How to Plunge a Clogged Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide


A clogged toilet is a common, yet frustrating household issue. Fortunately, with the right technique and a little know-how, you can usually clear the clog yourself without calling a plumber. This guide will provide you with detailed instructions on how to effectively use a plunger to unclog your toilet.

What You Need

  • A Flange Plunger: This is the best type for toilets due to its extended rubber lip which provides better suction.
  • Gloves: Optional, but recommended for hygiene.
  • Old Towels or Newspapers: For keeping the floor dry.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Step 1: Prepare the Area

Spread towels or newspapers around the toilet base to absorb any splashes. Wearing gloves can protect you from germs.

  • Step 2: Select the Right Plunger

Use a flange plunger for toilets. Its design allows for a stronger seal and more effective plunging.

  • Step 3: Soften the Plunger

Run the plunger under hot water briefly to soften the rubber. This enhances its flexibility and sealing capability.

  • Step 4: Position the Plunger

Place the plunger in the bowl and ensure the flange is inside the drain hole. The cup should cover the hole completely to create a tight seal. If the water level is low, add water to submerge the plunger.

  • Step 5: Plunge Properly

Start with a gentle push to expel trapped air. Then, use vigorous and forceful thrusts to dislodge the clog. The goal is to push water back and forth in the drain, not just air, which helps to remove the blockage.

  • Step 6: Test and Repeat

After several plunges, quickly pull the plunger off to create a vacuum effect. If the water drains, the clog is likely cleared. If not, give it a few more vigorous plunges.

  • Step 7: Flush to Verify

Flush the toilet once the water drains normally to ensure the clog is completely removed and that water flows smoothly.


Plunging a toilet might not be a glamorous task, but it's a necessary skill for keeping your bathroom in working order. With the right tools and a bit of elbow grease, you can handle most clogs on your own. Remember, if the toilet continues to clog or overflows, it might be time to call a professional, as there could be a deeper issue in your plumbing system.

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