There is no denying that having a clogged toilet is an inconvenience. It is not only embarrassing but can become costly if left alone. However, there is usually no need to panic as you can quite often unclog a toilet without needing to call a plumber. If you try to tackle a clogged toilet on your own then here are some simple tips and tricks to follow.

What causes a toilet to be clogged?

A clogged toilet is usually caused by a few common culprits. The most common causes include:

  • Too much toilet paper
  • Foreign objects such as female hygiene products, children’s toys, cotton wool balls, or baby wipes
  • Worn down and older pipes
  • Calcified minerals from hard water
  • Tree roots that have interrupted your pipes

How to stop the toilet from overflowing

It is worth noting that before you can attempt to unclog your toilet you will need to ensure it is not going to overflow. There are two easy ways that you can do this. You can opt to turn the water supply off by reaching behind the toilet and turning the toilet shutoff valve off. Alternatively, you can also turn off the main shutoff valve for your house if you cannot locate the toilet shutoff valve.

Ways to unclog a toilet

Now that you have ensured your water supply is off and the toilet will not overflow you can begin unclogging your toilet. Here are a two easy ways that you can do this.


The hero that usually saves the day when your toilet is blogged is the humble plunger. It is an inexpensive household essential that everyone should own. To unclog your toilet, you will need to cover the bottom of the toilet bowl with the plunger and gently push it up and down. You will need ensure that the suction does not break while you do this. After doing this a few times release the suction by pulling the plunger up with force. If the water has not drained completely then repeat the previous steps.

Hand Snake

A toilet snake is another inexpensive tool that is used to help unclog toilets and drains. Before you use it make sure to lay down some old towels on the floor surrounding the toilet. You will most likely need to have a bucket and cleaning gloves within reach too. Place the end of the toilet snake inside the toilet bowl and gently turn the handle to extend the snake into the drain. Keep turning until you feel resistance as this means you have reached the clog. You will need to push and pull the snake back and forth to gently break up the clog. When you feel less resistance reel the snake back in and put any rubbish or waste into the bucket. You can then attempt to flush your toilet, and if the clog has not disappeared simply repeat these steps.

If you have tried both of these methods and are still struggling then it is best to call a plumber. At Botanical Plumbing, we have specialised equipment and training to clear difficult blockages. Get in touch with our friendly team today to organise a call out.