A clogged toilet is unpleasant. A clogged toilet that overflows is worse. Using a few simple items from your kitchen, you can tackle the problem now and avoid a nasty mess later, even if you don’t have a plunger.
Before we get started, let’s be clear that we’re talking about clogs caused by, you know, poop and toilet paper. If your toilet is stopped up by a Matchbox car or one of Barbie’s legs, these solutions probably won’t work.
Try these two easy ways to unclog your toilet. If these solutions fail to do the trick, you probably need to hire a plumber (or try a plunger, then call a plumber).
More: Is your toilet leaking money?
1. Baking soda, vinegar and hot water
Once again, those reliable pantry staples come to the rescue. With the right amount of vinegar, baking soda and hot water, you can create the perfect chemical reaction to clear those pipes.
Proceed with caution. To avoid a yucky overflow, start the process with just a small amount of baking soda and vinegar. Add too much, and the bubbly reaction may result in a yucky overflow to the bathroom floor.
Add baking soda first. Add about a quarter cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl. Immediately follow with a quarter cup of vinegar. The fizzing will start instantly. Let the solution work for a minute or two.
“Flush” with hot water. Pour a kettle full of hot water into the toilet bowl. Flush the toilet once or twice to see if the clog has cleared (you may hear a suction sound and notice that the water drains more quickly).
Repeat. Continue the process until the clog is released. Add larger amounts of baking soda and vinegar each time.
Warning: Do not use baking soda and vinegar if you already tried using a chemical clog buster. The fizzing of the natural ingredients can cause a dangerous overflow of the harsh chemical.
More: 20 Genius uses for vinegar that may just surprise you
2. Dish soap
A few squirts of your liquid dishwashing soap may be all you need to solve the problem. The soap breaks up the clog in your toilet just the way it breaks up the grease on your pots and pans.
Add soap first. Squeeze a liberal amount of dish soap into the toilet.
Activate with water. Pour in about four cups of hot water. Be careful not to add so much water that the bowl overflows.
Wait. Let the soap and hot water mixture work for 20 minutes.
Flush. Hopefully, the clog will be gone.
More: 32 Uses for liquid dishwashing soap that’ll blow your mind
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