I’m a DIY pro and these toilet cleaning hacks will save you HUNDREDS on plumbing bills

WHETHER you are a homeowner, renter or landlord, a clogged toilet is a household problem you can do without.

That’s why the home renovation experts at Evolving Home have rounded up seven ways you can unclog a toilet yourself before you think about speed dialing the plumber.

A home renovation expert has revealed the simple ways you can save hundreds on plumbing bills


A home renovation expert has revealed the simple ways you can save hundreds on plumbing billsPhoto credit: Getty

1. Use a flanged ram

A flanged plunger should be the first step in unclogging a toilet. These differ from traditional plungers in that they have a smaller cup at the end that is designed to fit a typical toilet drain.

First, don rubber gloves and place the flanged plunger directly into the toilet bowl so that it covers and seals the drain to create a vacuum. Slowly push the plunger down and then pull it out all the way. Do this 2-3 times to clear the clog before then flushing the toilet.

Scott Dylan, a former property manager and author at Evolving Home, recommends the following: “It’s a good idea to invest in a flanged plunger for your toilet and a separate cup plunger for your sink and shower.

Each plunger is not only specialized to deal with different surfaces, but also avoids the unnecessary spread of bacteria from the toilet to the sink where you wash your hands and face.”

2. Use a wire hanger

If you have one lying around, you can use a wire hanger to break up an annoying blockage. Simply grab a spare wire hanger and unwrap it, leaving you with just one long piece of wire. Wrap one end of the wire in an old washcloth and secure with tape.

Lower the fabric end of the wire into the toilet bowl and push down the drain while slowly twisting until you meet resistance. Keep pushing until you feel less resistance and the water in the toilet bowl starts to drain slowly before flushing the toilet.

3. Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda

You might be tempted to opt for heavy cleaning chemicals when dealing with a clog, but these can often damage your plumbing and cause more problems down the road.

Instead, opt to combine two common pantry ingredients: vinegar and baking soda. The resulting chemical reaction creates a cleaning foam that should loosen the clogged materials and allow you to safely flush the residue down the pipes.

First, mix 1 cup of baking soda with 2 cups of water in a container, then pour directly down the toilet.

This allows the baking soda to spread more evenly down the toilet pipes. Then pour two cups of vinegar down the toilet. Allow the mixture to sit on the clog for between 20 minutes and half an hour before flushing the toilet.

4. Use soap and boiling water

While this sounds pretty simple, it can be very effective in removing blockages, while also acting as a huge money-saving hack.

Start by heating half a gallon of water on the stove. Simply pour half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl, followed by your very hot but not boiling water, and allow it to soak through the pipes for ten minutes. Then try flushing the toilet to see if that cleared the clog.

Scott Dylan of Evolving Home says, “Be careful not to use boiling hot water when using this method, as higher temperatures can cause your toilet bowl to crack.”

5. Use an enzyme product

Enzyme products are particularly useful for breaking down blockages at the source. These products are intended for septic tank liquefaction and can be added down your toilet drain to break down organic waste and make it easier to flush down the pipes.

You can buy enzyme products at grocery and hardware stores, and many have instructions on how to apply them to your toilet.

Simply pour the indicated amount into the toilet bowl or dilute with water and allow to act on the clog. Give the solution some time to work before flushing the toilet to see if it clears the problem.

“Remember, these products only work on organic waste. So unless the clog is organic or biodegradable, they won’t be able to clear the clog,” says Scott Dylan of Evolving Home.

6. Use a plumbing snake

Similar to the wire hanger method, a plumbing snake is a long flexible coiled wire that can be inserted down the toilet bowl, allowing you to reach further down the pipes.

They are particularly useful for clogs deep in pipes that may be more difficult to clear with a flanged plunger.

To start, simply insert one end of the plumbing snake into the toilet bowl and, depending on the model, slide the wire or twist the handle to extend into the toilet pipes.

Once you meet resistance, push and twist a little further to break up the clog and rinse to remove the loosened debris.

7. Use a wet and dry vacuum

If you’ve exhausted all other options, a slightly more expensive alternative for extremely stubborn clogs is to use a wet-dry vacuum. These are designed to work with water and other liquids, as your regular vacuum cleaner isn’t up to the task.

Start by inserting the wet vacuum’s nozzle into the toilet bowl and turning it on to clear the standing water from the toilet. Then wrap the outside of the suction nozzle with an old washcloth to avoid scratching the toilet.

Place the vacuum on the toilet drain so that it seals like a plunger and turn it on. This should finally pull the clog out of the pipe and allow your toilet to flush smoothly again.

Evolving Home provides the latest home improvement information and product recommendations from industry experts, based on research, hands-on testing and analysis of user testimonials. I’m a DIY pro and these toilet cleaning hacks will save you HUNDREDS on plumbing bills

Jessica MacLeish

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