Perhaps one of the most unpleasant cleaning tasks on the list is unblocking a toilet — but when it’s blocked, there’s nothing else you can do except clean it out! The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to unblock, so don’t put it off for too long. Put on those rubber gloves and get cracking. And the next time it happens, you won’t be so precious about the unpleasantness of the task at hand. After all, a blocked toilet is something that happens to every household, so the more you know about unblocking it, the better equipped you’ll be.
Online resources will tell you how to unblock a toilet but here’s a quick summary of the key tips and steps involved:
• Always protect yourself. During the unblocking process, whatever is inside a toilet can easily splash out. So protect yourself by wearing long rubber gloves and old clothes. You may even want to cover your face as well, or wear goggles.
• Protect the area around the toilet. Even though bathroom tiles are easy enough to clean, it’ll help to line the surrounding area with old newspapers. This way, the newspapers will catch any splashing, and it’s easy enough to gather up the newspapers and toss them out once you’ve finished.
• Keep the area well ventilated. Before you start, open any doors and windows, and/or turn on the bathroom ventilator. Good ventilation will help to counteract any nasty odours, and is especially important if you’re using chemical products to treat the blockage.
• Follow all instructions and don’t mix chemicals. Read all labels before you use any commercial products, and never mix products. Chemicals mixed inappropriately can create adverse reactions and be very unsafe.
In fact, before you use chemical products, try unblocking a toilet first either manually or with a plunger or hot water. Chemical products can be costly and not very healthy, plus you don’t want to run the risk of chemicals splashing out of the toilet onto you if you try using other methods afterwards. Here are different ways of unblocking a toilet, and when you should use them:
Manually Unblocking a Toilet— If a small toy or other object is causing the blockage, this is your best solution. Simply put on your gloves, reach down, and pull out the blockage. If it’s a large piece of waste, you may want to find a stick and manually chop the waste into smaller pieces before removing it. Be sure to flush away any remaining debris.
Unblocking a Toilet with Hot Water — Sometimes you can just pour hot water from a height into the toilet to dissolve the blockage. Make sure you are fully covered and that you pour carefully, so none of the hot water gets onto you.
Using Suction to Unblock a Toilet — There are different kinds of plungers out there, so find the right kind of plunger for your toilet. Make sure there is water in the toilet bowl, and then slowly push down on the plunger to create a vacuum over the hole. Plunge in and out until you can loosen the blockage.
Using commercial products to unblock a toilet — Domestos Pipe & Sink Unblocker is a good example of a commercial product which can help you unblock a toilet, but these products only work if it’s an organic blockage, not a toy, cloth, or household object. Follow all instructions carefully.
If none of these methods work, try your local plumbers. But if you do manage to unblock your toilet on your own, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of money and hassle!