Solved! How to Unclog a Toilet

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
how to unclog a toilet

We’ve all felt the horror of flushing the toilet and realizing it won’t flush like normal. If you have a toilet clog, you need to fix it quickly before you find yourself in a potentially awkward situation. How do you unclog your toilet so that it works again? 

In this PlumbingNav guide, we cover:

  • What you need to know about unclogging a toilet
  • What are the different ways to unclog a toilet
  • How to unclog your toilet 
  • Best products to unclog a toilet reviewed

ImageProduct
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RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3 Foot
  • Highly effective 
  • Works on all types of toilets
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Highly effective 
  • Works on all types of toilets
  • Lifetime warranty
View on Amazon
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Toilet Flange Plunger, Hideaway Toilet Plunger with Caddy
  • Can be used as a commercial plunger 
  • Drip-free design
  • Long handle with perfect grip
  • Can be used as a commercial plunger 
  • Drip-free design
  • Long handle with perfect grip
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
POPULO Electric Closet Auger, 25 ft.
  • Various speeds (up to 560 rpm)
  • Cordless with rechargeable battery
  • Multipurpose
  • Various speeds (up to 560 rpm)
  • Cordless with rechargeable battery
  • Multipurpose
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Unique Super Digest-It Bio-Enzymatic Drain Opener, 128 oz.
  • Easy to use
  • All natural, safe for all pipes
  • Large container
  • Easy to use
  • All natural, safe for all pipes
  • Large container
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
FEIYABDF High Pressuure Toilet Plunger
  • Works for multiple drains 
  • Safe for all types of pipes
  • More effective than standard plunger
  • Works for multiple drains 
  • Safe for all types of pipes
  • More effective than standard plunger
View on Amazon

What You Need To Know About Unclogging A Toilet

Before we get started, let’s discuss some basic things you need to know about unclogging a toilet. 

Let’s start with a basic understanding of how a toilet works. When you flush the toilet, water from the toilet tank enters the bowl to the point that it triggers the siphon to suck everything in the bowl out to the septic tank. 

If at any point, you get a clog in the pipes, it can lead to your toilet overflowing or not flushing. ‘

Clogs can happen at a number of different places, including:

  • Internal trap
  • Closet bend
  • Sanitary tee
  • Waste stack
  • Vent

To prevent clogs in the first place, consider using a toilet trap, similar to a grease trap, to collect material before it creates a clog. You should also be careful about what items you flush down your toilet. 

Avoid flushing large amounts of toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary napkins down the toilet as well as any items that don’t typically go down the toilet.

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 21, 2021

RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3 Foot

This 3-foot auger has a special bulb head designed to effectively dig at the stubborn clog until it breaks up. Once you slide the snake down the drain, all you need to do is turn the crank to make the end work its magic. 
It works on every type of toilet, including a low-flow toilet or Water Sense toilet, and it comes with a lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects.

Our Top 5 Products to Help Unclog a Plugged Toilet

  1. RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3 Foot (Our Top Pick)
  2. Toilet Plunger, Hideaway Toilet Plunger with Caddy (Best Budget)
  3. POPULO Electric Drain Auger, 25 ft. (Best High End)
  4. Unique Super Digest-It Bio-Enzymatic Drain Opener, 128 oz.(Best Drain Cleaner)
  5. FEIYABDF High Pressure Toilet Plunger (Best High Pressure Plunger)

What's In This Guide?

      What Are The Different Ways To Unclog A Toilet?

      There are a number of different ways to unclog your toilet. The most effective method will depend on the type of clog and where the clog sits. 

      Plunger 

      A plunger incorporates the physics concept known as Boyle’s Law. The plunger increases pressure in the pipe, causing the clog to dissipate. 

      Drain Cleaner 

      Drain cleaners eat at the clog using either chemicals or enzymes. Chemical drain cleaners work on tougher clogs, but they can also potentially cause damage to your plumbing. That’s why more and more people are using safe enzyme drain cleaners as a part of regular maintenance. 

      Plumbing Snake 

      A drain snake refers to a device that fits inside the drain to physically break up the clog with a pointed end. The body is flexible, allowing it to maneuver past any twists and turns in the plumbing system, such as the S bend. 

      How To Unclog a Blocked Toilet Easily in 5 Steps

      You unexpectedly have a clogged toilet. Don’t panic! Simply follow these simple steps on how to unclog a toilet easily. 

      Step 1: Lift Flapper Valve

      Sometimes the toilet simply doesn’t flush because not enough toilet water enters the toilet bowl. 

      Add more water to the bowl by opening the lid to the tank and lifting the chain of the flapper for a couple of seconds until the water gets into the bowl and forces it to flush. 

      Step 2: Use a Plunger 

      When using a plunger, it’s important to create a tight seal around the drain at the bottom of the bowl. Then plunge lightly, increasing veracity as you go. 

      If you don’t see success after about 20 plunges, you should probably try something new.

      did you know how to unclog a toilet

      Step 3: Pour Drain Cleaner Down the Toilet

      Most people forget that many drain cleaners work on toilet drains, too. 

      Look for a drain cleaner specifically designed for toilets. You also want to be careful that you don’t damage the pipes in your home. 

      You will need to follow the exact directions on the product you purchase, but you generally put the cleanser down the toilet and then rinse with boiling water or warm water.  

      Step 4: Break Up Clog With Snake

      Start by entering the pointed end of the snake into the drain and continue feeding it deeper into your drain until it reaches the clog. Once you reach the clog, you should turn the snake, allowing it to dissolve the clog.  

      Step 5: Disassemble Toilet

      In some very serious cases where none of these methods work, you may need to disassemble your toilet to reach the clog or replace the pipe. This may require the assistance of a professional plumber. 

      Best Products to Unclog Toilet Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3 Foot

      RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, 3 Foot

      Our Top Pick

      This 3-foot auger has a special bulb head designed to effectively dig at the stubborn clog until it breaks up. Once you slide the snake down the drain, all you need to do is turn the crank to make the end work its magic. 

      It works on every type of toilet, including a low-flow toilet or Water Sense toilet, and it comes with a lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects. 

      Pros

      • Highly effective 
      • Works on all types of toilets
      • Lifetime warranty

      Cons

      • May require a longer 6-ft model
      • Can leave scratch marks
      • May require multiple attempts

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Toilet Flange Plunger, Hideaway Toilet Plunger with Caddy

      Toilet Flange Plunger, Hideaway Toilet Plunger with Caddy

      Best Budget

      When you have an everyday mild clog in your toilet drain thanks to toilet paper or other materials, you can rely on this heavy-duty plunger to resolve the issue. It’s attractive and comes with a caddy for sanitary storage when not in use. 

      Pros

      • Can be used as a commercial plunger 
      • Drip-free design
      • Long handle with perfect grip

      Cons

      • Not acceptable for stubborn clogs
      • Head cannot be replaced
      • Automatic base sometimes doesn’t stay open

      Our #3 Rated Pick: POPULO Electric Closet Auger, 25 ft.

      POPULO Electric Closet Auger, 25 ft.

      Best High End

      Unclog the worst clogs with this cordless powered snake that reaches 25 feet down your drain. Work for all pipes with a diameter of ¾ to 2”, meaning it works on every drain in your home. An LED light makes it easy for you to maintain control and see what you’re doing while you work.

      Pros

      • Various speeds (up to 560 rpm)
      • Cordless with rechargeable battery
      • Multipurpose

      Cons

      • Expensive 
      • Moderate maintenance required 
      • Must charge before use

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Unique Super Digest-It Bio-Enzymatic Drain Opener, 128 oz.

      Unique Super Digest-It Bio-Enzymatic Drain Opener, 128 oz.

      Best Drain Cleaner 

      Unclog your toilet easily with this drain cleaner that uses enzymes to break through natural clogs in all of your household drains. It also deodorizes if you notice a foul smell coming from your drain. The 128 oz. plastic bottle provides enough cleanser for repeated maintenance every month.

      Pros

      • Easy to use
      • All natural, safe for all pipes
      • Large container

      Cons

      • Won’t work on tough clogs
      • Only works on grease and hair 
      • One time use container

      Our #5 Rated Pick: FEIYABDF High Pressure Toilet Plunger

      FEIYABDF High Pressure Toilet Plunger

      Best High-Pressure

      This high-pressure plunger comes with a pump that allows you to increase the amount of pressure that you send down the drain. It’s safe for absolutely all pipes since it only uses pressure to remove the clog, and it works better than a typical plunger.

      It also comes with four different plunger heads to work on more drains than just your toilet. 

      Pros

      • Works for multiple drains 
      • Safe for all types of pipes
      • More effective than standard plunger

      Cons

      • Moderately labor-intensive 
      • Expensive 
      • Not safe for children

      Final Thoughts On Unclogging Your Toilet

      All homes require a properly functioning toilet. When a toilet experiences a clog thanks to too much toilet paper or other issue, don’t stress. Try the items we suggest in this review to unclog the toilet so that everyone in the house can get back to business as usual. 

      FAQs For How To Unclog A Toilet

      How do you unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work?

      If a plunger doesn’t work, dry a drain cleaner or a toilet snake. 

      Will a toilet unclog itself eventually?

      No. The clog will only get worse with time. 

      How do you unclog a toilet quickly?

      Use a snake drain or call an emergency plumber to fix a clogged toilet immediately. 

      What can you put into a toilet to unclog it?

      Drain cleaner. You can make a homemade drain cleaner out of baking soda and white vinegar.

      Meet Your Plumbing Expert

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      Brant

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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