A clogged toilet is something that we have all experienced at least once, and not only is it frustrating, it can easily turn into a messy situation that's accompanied by a lot of embarrassment.
The good news is that you don't need to rush to call a plumber, and you probably don't have to get any harsh chemicals involved, or waste your time using a plunger.
You can fix your toilet troubles all on your own with a few simple tricks. Here are four of them:
1. Hot water
Yes, hot water alone can make all the difference when your toilet refuses to flush properly. Just fill up a bucket with hot water, pour it down the toilet, and let it sit for a few minutes. If the clogging is caused by grease, the heat will help melt it away.
Just be careful not to pour boiling water into the toilet because it could crack the bowl.
If you're still having issues, then try solution #2.
2. Dishwashing Detergent
Any dishwashing liquid will do, but there are some people who swear by the effectiveness of Dawn dish soap, especially the blue kind.
Pour a cup of the detergent into the toilet bowl, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then chase it with hot water. The grease-fighting properties of the soap combined with the heat from the water should help get the pipes back to normal.
Also, the soap helps lubricate the pipes, so if there's anything stuck in them, it will easily dislodge.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
You may tempted to reach for pipe-cleaning chemicals after the hot water and soap tricks didn't take care of the problem, but before you do, you should give baking soda and vinegar a try.
For this tried-and-true method, mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a cup or bowl, then pour it down the toilet immediately. The foamy reaction that takes place when the baking soda mixes with the vinegar will help get rid of gunk and grime that's built up in the pipes.
You can let it sit for 30 minutes or even overnight. Next, pour some warm water into the toilet before flushing as you normally would.
4. Wire Hanger
If none of the above methods work, then chances are the blockage is caused by debris that needs to be manually removed. You will need a wire hanger to do this.
Straighten out the hanger as much as you can, then bend one of the ends to create a hook. Push the bent side down the toilet and try to fish for whatever it is that's causing the clog. The hook will make it easy to pull it out once you find it.
Alternatively, you can just prod the gunk further into the toilet until it loosens up and flows down the pipe.