4 Easy And Effective Ways To Unclog A Toilet

Try flushing again, then repeat with more borax and hot water if necessary.

how to unclog a toilet

4. Toilet Plunger

For about 90 percent of clogged toilets, you only need one tool—a toilet plunger. Look for a toilet plunger with an extension coming off of the bell-shaped end, which will help create a seal between the plunger and the toilet drain at the bottom of the bowl that will make your plunging efforts more effective.

To use a toilet plunger to unclog a toilet, aim the flange extension into the toilet drain and push it in gently. (This first push will expel the air trapped inside the plunger, so you don’t want to push too hard and risk blasting a bunch of water out of the toilet bowl!)

Once you force out the air, continue plunging in and out about 15 to 20 times, making sure to maintain the seal. This will force water back and forth in the drain, effectively loosening most clogs. Stick with it, and your efforts will almost certainly pay off!

Do you have any tips or tricks for fixing a clogged toilet?

How to Unclog a Toilet (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul Stuck in the bathroom with the toilet water steadily rising? Follow these steps to unclog a toilet quickly and easily!

Prep Time 5 mins

Active Time 5 mins

Total Time 10 mins


  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Bucket
  • Plunger


  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1 gallon hot water


Using the Plumber’s Trick

  • Remove the toilet tank lid and press the flapper down. This will immediately stop the water level from rising and potentially overflowing. You can also shut off the water supply to the toilet as an added safety measure. Look for a handle behind the toilet and close to the floor, and turn it clockwise to shut off the water.
  • Look for a bucket or wastebasket, empty it, and fill it with hot water from the tub or sink. Pour the water into the toilet bowl, wait a minute or two, then try either plunging the toilet or flushing the toilet again.
  • If the previous step didn’t completely take care of the problem, the next step is to try adding some soap. Dish soap, hand soap, or even shampoo can help get the clog moving through the pipes! Just squirt a few tablespoons of soap or shampoo into the toilet bowl, wait a couple more minutes, then flush.
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