A man holding a plunger over a toilet bowl.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Plunge a Toilet

No one wants to deal with a clogged toilet. But, unfortunately, you can’t always predict when this problem will appear. Foreign objects, excessive amounts of toilet paper, and various other factors can cause this important plumbing fixture to become backed up.

Fortunately, we’re here to help get the situation under control with our helpful step-by-step guide on how to plunge a toilet. There are a few crucial tips that can make the process as seamless and hassle-free as possible — because we know that fixing a toilet blockage is never fun.

Are you ready to get started? Grab a plunger and a pair of gloves, then read on to learn the best way to plunge a toilet.

How to Know if Your Toilet Is Clogged

Among all the plumbing issues you can encounter in your home, a clogged toilet is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating. This is especially true if you only have one toilet in your home, as a total blockage will render it unusable. So before we dive into our step-by-step guide on how to plunge a toilet, check out this helpful guide to confirm if you’re dealing with a blockage:

4 signs your
If the water level in the toilet keeps rising when you try to flush it, this is a clear sign of a blockage. The toilet may even overflow.
toilet is
Bad smells are almost inevitable with a clogged toilet. You could be smelling sewer waste that has built up in the pipes.
2) unpleasant odors
If you hear gurgling noises coming from various fixtures, this suggests that the sewer gases in your clogged toilet are trying to escape elsewhere.
3) Unusual sounds
If your toilet is draining at a snail's pace, this is also another clear indication that it's at least partially blocked.
Toilets can become clogged for many reasons. If you're struggling to fix the problem yourself, turn to the experts at Reyolds Electric & Plumbing for help!

How to Properly Plunge a Toilet

When your toilet doesn’t flush normally, it’s easy to panic and reach for the quickest fix. For example, you might be tempted to use a chemical drain cleaner, but these products can cause more harm than good since they’re known to destroy pipes.

Aside from store-bought products, you can make a homemade drain cleaning solution of baking soda and vinegar. However, DIY drain cleaners aren’t always super effective, and you may need to repeat the process a few times before you see any results.

So when it comes down to it, toilet augers and plumbers are usually the best ways to remove a blockage. But, of course, many of us already have plungers lying around our homes, so it’s usually the most convenient option.

If you have a plunger ready but don’t know where to begin, you may want to remove the tank lid and close the flapper. This extra precaution can help prevent the toilet from overflowing, which would be less than ideal. Now, we’ll go over everything else you need to know in more detail below.

Step 1: Choose the Right Plunger

Before we can properly dive into our step-by-step guide on how to plunge a toilet, it’s important to start with the basics. Namely, you’ll want to make sure that you have a plunger on hand that will be able to get the job done right.

Did you know that there are different types of plungers? Some of them, like cup plungers, are more suitable for sink and tub drains. You’ll typically want to choose a flange plunger for your toilet, as they have a head that can make a tighter seal in your toilet’s drain.

Step 2: Create a Tight Seal

Now that you have the right toilet plunger and have donned a pair of rubber gloves, let’s get to work! Head over to your toilet and check to see if there’s enough water in the bowl to cover the head of the plunger. You want to ensure there’s at least a small amount of water present because if there isn’t enough, you won’t be able to create a tight seal between the drain and the plunger.

On the other hand, you don’t want too much water in the toilet either — as it can splash all over the bathroom floor while you’re plunging away. If your toilet is at risk of overflowing, remove some of the water using a cup, or call a plumber if you’d rather not deal with this messy task.

Next, you’ll want to position the head of the plunger over the toilet bowl so that it creates a seal. After all, the best way to plunge a toilet is to maintain a tight seal on the drain.

Step 3: Start Plunging Gently

Although you might think the most effective way to unclog a toilet is to be aggressive, it’s important to know that too much force can have negative consequences. In fact, plunging can make a clog worse if it isn’t done correctly.

So, what is the proper plunging technique? Basically, when making the first plunge, you’ll want to start by being as gentle as possible. During this initial pump, the plunger head will fill with air — and you don’t want to accidentally break the seal and have water blow all over yourself.

Step 4: Pick Up the Tempo

Once you’ve gotten that initial pump out of the way, it’s time to pick up the pace. You can start plunging at a quicker speed to loosen the clog. All you need to do is plunge up and down with some force for 10-15 seconds. 

Although it might seem like the clog isn’t budging — don’t give up! Having patience and perseverance is the best way to plunge a toilet. But if the overall task is taking longer than 10 minutes with no results, it might be time to call a professional. 

Step 5: Test the Toilet

Our step-by-step guide on how to plunge a toilet is almost complete! As a final step, you’ll want to flush the toilet to see if you’ve successfully fixed the problem. Sometimes, you’ll know the blockage has been loosened when you remove the plunger and hear gurgling coming from the toilet, but it’s always a good idea to check.

Need Help With Your Clogged Toilet? Call the Experts!

There you have it: you now know the best way to plunge a toilet! As you can see, the entire process is pretty straightforward and easy to accomplish if you have the right tools. Of course, some toilet blockages can be stubborn, so calling a plumber for help might be the most suitable solution. If that’s the case for you, don’t wait to call Reynolds Electric & Plumbing!

Our professional plumbers offer everything from downspout drain repair to drain cleaning in Eugene, OR, and the surrounding areas. That means we also have what it takes to fix your clogged toilet drain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!