I’m sure every one of us have been in a “situation” at some point involving someone else’s bathroom, a clogged toilet, and a sense of utter panic and embarrassment. And while none of us can change the past, I do have a useful tip to share that will help you quickly and calmly sort out such a crisis in the future!
In today’s post, you’ll exactly learn how to unclog a toilet in a crisis situation. But in order to leave you feeling as prepared as possible, we’re going to imagine that this is a “worst case scenario” situation.
So here’s the setup: you’re in an unfamiliar bathroom, you’ve just flushed the toilet, and the water level is rising quickly. There’s no plunger nearby, so what do you do?
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How To Unclog A Toilet
Step One – Prevent An Overflow
If the water level is rising, the absolute first thing you should do is remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the flapper. The toilet flapper controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl, and pressing it closed will prevent more water from entering the bowl.
You can also shut off the water supply to the toilet as an added safety measure. Look for a handle behind the toilet and close to the floor, and turn it clockwise to shut off the water.
Step Two – Add Hot Water
You’ve successfully avoided an overflow of the most embarrassing kind, which is half the battle! Now it’s time to address the actual clog.
Regardless of whether you happen to have a plunger handy, it can help to add a few cups of hot water to the toilet bowl. The hot water will help to dissolve the clog, at least to the point that it’s easier to flush.
If you can’t find a bucket, look for a wastebasket. In a pinch, you can empty out the wastebasket, fill it with hot water from the tub or sink, then pour the water into the toilet and wait a few minutes. (Be sure to put the bucket or wastebasket back where you found it!)
After a few minutes, try either plunging the toilet, or attempt to flush the toilet again. (Turn the water back on if necessary, and keep your hand close to the flapper in case the attempt is unsuccessful!)
Step Three – Add Soap
If Step Two didn’t completely take care of the problem, the next step is to try adding some soap. Dish soap, hand soap, or even shampoo can help coat the clog and hopefully get it moving!
Just squirt a few tablespoons of soap or shampoo into the bowl, wait a couple more minutes, then flush. The combination of the hot water and soap should be enough to unclog a toilet and get the water moving again!
Bonus Tip: Make Your Own Clog-Busting Toilet “Bombs”
You can make your own fizzy toilet bombs to help break down clogs! Keep a container of them in the bathroom so you (or your potentially mortified guests) can use them as needed.
Add the baking soda and Epsom salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the dish soap to the mixture a little bit at a time, stirring well between each addition, until the mixture has a consistency like wet sand.
Divide the mixture evenly into the cavities of your silicone mold. Use your fingers to pack each one down tightly, then set it aside somewhere to dry overnight.
Once the bombs are completely dry, remove them from the mold and store them in an airtight container.
How To Use Them To Unclog A Toilet
To clear a clog, drop one of your toilet bombs into the toilet bowl. Pour a quart of hot water into the toilet, then let it sit for an hour or two.
The cleaning ingredients and hot water will work together to break down the clog. Simply flush, and the water should be running smoothly!
Now you know the secrets of dealing with a clogged toilet like a pro! Hopefully these valuable nuggets of information will come in handy in any future embarrassing bathroom crises! :-)