Plumbing Tips: Clearing A Clogged Toilet

clogged toilet
A clogged toilet can be an embarrassing or frustrating problem, depending on your location. Picture this: you’re at a friend’s party and you’ve gone to the toilet for a few minutes. While there, you finish up and flush the toilet. As you turn to leave, you catch out of the corner of your eye the water level in the toilet bowl rising and threatening to spill over as the vortex of water goes round and round. So, what do you do to avert an embarrassing scene? How about the fact that you could be at home enjoying the weekend, with the boyfriend or husband away for a couple of days and the toilet decides to throw a coup? In this piece, we’ll take a look at the main causes of a clogged toilet and what you can do to fix the problem.

The most common reason for having a clogged toilet is too much toilet paper in the pipes. This can happen over a long period of time or overnight, depending on your tissue usage. Now, most of us assume that just because toilet paper instantaneously disintegrates once it comes into contact with water means that we should use as much of it as possible. Now, a huge ball of tissue can be compared to a ball of fur from a cat’s innards – it does nothing but make the toilet look bad eventually when it starts overflowing. Now that I have your attention, let’s take a look at one other common reason as to why you may encounter the infamous clogged toilet problem.

Foreign objects are notorious for causing blockages. These range from children’s toys to tampons or little bits of plastic that may find their way into the toilet’s plumbing. Please remember that only toilet paper is supposed to go into a toilet; not candy wrappers, clumps of crunched up paper or any other foreign object. When you dump little bits of foreign objects in a toilet, they bond and form blockages in the S-shaped part of the toilet, leading to blockage.


Here are a couple of things that you may want to try out before hounding your boyfriend, husband or shelling out money for the plumber:

1. Wait then flush – I know, it sounds counter intuitive, especially if you are staring at a toilet bowl that is threatening to overspill and ruin your buzz. The trick here is to flush a few minutes later, giving the toilet some time to clear whatever it is that is clogging it by use of good old gravity.

2. Soap works – You could try squirting some dish soap or shampoo into the bowl and then flushing. Soap does a great job at breaking down toilet paper or waste and moving things along the toilet’s bends and curves.

3. Hot water – Hot water works by dissolving whatever it is that is clogging up your toilet. You can try this out by adding a few cups of mildly hot water. Please be careful not to get too overzealous with this method as water that’s too hot may crack the bowl.

There you have it – a beginner’s guide on how to unblock a toilet. Now, get to work and make that toilet look as good as it did before the annoying and frustrating, yet easy to remove clog today.