tools and experience to do this task, contacting a plumber should be the best approach.
Your plumber will need to check and work on the toilet to remove the material clogging your toilet.
Tips to Prevent Toilet Clogging
If you’re always short on budget, you should try your best to learn these tips to avoid spending on various unclogging tools and, ultimately, plumbing services.
Here are some tips on how to unclog a toilet when nothing works:
- Be mindful when flushing the toilet
- Use a double flush more often
- Clear the toilet tank
- Keep an eye on tree roots
- Dont use a strong chemical cleaner
- Conduct Inspections twice a year
Be Mindful When Flushing Your Toilet Bowl
How does your usual toilet-flushing routine look like? Are you the type of person who pours dirty mopping water down to your toilet bowl before flushing?
If so, then keep in mind that dirty water may contain pebbles, small rocks, and other debris that may clog your toilet in the long run. That’s why it is crucial that you check what you flush down your toilet mindfully.
Anything that’s not toilet paper and human waste should not be flushed down your toilet drain.
If you are sharing a bathroom with family members, you may want to consider attaching a list of things that must not be flushed in the toilet on the toilet wall.
By doing so, you can help control what ends up in your toilet bowl when flushing, even when you’re not around.
Use a Double Flush More Often
Usually, the build-up of tissue paper in your toilet bowl can lead to an obstructed toilet. When human waste and toilet papers meet in the bowl, the problem may become worse.
You will need plenty of water to flush them down the toilet drain effectively. In most instances, the process is never smooth, and you may see some unpleasant overflowing toilet.
The ideal thing to do is to flush your toilet in stages. For instance, the first stage should be flushing down your human waste before throwing in the tissue paper.
The second flushing must be for the tissue paper after you have thrown them into your toilet bowl.
If you are using a dual flush toilet, you don’t have to worry about flushing for a second time because this type of toilet features powerful flushes that are enough to get rid of any waste in one flush.
Clear the Toilet Tank
Toilet tanks are always perceived as the additional space for storing bathroom supplies such as tissue papers, toilet brush, and dish soap.
While this may look convenient, it’s not a great idea because these items might fall into your toilet bowl.
When some of this stuff gets to the toilet drain, you may not easily take them out, which leads to a more problematic clog.
Tree Roots that May Cause a Clog
Do you know that clogged toilets can happen because of tree roots? They disrupt the normal operation of the main sewer lines when they penetrate.
Tree roots growing next to your home’s plumbing system may reach the pipes, penetrate the pipes, and obstruct them, which ultimately leads to clogged toilets.
For the most part, this is not an easy precautionary measure to do. But if you suspect a tree might be a bit too close to your plumbing system, you may need to call your trusted plumber.
Your plumber should do some initial inspection to assess the condition of the pipes and give you some advice.
Don’t Use Strong Chemical Drain Cleaners
Using strong chemical toilet cleaners is among the many mistakes that you can possibly make.
When using strong chemicals when unclogging your toilet, chances are the chemical could ignite a chemical reaction with the drain pipes and cause corrosion to them, especially if your toilet’s water supply is hard water.
If your pipe becomes corroded, impurities may get into the pipe, which leads to your toilet and pipes clogging.
Do some research on what’s the best chemical cleaners for your toilet before you buy one.
Or, if you want, you can try out our trusted chemical cleaner that we mentioned above or this one (Amazon Link).
Conduct Inspections Twice a Year
Lastly, be sure to inspect the inner workings of your toilet at least twice a year. Meticulous inspections can ensure that all the main components are functioning well.
Inspections will help you determine if you need to replace some of your fixtures.
Now that you have learned about the most effective methods on how to unclog a toilet when nothing works, you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late to unclog your toilet. Start now, or the fix can become even more expensive!
You can try as many of the methods we mentioned above until you eventually fix your clogged toilet bowl problem.
We advise you to begin using the most basic and cheapest methods we discussed earlier.
Why Does My Toilet Keep Clogging?
If your toilet is clogged most of the time, then you can start by checking the roofing vent that enables fresh air into the toilet to improve flushing pressure.
Usually, tree leaves and bird nests clog this vent, which decreases flushing pressure and ultimately causes your toilet to get clogged regularly.
We’ve also mentioned other reasons above why your toilet keeps clogging.
What Affordable Method Can I Use to Dissolve My Poop Faster?
If you want to dissolve your human excrement faster and cheaper, get hot water, vinegar, and baking soda.
Then pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl and add the vinegar in small portions to prevent an overflow when the mixture begins to bubble and fizzle.
Pour this mixture into your toilet, and your poop should eventually disintegrate into the water and drain away.
Here’s an in-depth guide on how to unclog a toilet with poop in it.
Will A Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?
Even though it is true that toilets can unclog themselves eventually, there are instances where they don’t. For the most part, a toilet unclogs itself if the cause of the problem is a water-soluble material such as a soap bar. But if the clog is caused by insoluble materials such as pebbles, you would want to start thinking about how to start to do the job.
You May love this: How To Unclog a Toilet Fast When The Bowl Is Full | Pro Plumbing Tips
We hope you have found this article useful if you have been in a situation of wanting to discover how to unclog toilet when nothing works. Happy plumbing!
Last update on 2022-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API