How to unblock a toilet without a plunger (or without hiring an expert!)

In many cases of toilet blockages, we call out to our client only to find that it’s a relatively simple fix. While we’re always happy to help, we don’t want our clients to feel they’ve wasted time or money when there may have been a simple solution they would have preferred to apply themselves. We know that many people don’t keep a plunger and often turn to chemical products. We’re not fans of these products because of the potential for damage or even chemical burns (to yourself or our staff if we attend later). For this reason, we’d like to share an alternative which may clear a blockage in the toilet itself if you don’t have a plunger.

Step 1: Prepare the floorhow to unblock a toilet

Whenever you’re working on a blockage, it’s essential to prepare as water can overflow. Have a mop, plenty of old rags and towels at the ready just in case. It’s no harm to line the surrounding floor with newspapers at the very least just in case there are splashes.

Step 2: Add Dishwasher Liquid into the bowl

As an alternative to harmful chemical products, you can try dishwasher detergent and hot water. Importantly, this is not washing up liquid. Do not use washing-up liquid as this will foam up and cause a serious mess! Rather, we mean the liquid for a dishwashing machine.

Step 3: Add Hot Water and wait 20 mins

Prepare a large bucket of hot water and pour it gradually into the bowl.  The hot water helps the detergent penetrate the blockage and also reduce the friction on the pipework, which will help to release the clog if it’s a local blockage (within the toilet). This would be a gradual process. If after 20 minutes there is no reduction in the water level you could add some more hot water if there is room without it overflowing. You can pour it more rapidly and with more force so that the sudden pressure works on the blockage. With luck, this will do the job!

Step 4: Watch it drop or call in the cavalry

After the first twenty minutes, you should hopefully see the water level has gone down significantly. Once this occurs, you can pour more hot water into the bowl using your bucket. If there’s enough space to add water without spilling, you can pour it more rapidly and with more force, so that the sudden pressure works on the blockage. With luck, this will do the job!

If you do not see a sudden drop of water level to indicate the blockage has been cleared, it is likely to be something further down the pipework which would require a different approach and may need professional assistance. If you need more advice on how to unblock a toilet, feel free to give us a call on 1800 437 246.

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