A clogged toilet can be more than an inconvenience. If the problem isn’t corrected, the issue could lead to potential flooding, germ exposure, and drain structural issues.
Most toilet clogs can get solved with some routine plunging. You’ll want to ensure that the rubber cup gets sealed tightly against the outlet before starting. If you have black or gray water in the bowl, it helps to wear protective gear or clothing that you don’t care if it gets ruined.
When that method doesn’t work, and you know you’ve been doing it correctly, another option is to unclog the toilet with baking soda. You’ll need to have some vinegar available as well to have this methodology work.
You can use white, industrial, or apple cider vinegar with baking soda to unclog your toilet.
Steps to Follow to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda
The chemical reaction with the vinegar and baking soda is what causes the toilet to get unclogged with this method. That’s why you need to get your ratios correct to have a successful experience.
If you are off by even a little, there is a chance that this method might not work.
Here are the steps to take if you want to try a chemical-free way of getting your toilet to work again when a plunger isn’t working.
- Adjust the water level in the bowl if it is full. You typically want it to be about halfway up the inside of the toilet before starting the unclogging process. If you don’t have enough fluids in there, at hot water until you reach the 50% point. When it is too high, it might be necessary to scoop some out.
- Pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. If the clog is severe, you can use 1.5 cups during this step.
- Slowly pour one cup of vinegar into the water. You cannot do this step quickly because the reaction will make a massive mess on your bathroom floor. You’ll want to use common sense here when you see everything starting to fizz.
- Allow the baking soda and vinegar combination to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- You might hear your toilet flush when the clog gets removed before the end of that time. If that happens, run the handle to refill the bowl and flush it for a second cycle.
- If the toilet has returned to normal functionality, you can now clean the inside of the bowl and be finished with the job.
- If the toilet has not flushed by itself with the pressure change, pour a full kettle of hot water into the bowl. You should hear a suction sound during this step, releasing the clog so that the drain functions normally again.
- Flush the toilet one more time to ensure it is working correctly before resuming normal operations.
Once the clog gets sent on its way, you should notice the bowl’s water levels start decreasing. As the pressure changes, bubbles can also form in the liquid. If you see these signs, it is usually safe to flush the toilet to see if it works.
If it isn’t quite free yet, you’ll need to turn the water off at the shut-off valve on the wall behind the toilet.
When the clog is extra stubborn, the vinegar and baking soda mixture can sit overnight to dislodge the stuck materials in the toilet.
What If My Toilet Remains Clogged After an Overnight Soak?
Toilets typically clog because too much waste material and toilet paper (or other paper products) get flushed together, sticking in the trap.
It is also possible for some paper products to stick in the trap, harden if the toilet isn’t used frequently, and then catch materials on the way through the drain.
If the second issue occurs and an overnight soak doesn’t solve the problem, you might need a plumbing snake to dislodge the material. This item goes through the toilet, including the trap, to physically disengage stuck materials.
Some models even have a small “grabber” that lets you rip at the materials clogging your toilet. If the baking soda trick doesn’t work, this tool almost always solves the problem. It’s an invaluable investment to consider for any home.
Should your toilet remain clogged after using the toilet snake and the baking soda, it might be time to contact a professional plumber. You could be dealing with a pressure issue, mineral buildup, or a more severe problem.