When your toilet blocks, you might not have time to run out to your local hardware store to purchase a plunger. If you find yourself in this situation, there is no need to panic. Follow these six steps to unblock your toilet without using a plunger.
1. Bail Out Some Water
If the water level in your toilet is very high as a result of the blockage, you should begin by bailing some of the water out to return the water to a normal level. Trying to unblock a toilet without first removing some water is likely to lead to water splashing or spilling onto the bathroom floor, creating an unhygienic mess. Wearing gloves, use a bucket to scoop out some of the excess water before moving onto the next step.
2. Lubricate the Toilet
Squirting some shampoo, dish soap or liquid hand soap into the bowl can help to break up fatty deposits. The soap also lubricates the toilet to help blockages slide down the pipe more easily.
3. Loosen the Blockage
Pour a bucket of hot water into the bowl, taking care not to let it splash onto your skin. Heat liquefies fats in human waste, allowing them to pass through the plumbing more easily, while the pressure of the extra water entering the bowl helps to drive the blockage through the pipes.
4. Wait and Test
Give the soap and hot water a few minutes to work their magic, ensure the water level in the bowl is not elevated, and then try a single flush to see whether the blockage has cleared. If the toilet is still blocked, you could try repeating the first three steps, or move onto the next one.
5. Try Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you have baking soda and vinegar hanging around in your kitchen or pantry, you can combine them to create a homemade toilet unblocking solution. Before you pour these two ingredients into your toilet, ensure that the water level in the bowl is low to prevent backsplash. Once they combine, baking soda and vinegar create a fizzing solution that helps to break down blockages. Wait until the fizzing stops, and then try another flush to see whether the toilet is still blocked.
6. Dislodge the Blockage
You can make a useful toilet unblocking tool by unbending a wire coat hanger. Carefully feed the straight wire into the toilet to break up and dislodge anything that is blocking the pipe. Be careful not to scratch the toilet bowl with the metal wire.
If none of these tips work, it is time to call an emergency plumber. Do not try to disconnect the pipes that serve your toilet yourself. An emergency plumber can safely service your toilet to quickly get it back in working order.