If you think the clog may be the result of an object dropped into the toilet like a toy or a washcloth, it is best to try and retrieve it rather than force it further along with a plunger. Coat hangers and snakes can scratch the porcelain toilet bowl, so we don’t recommend using them.

You might be thinking of using some “magic chemical” – DON’T!  Some chemicals can damage pipes, the environment or you if you get splashed.  And if someone has to work on the toilet after a chemical has been added, it makes the work harder and more hazardous.  So, skip the chemicals.

For clogs resulting from normal flushed waste, you will need a plunger.  We recommend a plunger with a flange, NOT the old-fashioned cup style which is better suited for sinks. Both types are pictured below. The flange fits snuggly into the opening at the bottom of the bowl and will exert more pressure than the old cup style plunger.

two plungers

  • If the toilet bowl is full, put on some gloves and bail out the water into a bucket until the bowl is only ½ full.
  • If the bowl is empty, add water to fill the bowl to ½ full.
  • In order to avoid the possibility of splash back, drape a large towel over the bowl and under the toilet seat.
  • With the plunger completely under water, tilt the plunger cup to burp the air out to better fill the cup with the water.
  • Fit the flange of the plunger into the opening and completely cover the drain opening with the rim of the plunger.
  • Press and pull the plunger rapidly up and down 15 – 20 times.
  • If the water drains out of the bowl, add more water and plunge again.
  • If the water seems to be draining, go ahead and try flushing the toilet.

If the above doesn’t work:

  • Bail out most of the water.
  • Add ½ cup Dawn dish liquid + 1 gallon of hot tap water.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes. Then plunge. 

If the toilet still doesn’t flush: Submit a Maintenance Request.

Additional insights for keeping your home and toilet functioning trouble-free may be found at:  Preventative Maintenance Guide.