How to unclog a toilet – with or without a plunger (or a plumber)

Everyone will need to know how to unclog a toilet at some stage. And naturally, a toilet will usually get blocked up at the most inconvenient of times... Think Christmas Day, a milestone birthday celebration or a Monday morning. So you'll want to clear the blockage fast and with minimal mess. While instinct will lead you to get out the plunger, sometimes it won't work and sometimes you won't actually own one. Thankfully there are ways to unclog your toilet without a plunger, calling on dish soap, hot water, even baking soda and vinegar for quick, effective results that don't require a plumber.

It's not the nicest job, but still an essential part of keeping your toilet clean and your home happy. Keep reading to tend to your toilet and to get clued up on how to avoid a repeat blockage in the future. With a couple of helpful tips from the experts in household cleaning also, your toilet will be clear and free from blockages in no time.

How do you unblock a badly clogged toilet?

How to unblock a toilet with caustic soda

To unblock a toilet with caustic soda, ensure your eyes and hands are protected as this is extremely damaging if it comes into contact with either. Then pour the caustic soda into the toilet bowl, leave for two minutes (but always check the manufacturer's instructions for full details). Follow with a bucket of hot water from the kettle or hot tap. Flush the toilet, then give it a clean.

How to unclog a toilet – with or without a plunger (or a plumber)

How to unblock a toilet with water pressure

If all of the above fail to work, you could try breaking up the blockage using water pressure. For this you will need a pressure washer and a pipe cleaning kit to connect to it. Insert the hose into the toilet bowl, switch on the pressure washer and you will see the hose will be pulled down the pipe until it reaches the blockage. If the blockage can be broken down, the water pressure will do this.Again, don't do this if you have a toilet with a macerator – it might be that the toilet's not blocked, just won't flush because there's something caught around the mechanism.

How to deal with blockages in a soil pipe

If you can't see the blockage in your toilet, and the drain (usually sited at the front of your house, just on the property line with the pavement) isn't full of water, the blockage might be in the soil pipe. In this case you'll need to call in a professional to jet the pipe clean. If the blockage seems to be in the soil pipe between your property and the drain beneath the road, you'll need to call your local water company.

Things you should never flush down the toilet

If you're wondering 'why is my toilet blocked all of the time?', it could be as simple as having flushed down items that simply don't belong in the loo.

Toilets can often get clogged up because they have something thrown down them that they're not meant to cope with, so the easiest way to prevent a blocked toilet is never to flush the following down it:

Will a toilet eventually unclog itself?

'It often does. It really depends on the matter that is making the blockage, and how badly stuck it is. For example, a blockage caused by a plastic toy is likely going to be stuck for a long time. That being said, sometimes a toilet clog unclogs after a day of just sitting there.' Says Romano.

Your toilet unblocking essentials

Now you can breathe easy!