A clogged toilet is disastrous and may cause major inconvenience. If you have tried your luck with the plunger, wait before you call a professional plumber. The simple and fast solution to the problem waits right in your pantry! You can have the solution to this situation using the two baking ingredients: baking soda and vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar). Well, this may work for you and will also not cost you many pennies. You any not have to depend on harsh chemical cleaners too. These natural cleaners are effective and skin friendly as well.
In this article, we will see as to how we can make use of baking soda and vinegar to unclog the toilet.
Baking Soda and Vinegar to Unclog Toilet: The Chemistry Involved
Let us see what actually happens when these two baking ingredients are used for unclogging the toilet. Baking soda and vinegar are indeed two baking ingredients. But, they also serve as natural cleaning agents. Just think back to the days studying science in your elementary school. You would be familiar about the chemical reaction that occurs when you combine baking soda and vinegar. The fizzy reaction mimics a volcanic eruption and is sometimes referred to as the “volcano effect”. The resultant mixture obtained as a result of combining these two compounds is actually found to be beneficial in removing stubborn clogs. The mixture works well to shift blockages. You may not even need to break the plunger to get the clog removed. So do try out this DIY method for unclogging toilets. If your toilet still remains stopped up, you can call a professional plumber to get your toilet back in order.
Things you will need:
- Measuring cup
- Baking soda
- Plunger (optional)
Remember not to use baking soda or vinegar right after you have applied some chemical clog remover to the toilet bowl. This can lead to the emission of dangerous gases which can be harmful to inhale, causing you sick.
Add baking soda and vinegar slowly to the toilet bowl or else, there is chance of things getting messed up.
Steps Involved in Unclogging Toilet using Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can follow the below mentioned steps so as to unclog the toilet using baking soda and vinegar.
Adjust Water Level in the Toilet Bowl
The first step is to check the water level in the bowl. If necessary, you may have to adjust the water level in the toilet bowl. If the water is almost at the rim of the toilet bowl, then remove some water before adding baking soda and vinegar. If not, the resultant fizzy reaction will cause the toilet bowl to overflow. This can be a disastrous mess. So if the toilet bowl is full, then remove enough water and ensure that the remaining water level is no more than halfway up the toilet bowl. This prevents the mess of toilet bowl overflow or spillage and the resultant mess over the bathroom floor. Now if the water level seems too low, then you need to add water. Add hot or boiling water till the water level reaches halfway up the toilet bowl. So what is needed is that you want the bowl to be about halfway full before you begin the unclogging process. Now you can proceed to add baking soda and vinegar.
Adding Baking Soda and Vinegar
For a stronger reaction, you need to use equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. In case of minor clog, you can use up entire baking soda or vinegar in one go. In case of several clogs, you need to proceed by adding in small increments of baking soda and vinegar.
In case of minor clogs, ensuring that the water level in the toilet bowl is halfway full (or less), you can add 1 cup of baking soda into the bowl. Also, you can add 1 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl. Now, in case of severe clogs with fuller toilet bowls, you need to remove some water and use ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup of vinegar at a time. This will make sure that the toilet bowl is not overflowed and there is no associated mess.
Observe the Fizzy Reaction
Immediately, you will get to see the fizzy reaction as baking powder and vinegar reacts, bubbling out substances. The fizzy mixture will rise and expand in the toilet bowl. You will also see the fizzy reaction subside after some time. Wait for some time (about 20 minutes), while ensuring that the fizz is not overflown. Clog starts to break up.
Adding Hot Water
Adding hot water to the toilet bowl is the final step in releasing the clog. Wait till the reaction stops and add a kettle of hot water carefully into the toilet bowl while avoiding splashes. The clog gets released and you will get to hear a sudden slurping sound and it will drain normally.
Flush the Toilet
You can ensure that the clog is fully removed by flushing the toilet for a few times. If the toilet flushes normally, this is an indication that the toilet is successfully unclogged.
Repeat the Procedure as per Needed
It is not necessary that you will get successful in unclogging the toilet in your first approach itself. If not successful, this can indicate the need for a higher dose of baking soda and vinegar to unclog the toilet. You can start over from step one. You can also wait for a longer time interval before you add in hot water to the toilet bowl, say for about 30 minutes in your repeat attempt so that there is enough time to break the clogs. You can also let the fizzy mixture sit overnight or else try making use of a plunger before you add hot water in your subsequent attempt. The use of plunger can increase the chances of the clog getting broken easily.
Call a Professional Plumber if the Problem Still Persists
After taking a few attempts, if the clog still persists, this can also indicate some plumbing issues like mineral build up or any pressure issues. You can call up a local professional plumber, assess and repair your plumbing system and get the work done right. If the clog is still stubborn, this can be the best option.