DON’T be so quick to call the plumber the next time you have a clogged toilet.
Over time, grime can build up in the toilet, leading to clogging and expensive callout bills.
To avoid this, one home improvement expert has revealed how a simple cleaning regime can keep your plumbing healthy and save you hundreds in the long run.
USE A FLANGE PLUNGER
First things first, the experts recommend trying to unclog the mess with a flange plunger.
A flange plunger has a smaller cup at the end than a traditional plunger, making it a better fit for a typical toilet drain.
“Start by putting on some rubber gloves, and place the flange plunger directly into the toilet bowl so that it covers the drain and seals to create a vacuum,” they said.
“Push down slowly on the plunger and then pull it all the way out. Do this two to three times to help dislodge the clog, before then flushing the toilet.”
Scott Dylan, a former property manager and writer for Evolving Home, recommended, “invest in a flange plunger for your toilet and a separate cup plunger for dealing with your sink and shower.”
“Not only is each plunger specialized for dealing with different surfaces, but it avoids unnecessarily spreading bacteria from the toilet into the sink, where you wash your hands and face.”
USE A WIRE COAT HANGER
If you have a spare wire coat hanger hanging around, the experts said to use it to break up any blockage in the drain.
“Simply take a spare wire coat hanger and unwind it so that you just have a long piece of wire,” they said.
“Wrap one end of the wire in an old washcloth and secure this on with duct tape. “
They said to push the fabric end of the wire into the drain until you feel resistance.
The resistance will give way and water will begin to fill the toilet again, the experts said.
Then they said you are safe to flush the toilet.
USE BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
Rather than running to use cleaning chemicals to unclog your toilet, first, try using baking soda and vinegar.
“The resulting chemical reaction will create a cleansing foam that should loosen the clogged materials and allow you to safely flush the residue through the pipes,” they said.
The experts said to mix one cup of baking soda with two cups of water in a container and then pour it directly into the toilet, allowing the baking soda will be able to evenly disperse into the pipes.
Then they said to pour two cups of vinegar into the toilet, allowing 20 to 30 minutes for the mixture to unclog the blockage before flushing.
USE SOAP AND BOILING WATER
The Evolving Home experts said to save money, heat half a gallon of water on the stove and pour one cup of dish soap into your toilet bowl.
After pouring in the soap, dump in your very hot water and allow about 10 minutes for it to work before flushing.
“Make sure not to use boiling hot water when using this method, as higher temperatures can cause your toilet bowl to crack,” said Dylan.
USE AN ENZYME PRODUCT
To break down any blockage, the experts said enzyme products can be added to your toilet drain to help break down waste.
These products can be found at most grocery and hardware stores and provide detailed instructions on how to use them.
“Remember that these products will only work on organic waste, so if the blockage isn’t organic or degradable, then it will be ineffective at breaking up the clog,” said Scott.
USE A PLUMBING SNAKE
The plumbing snake works similar to the wire coat hanger method, as it is a long and flexible, coiled wire that is inserted into the toilet bowl to help reach further into the pipes.
They said to simply put one end of the plumbing snake into the bowl and push the wire or crank the handle to extend it to the toilet pipes.
When you are met with resistance, they said to push and twist a bit further to help break up the clog and clear out any remnants.
USE A WET AND DRY VACUUM
As a final resort, the experts said to try using a wet and dry vacuum for more stubborn blockages.
They said to place the nozzle into the toilet bowl and turn it on to remove water from the toilet.
To prevent scratching the toilet, they suggested wrapping the outside of the vacuum with an old washcloth.
“Place the vacuum against the toilet drain so that it forms a seal similar to a plunger and turn it on,” they said.
“This should finally pull the blockage out of the pipe and allow your toilet to flush smoothly again.”
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