You need this loo brush in your life

But, when all else fails, the cordless 18V Ryobi R18DA-0 Auger (£100) can easily unblock drains up to 50mm in diameter. The 7.6m length of 6mm cable can be extended at 11.5cm per second, to get to the blockage quickly. A cable clamp helps to hold everything in place while tackling tough obstructions, as the rear drain port prevents dirty water from building up in the drum. With a run time of up to 108 min, if this can’t clear your pipes, then it’s time to call a professional in.

While you’re waiting for them to arrive, set the iRobot Braava Jet running. Bringing navigation prowess to hard-floor mopping, the Braava Jet M Series (right now reduced by £140 to £560) maps out the area that needs to be washed and uses a combination of wet mopping pads and jet spray to give the surface a deep clean.

Expert advice

Ashley Mullins from Pimlico Plumbers has these key pieces of advice for anyone attempting the danger-filled task of unblocking a toilet.

"If you think your toilet is suffering from a basic blockage have a go at unblocking it yourself with a plunger," he says. "This should be well within the skill set of most people, but the key here is to take things steady, and not to apply too much pressure."

You need this loo brush in your life

First things, first. See if other nearby sinks are still draining, Mullins advises. If they also appear to be blocked then you have a bigger problem. Call a plumber. Once you have ascertained that you do indeed have a blocked toilet, "when deploying your plunger ensure it is fully inserted, and that you use a regular up and down motion to produce best results," Mullins says. Think it’s sorted? Try a test flush. If the water level still rises in the pan, plunge again. Things not flowing freely after several attempts? Call a plumber. Repeated plunging can damage a fitting and result in an even worse problem.

Mullins’ key tips, however, concern both force and your face. "Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use excessive force when plunging as you can wrench the toilet from the wall. And always wear googles, or eye coverings of some kind, and remember to close your mouth!"

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