How To Unblock A Toilet

how to unblock a drain

There is not much worse than being desperate to use the toilet and discovering the last person to use it has blocked it. Or being at someone else’s home and desperately trying methods for unblocking a toilet without being obvious about what has happened. Blocked toilets are the worst thing so if you are having problems with your toilet blocking and are not sure how to deal with it here is an easy-to-follow guide. Here we only need some simple tools to unblock a toilet.

Steps to get your toilet cleared and useable once more

Here are some things to try.

1. Get your materials and tools ready

For a toilet block, you should have ready a pair of rubber gloves, some old newspapers or old towels you do not mind throwing out for the floor around the toilet, a ball-shaped plunger, some drain or toilet unblocker or caustic soda and a wire coat hanger.

2. Do NOT keep flushing!

When you flush that first time and see that the toilet is blocked a lot of people’s reaction is to try flushing again but this is the worst thing you can do to unblock a toilet full of poo! What is probably going to happen should you do this is the content of the toilet flooding over the toilet onto your bathroom floor. Now you have sewage on your floor to deal with as well as the water and still a blocked toilet to fix. If you have a small child and you suspect it is a small toy or something has been dropped into it, get some gloves on and reach in and pull it out.

3. Work out where the blockage is

If the problem is not easy to see and reach then you need to first work out where the blockage is so your efforts are in the right place. When you lift the drain cover if you can see water then the block is further along the pipes somewhere. You could at this point try a wire hanger to manoeuvre around the pipes and unblock it, or for blocks further down like this, you can call in a professional plumber.

4. Using the plunger

For times when the block is not too far down the plunger used correctly should do the job. The thing is sometimes people get the wrong kind of plunger, or they do not do the best action to get suction and create a vacuum that shifts the blockage. This does mean it can get messy, so this is where the towels and newspapers around the toilet are required. The plunger should be able to seal the opening in the bowl of the toilet. A pro tip on how to unblock a toilet with a plunger is to run it under hot water as that softens it and helps it form that suction better.

5. Try a wire coat hanger (or drain auger better still)

We mentioned it earlier but another option if the plunger does not work is to use a wire hanger that you can unwind and send down the toilet and wiggle to clear the blockage. Another plumber’s tool that works like this is the drain auger or plumber’s snake. How to unblock a toilet with this is to crank down and push through or pull out the blockage.

6. Clean up after yourself

Hopefully, now you have cleared the problem and you now just need to flush it clear, pick up the paper and towels and clean the toilet and floor.

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7. Still blocked? Call A Plumber

If these blocked toilet DIY tips haven’t done the trick, it’s time to call in a professional. A true blocked drain plumber like Affordable Plumbing Solutions will have specialist equipment like drain inspection cameras and water jetters, even pipe relining equipment to find the cause and perform the best fix for any type of drain problem.


Just like unblocking a sink drain, unblocking a toilet is something you can DIY. If you have tried the above and realise you are not the best toilet unblocker, you could try calling a plumber. Blocked toilets are one of the top reasons they get called out so there is nothing they have not seen before!

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