How To Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works

unclog toilet when nothing else works

Experiencing a stopped-up toilet can be exceptionally irritating, particularly when it appears like nothing is fruitful in tackling the issue. In this comprehensive guide on how to unclog a toilet when nothing works, we will provide you with practical solutions and expert advice to tackle even the most stubborn blockages.

Throughout this post, we will discuss various causes of toilet clogs and how to identify them effectively. We’ll also explore different techniques for stopping water flow and preparing for unclogging, including using plungers correctly and employing plumbing snakes or toilet augers.

In addition, we will share alternative methods such as utilizing dish soap and hot water or wet/dry vacuums specifically designed for dealing with blocked toilets. Finally, our discussion on chemical drain cleaners and enzyme-based products will help you choose the solution based on your specific situation.

To ensure that future incidents are kept at bay, we’ll wrap up by providing essential prevention tips that focus on responsible waste disposal practices and regular maintenance routines. By following these guidelines in tandem with our detailed instructions on unclogging a toilet when nothing works, you’ll soon have a functioning bathroom again.

Identifying the Cause of Toilet Clogs

Understanding what causes toilet clogs is crucial in determining the best method to unclog your toilet. Common causes of toilet blockages include abundant loo paper, non-decomposable materials, and items that have been inadvertently flushed away. Knowing these factors will help you choose an appropriate solution for unclogging your toilet.

Excessive use of toilet paper

Using too much toilet paper can lead to a clogged drain as it may not dissolve quickly enough in water, creating blockages within pipes. To prevent this issue, use smaller amounts or opt for thinner toilet papers.

Non-biodegradable materials

  • Baby wipes: Unlike regular tissue, baby wipes do not break down easily when flushed and can cause significant blockages.
  • Feminine hygiene products: These items should never be flushed as they expand when wet and create obstructions in pipes.
  • Paper towels are thicker than regular tissue and take longer to disintegrate, increasing the risk of clogging issues.

Accidental flushing of foreign objects

Sometimes accidents happen – toys or other small items might fall into the bowl unnoticed before flushing occurs. When this happens, it’s essential to act fast by attempting one of many available methods for clearing blocked toilets (as described later) or calling a professional plumber if necessary.

Pinpointing the source of toilet blockages allows one to take steps in order to avoid them happening again. Turning off water supply valve and wearing protective gear such as rubber gloves are important for preparing for unclogging a toilet.

Stopping Water Flow and Preparing for Unclogging

Before attempting any methods to unclog a stubbornly clogged toilet, it’s essential to stop water flow by turning off the valve behind your toilet. This prevents overflow and potential damage while working on resolving the issue. Wearing rubber gloves ensures hygiene during this process.

Turning off Water Supply Valve

Locate the valve behind or beside your toilet bowl to turn off the water supply. It is usually a small oval-shaped handle that you can turn clockwise until it stops moving. Turning off this valve will ensure no more water enters the tank or bowl, preventing further complications if your plunger isn’t working.

Wearing Protective Gear such as Rubber Gloves

  • Rubber gloves: Since dealing with a clogged drain often involves contacting dirty water and waste materials, wearing rubber gloves is crucial for maintaining cleanliness and avoiding direct contact with germs.
  • Goggles: In case of using strong chemical drain cleaners or when there’s a risk of toilet water splashing onto your face, wearing goggles provides an extra layer of protection for your eyes.
  • Clothing: Wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or stained during unclogging. Have some paper towels ready in case of any messiness.

With the water supply turned off and proper protective gear in place, you are now ready to tackle the task of unclogging your toilet using various methods discussed in the following sections.

Once you have stopped the water flow and prepared for unclogging, it is time to move on to using plungers effectively. Plunging can be a tricky process but with patience and careful technique, your toilet should soon be back in working order.

Using Plungers Effectively

A plunger can be highly effective in dislodging common blockages caused by water-soluble materials like toilet paper or human waste. Proper technique with plunging action creates powerful suction forces that may resolve most clogs without resorting to more advanced methods.

To use a plunger effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Select the right type of plunger: Choose a toilet plunger with an extension flange on the rubber cup designed specifically for unclogging toilets. Avoid using sink plungers as they are less effective in creating suction within the toilet bowl.
  2. Create a tight seal: Place the rubber cup over the drain hole and ensure it covers it completely. This will create an airtight seal needed for proper suction.
  3. Pump vigorously but carefully: Push down firmly on the handle while maintaining contact between the rubber cup and drain hole. Then pull up quickly without breaking contact to create strong suction force that helps dislodge clogs. Repeat this process several times until you notice improvement in drainage.

If your initial attempts at using a plunger aren’t successful, consider trying other techniques such as employing plumbing snakes or augers (source) or experimenting with the dish soap and hot water method (source). Persevere and don’t surrender easily when attempting to remove a difficult clog.

Utilizing a plunger may be the most efficient approach to unblock a toilet, yet it isn’t guaranteed to succeed. If plunging does not succeed in clearing the clog, employing plumbing snakes or toilet augers can be an even more powerful solution.

Employing Plumbing Snakes or Toilet Augers

When dealing with a clogged toilet that won’t budge with a plunger, it may be necessary to use a plumbing snake or toilet auger. These tools are designed to reach deeper into pipes than plungers can access effectively, making them ideal for persistent obstructions.

Finding the Right Tool for Your Clog

  • Toilet Auger: Also known as a closet auger, this tool is specifically designed to navigate through the toilet trap and remove clogs without damaging your porcelain toilet. It has an elongated flexible shaft with a hook-like end that dislodges solid materials causing blockage.
  • Plumbing Snake: A plumbing snake is similar to a drill but is more versatile in its applications. This tool features a long cable that can extend deep into drain pipes and break up stubborn clogs caused by various types of debris.

Tips for Using Plumbing Snakes and Toilet Augers Effectively

  1. Gently insert the head of your chosen tool into the toilet bowl while ensuring you do not scratch or damage any surfaces.
  2. Crank the handle clockwise as you push it further down until resistance from the obstruction is felt. Avoid forcing it too hard, which may cause pipe damage.
  3. Slightly retract and rotate counterclockwise before pushing back in again; repeat this process until you feel less resistance indicating successful unclogging.
  4. Once the clog is cleared, flush your toilet to ensure proper functioning and clean any debris left behind from the process.

Note that using a plumbing snake or toilet auger may require some practice for optimal results. If you’re unsure about handling these tools yourself, consider contacting a professional plumber for assistance in resolving stubborn clogged toilets.

Employing plumbing snakes or toilet augers can be a quick and effective way to unclog your toilet, but if this method does not work, the next step is to try using dish soap and hot water.

Dish Soap and Hot Water Method

Dealing with a clogged toilet can be frustrating, but the dish soap and hot water method can be surprisingly effective. The lubricating properties of dish soap combined with hot water help break up clogs by seeping through tiny gaps between solid masses inside pipes. This technique is particularly useful for breaking down blockages caused by excessive amounts of toilet paper or other organic materials.

  1. Pour half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl: Ensure that you pour it directly onto the water’s surface so that it can effectively reach any blockage within your plumbing system.
  2. Add hot water: Fill a bucket with hot (but not boiling) water from your bathtub or sink, then carefully pour it into the toilet bowl from waist-level height. This helps create enough force to push liquid waste and disintegrated material further down the drain pipes, ultimately unclogging the toilet.
  3. Wait and flush: Allow at least ten minutes for this mixture to work its magic before attempting a double flush. If successful, your toilet bowl should return back to normal functioning without needing more invasive methods like using a drill or chemical drain cleaner.

Note that while this approach is generally safe for most plumbing systems, refrain from using excessively scalding-hot water as it may cause damage to plastic components within your drains over time. Always exercise caution when handling heated liquids during this process.

The Dish Soap and Hot Water Method effectively unclog a toilet when nothing else works. For more serious clogs, the Wet/Dry Vacuum for Toilet Clogs may be necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Wet/Dry Vacuum for Toilet Clogs

When plungers, augers, and other methods fail to unclog your stubbornly clogged toilet, a wet/dry vacuum can be an effective solution. Unlike traditional vacuums, these versatile machines are designed to handle both liquid and solid waste materials. Using a wet/dry vacuum for unclogging toilets involves two primary steps:

  1. Removing water from the bowl: First, remove any standing water in the toilet bowl by sucking it up with the vacuum hose attachment. This prevents dirty water from splashing around while working on dislodging the blockage.
  2. Creating suction at the drain opening: Next, wrap a towel or cloth tightly around the end of the vacuum hose to create a seal over the toilet drain effectively. Please turn on your wet/dry vacuum and let its powerful suction force work on pulling out whatever is causing your clogged drain.

Note that this method may not always work if there’s an obstruction deep within your house’s plumbing system or if it’s too large for even strong suction forces to move. In such cases, consider contacting professional plumbers with specialized tools like plumbing snakes, cameras, and high-pressure jets capable of tackling persistent clogging issues.

To prevent future toilet clogs caused by people flushing things they shouldn’t down their drains (like non-biodegradable materials), make sure everyone in your household knows what items should never go into toilets – including excessive amounts of toilet paper.

A wet/dry vacuum is an effective way to unclog your toilet when other methods fail. For more stubborn clogs, chemical drain cleaners and enzyme-based products may be necessary for complete removal of the blockage.

Chemical Drain Cleaners and Enzyme-Based Products

If you’ve tried all the above methods to unclog your toilet, but nothing seems to work, it might be time to consider using chemical drain cleaners or enzyme-based products. These solutions can help break down stubborn clogs that are resistant to physical removal techniques. However, proceed with caution as some of these products may have adverse effects on your plumbing system and septic tanks.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners, such as those containing sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid, can dissolve organic materials like hair and grease in pipes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to use a chemical cleaner for a clogged toilet. Remember that overusing strong chemical drain cleaners may damage your pipes over time or harm beneficial bacteria in septic systems.

Enzyme-Based Products

An alternative option is enzyme-based products which utilize natural enzymes and bacteria to disintegrate waste material inside the pipe without causing harm to the environment. Examples include brands like Bio-Clean. These eco-friendly options take longer than chemicals but are safer for both your plumbing system and house’s plumbing system.

In either case, always read product labels thoroughly before application so you know of any potential risks associated with their usage. And remember: prevention is key. Adopting responsible disposal habits will minimize future clogging issues.

Chemical drain cleaners and enzyme-based products can be a useful tool for unclogging toilets when nothing else works, but it’s important to remember that prevention is key. To avoid future clogs, make sure you dispose of waste responsibly and regularly inspect your plumbing system.

Prevention Tips for Avoiding Future Toilet Clogs

To prevent clogged toilets in the future, it’s essential to adopt proper disposal habits and carry out regular maintenance. By avoiding flushing items that cause blockages such as non-biodegradable materials or excessive amounts of toilet paper, you can ensure your plumbing system remains free from obstruction.

Disposing of Waste Responsibly

  • Use thinner, easily dissolvable toilet papers: Opt for brands that disintegrate quickly in water to minimize potential clogs.
  • Avoid flushing non-biodegradable materials: Items like baby wipes, sanitary products, and paper towels should be disposed of in a trash bin rather than flushed down the toilet.
  • Educate household members: Ensure everyone in your home knows what can and cannot be flushed down the drain to avoid accidental blockages.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Maintaining a well-functioning toilet requires periodic checks on its components. Here are some tips for keeping your plumbing system running smoothly:

  1. Clean toilets regularly with mild cleaning agents instead of harsh chemicals that may damage pipes over time or harm septic systems by killing beneficial bacteria.
  2. Incorporate a routine inspection schedule into your home maintenance plan; check for signs of wear on parts like flappers, valves, seals or any other component within the toilet tank.

If you’re currently dealing with a clogged toilet, don’t worry. You can try several methods to unclog it before calling a plumber.

Unclogging a Toilet When Nothing Works

When a toilet clogs, it can be frustrating, especially if you’ve tried everything you know to unclog it. Here are some tips to help you unclog your toilet:

1. Use a Plunger

A plunger is a common tool used to unclog toilets. Place the plunger over the toilet drain and push down and up repeatedly. If the plunger slowly rises, it means the clog is clearing. Repeat the process until the toilet eventually unclogs.

2. Try a Plumbing Snake

If the plunger isn’t working, try using a plumbing snake. Insert the snake into the toilet drain and turn the handle clockwise. This will help to break up the clog and allow the toilet to drain effectively.

3. Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner

Use a chemical drain cleaner if the plunger and plumbing snake doesn’t work. Pour the cleaner into the toilet bowl and let it sit for the recommended time. The chemicals will break down the clog, allowing the toilet to unclog.

4. Check the Toilet Trap

If none of the above methods work, check the toilet trap. The trap is located at the toilet’s base and can be accessed by removing the toilet from the floor. If the trap is blocked, remove the blockage and reattach the toilet.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Adopting proper disposal habits and carrying out regular maintenance can prevent toilet clogs from occurring in the first place.

FAQs in Relation to How to Unclog toilet When Nothing Works

How to Unclog a Toilet When Nothing Works

If you’re dealing with a clogged toilet, you’re not alone. It’s a common problem that can be frustrating to deal with. If plunging and other methods have failed to unclog your toilet, don’t worry. There are still several things you can try to get your toilet bowl functioning again.

Use a Plumbing Snake or Toilet Auger

If plunging doesn’t work, try using a plumbing snake or toilet auger. These tools can help you reach deeper into the toilet drain and break up any blockages that are causing the clog. Insert the snake or auger into the toilet drain and turn it clockwise until you feel resistance. Then, turn it counterclockwise to break up the blockage. Repeat this process until the toilet eventually unclogs.

Try the Dish Soap and Hot Water Method

If you don’t have a plumbing snake or toilet auger, try the dish soap and hot water method. Pour a half cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl, followed by a pot of hot water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then flush the toilet. The soap should help to disintegrate any waste material that is causing the clog.

Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum

If the clog is particularly stubborn, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the blockage. Make sure to use the vacuum on the lowest setting and create a tight seal around the toilet drain to prevent toilet water splashing. This method can be messy, so be prepared to clean up any spills or messes.

Use Chemical Drain Cleaners or Enzyme-Based Products

If all else fails, you can try using chemical drain cleaners or enzyme-based products. However, use these products with caution and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. Chemical drain cleaners can be harsh and may damage your plumbing system if used improperly. Enzyme-based products work by breaking down organic matter, such as toilet paper and waste, and can take longer to work than chemical drain cleaners.

Prevent toilet clogging issues by only flushing toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Avoid flushing anything else, including feminine hygiene products, wipes, and other items. If you continue to experience clogged toilets, consider installing a dual flush toilet or upgrading your house’s plumbing system.


Identifying the cause of the clog is crucial in determining which method will work best. Excessive use of toilet paper, flushing non-biodegradable materials, or accidental flushing of foreign objects are common causes.

Using plungers, plumbing snakes or augers, dish soap and hot water method, wet/dry vacuum for toilet clogs, and chemical drain cleaners/enzyme-based products are all effective ways to unclog a stubborn toilet. Prevention tips such as disposing of waste responsibly and regular maintenance can help avoid future clogs.

Tom Whitford
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