Household remedies for a clogged toilet

If the water in your toilet goes down slowly, or is not going down at all, a clog is likely the problem. A clogged toilet is frustrating, as the water may actually overflow from the toilet bowl if you continue flushing. There are a variety of home remedies you can use to unclog a toilet without spending a fortune. Before attempting to unclog your toilet at home, turn off the water to the bowl and empty out as much of the water as you can with a cup or bucket.

Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar

Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are two common household products that have a variety of uses. One of those is unclogging a toilet. Pour one cup of bicarbonate of soda down the toilet drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then pour 4.5 litres (one gallon) of hot water into the toilet. Turn the water to the toilet back on and flush to see if the clog is gone.

Washing up liquid and water

Put 80 ml (1/3 cup) of washing up liquid into the toilet bowl. Opt for an eco-friendly product, if possible. Follow this by pouring 4.5 litres (one gallon) of boiling water into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then turn on the water to the toilet and flush. Repeat, if necessary.

Tapping method

Sometimes, a toilet clog isn't that severe and does not require adding products to the toilet bowl. All is takes is a bit of tapping to dislodge the clog. It is best to use this method right at the first sight of the clog. Tap the backside of the toilet bowl forcefully with your foot. Do this a few times, then flush to see if the clog is gone. For this method, it is not necessary to turn off the water to the toilet, but you may wish to empty out some of the water to avoid an overflow.


Plunging a toilet can be messy, so be prepared to get wet. Empty out most of the water in the bowl, but leave enough to completely cover the opening. Situate the plunger right over the hole and press down to get good suction. Thrust down on the plunger five to ten times, then release it and see if the water goes down the drain. Repeat this process, if necessary.

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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.