How to Clear a Clogged Toilet

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Learn how to unclog a toilet without using harsh chemicals or calling in a plumber. See how to use a plunger right, watch a demonstration of how to use an auger to clear a blocked drain and get tips on which household products and non-chemical products can help with a slow drain.


  1. Turn off the water to the toilet.
  2. Place down towels around the base of the toilet to soak up any spills.
  3. Do not use chemical drain cleaners for a clogged toilet. Based on the way toilets are made, they will not reach the clog, and could possible damage the porcelain on the toilet bowl.
    • Instead, use hot water and dish soap. Make sure the water is not too hot as it could damage the toilet.
  4. Pour the hot, soapy water into the toilet bowl from waist level.
  5. Use an enzyme based product regularly to break down waist in slow flowing drains.
    • Always read the instructions on the packaging to any product you use.
  6. Plunge the toilet
    • Force ball plungers offer the best seal around the toilet.
    • The larger the plunger, the more force you will be able to use to clear a clog.
    • Make sure there in enough water in the toilet bowl to submerge the edges of the plunger
  7. Turn the water back and forth by pushing the plunger down and releasing it up. Repeat this step as needed.
  8. Closet augers or plumbing snakes are best for deep clogs.
  9. If there is still a clog, it may be deeper in the plumbing and should call a professional.

Extra Tips

  • Disinfect with a toilet bowl cleaner before and after using any tools to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • To prevent overflow, push down the flapper in the tank.
  • If there is overflow, use a shop vac to clean any of the mess. Disinfect after.
For more helpful How-to's, visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice
Published: 3/11/2020