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You try to flush the toilet, and the worst happens; the water level gradually rises until it's just below the seat. You panic and wonder what you can do to lower the water level. This is a scenario many of us are bound to experience at some point. When your toilet becomes clogged, you might be able to sort the issue out before calling a plumber.
You can unclog your toilet in minutes with baking soda and vinegar, provided the clog is not too severe. Baking soda and vinegar are two simple ingredients to help clear clogged toilets. This article will discuss how to unclog your toilet using baking soda.
Unclogging Your Toilet Using Baking Soda
One of the reasons your previous attempts to unclog your toilet with baking soda may have been unsuccessful is because you don't use appropriate tools. You need other tools in addition to baking soda to unclog your toilet. Here are the essential ingredients and tools to use with baking soda to unclog your toilet:
• Baking soda: If you don't have it already, you can purchase it from the nearest store. Also, you'll need a good measuring cup.
• Vinegar: Another household item that can be bought from any food store. Ideally, white vinegar is better than brown or red vinegar to unclog your toilet.
• Plunger: This will help you to clear out the issue causing the blockage in your toilet.
• Cleaning brush: Once clogging is solved, there'll be leftover substances that caused the blocking. A cleaning brush will help you leave your bowl clean and fresh instead of smudgy.
• Water: Flushing the toilet isn't enough to drive the clog down the drain. Having plenty of water in a bucket will help clear the clogs after the baking soda and vinegar have done their work.
• Water heater: You'll also need hot water to flush down the clog.
How To Unclog Your Toilet With Baking Soda
With all the ingredients and tools in place, it's time to unclog your toilet. Here's a step-by-step process of unblocking a toilet with baking soda, from preparation to cleaning up and everything else in-between:
Step One: Adjust your toilet's water level
You should do this before adding anything to the toilet. Keep the water level in the toilet bowl as minimal as possible. If the water level is not enough, unclogging might be challenging.
The amount of water in the toilet bowl will depend entirely on the extent and size of the clog. A quick way to drain the water in the bowl is to add hot water. The hot water will loosen or melt any fats trapped in the clog and allow the level of water in the bowl to fall.
Step Two: Add baking soda
The amount of baking soda to use depends on the size of the clog. For large clogs, add one cup of baking soda. For smaller-sized clogs, add smaller amounts of baking soda. Let the baking soda blend with the water and settle on top of the clog in the toilet.
Step Three: Add vinegar
Next, pour one cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl. The vinegar and baking soda will react violently, creating quickly expanding bubbles. It's worth noting that pouring vinegar into the toilet too fast could lead to a quick reaction, resulting in an uncontrollable sequence of occurrences.
The goal is to have them fizzle in the toilet bowl, near the clog, and not bubble out and around the bowl.
Step Four: Wait for the fizzling to stop
The reaction that occurs between baking soda and vinegar may take some time to settle. On average, you should wait for about 20-30 minutes. For severe clogs, you can leave the reaction for up to a day to see if it's working (a drop in the water level will indicate success).
The reaction time is based on the amount of baking soda and vinegar you've added. It can take from a few minutes to even a day in some cases. The solution remains acidic until all the ingredients have disintegrated or the reaction has come to its final stage.
A simple way of avoiding inconveniences is letting the mixture sit overnight. This way, large amounts of organic material will be dissolved.
Step Five: Scrub using the cleaning brush
Most people add the vinegar and baking soda mixture to clean their toilets. Although this may unblock the toilet, it will only get rid of surface build-up. Cleaning your toilet with a toilet brush to ensure that the mixture reaches every inch of the toilet can be the most effective method of achieving a spotless toilet.
Step Six: Plunge the toilet
While you can use a plunger alone to unblock your toilet, the problem may continue. The key to unblocking your toilet is to take the gunk in your plumbing system as far down the drainpipe as possible.
For more difficult blockages, the plunger will be the best tool to make sure that you completely break up the clog. Using the plunger to push baking soda further into the pipes will aid in removing the blockage faster.
Step Seven: Flush several times
The last part of the process is to check if the water flows properly. You need to flush your toilet a couple of times. This is to make sure that there are no remaining obstructions in your pipes.
This is the one step many people don't do, which could cause the most trouble later. If the clog only has been removed but has not cleared out of the drains, the clog could return to haunt you and create many more issues when you continue using your toilet.
How Effective Is Baking Soda?
The efficiency of baking soda for unblocking your toilet will depend on the clog formed within your pipes. Most toilet clogs are organic and break into pieces with the addition of baking soda and vinegar. However, other clogs made up of hairs are more difficult to get rid of.
It could indicate a more significant issue if you've attempted using the vinegar and baking soda unclogging procedure several times but still have a clogged toilet. It is necessary to contact an expert plumber to snake and examine your plumbing because these kinds of clogs can be difficult to eliminate by yourself.
Pros Of Using Vinegar And Baking Soda For Clogs
• These two products are home-based, inexpensive, easy to use, and easily utilised by anyone. They can eliminate the need for costly plungers and harmful chemicals.
• Baking soda, as well as vinegar, make fantastic air fresheners. They can leave your toilet smelling fresh.
• They're both cleaning agents, and therefore, they can do double work. They clean and clear your toilet simultaneously.
• They're a tested and proven combination that will keep your drains clean and functioning smoothly.
Alternatives To Baking Soda For Clogged Toilets
There are other efficient methods of unclogging a toilet than using the baking soda approach. There are tools specifically designed to run their way down the drain. These break down and eliminate any blockage or debris stuck within the piping system.
Using a drain snake
This is one of the most effective ways of unblocking your toilet. It works perfectly when drain cleaning. You don't need to buy a commercial drain snake for home use. To unclog your toilet, feed the flexible part of the plumbing snake in the toilet, after which you'll twist the handle to break the blockage.
If you encounter an unmovable jam, remove the snake and try again. If it persists, you may need to employ a professional plumber to use a video camera inspection to identify the position of the clog.
Using dish soap
This is an easy method if vinegar is not available. To unclog your toilet, add a cup of dish detergent to the blocked toilet. Next, pour boiling water into the toilet bowl. You can connect a pipe from the tankless water heater and empty its contents in the toilet. The hot soap and water will dissolve the blockage and allow your toilet to wash the blockage down the drain!
Using a plunger
To unclog your toilet, you can use hot water and a plunger. The first step is to soften the rubber using hot water. This will create a strong seal. Follow these steps:
• Place the plunger in the opening of your toilet trap and make sure it is completely covered. Ensure that you keep this seal intact throughout your plunge.
• You should start slowly when you plunge into the toilet, as the pull in the first few rounds is mostly air. Then, use the force of water to remove the clog.
• Push down as hard as you can, and pull up quickly. You can repeat this process as many times as needed to drain the toilet. You may need to take 15-20 good plunges before seeing results.
To make sure that your toilet is draining correctly, flush it. It may need more plunging if it isn't.
Consider Hiring An Expert
Baking soda is a quick and effective way to unclog your toilet when mixed with vinegar. The resultant acid and burning reaction can quickly eat away the organic blockages in your toilet. However, it doesn't work for all blockages in the sewer lines. This might require a plumbing professional to fix the issue. Plumbers are also helpful for leak detection in your toilet area as well as any garbage disposal blockage issues. So, if baking soda doesn't solve the problem, be sure to contact a professional to handle it.