Your toilet may get clogged due to excess waste and non-flushable items. At this time, you are in an emergency, and you need an immediate solution to get out of this filthy problem. Plungers and toilet snakes are very helpful items for this task, but if you don’t have one, you can make your own, as I did.
A toilet snake is quite easy to make and requires medium-level DIY skills to make it work. I have simplified the process by eliminating unnecessarily hard steps and adding new ones to make the process simple and easy to execute. The resulting snake is also easy to repair, as we shall find out.
Make a DIY toilet snake (toilet auger) using basic household items. You can easily make one using wire cloth hangers by unwinding their triangular part and leaving them with a hook at one end. Later, you can use the hook to remove the clog in your toilet, leaving it with a functional drain.
What is a Toilet Snake?
A toilet snake is a long wire with a tip resembling a corkscrew that you can use to remove clogs from your pipes or toilet. A closet auger is designed to acquire the first bend, attract all debris within its length, and turn the coil to clip foreign objects.
A toilet snake has a rubber sleeve that protects the enamel bowl from scratch marks. These snakes are typically short since the blockages catch at the floor range or the first S-bend.
Most plumbers view toilet snakes as effective since they eliminate waste in toilet drain pipes with less hassle. These snakes are also used to unclog bathroom sinks and work with most toilet types.
DIY Toilet Snake
If you urgently need to unclog your toilet and other methods haven’t worked, you can purchase a readymade toilet snake. However, if you lack one in an emergency, you can consider using regular household items.
Toilet drains function by extending to your drain and displacing deeper blockages. Thus, you should select something which will reach a long length.
You can make a DIY toilet snake using wire cloth hangers as follows:
- Unbend the triangular part of the hanger but leave the hook at one end in position. Use a pair of pliers if the hanger is too strong for you.
- Next, insert this into your toilet drain and pull it back once you hit the barrier. The hook should gather your clog and loosen it.
- Once the water starts flowing in your toilet bowl, you will know your toilet drain has been unclogged.
Beware of the fact that this DIY toilet snake can damage your toilet bowl’s porcelain. This calls for the use of a professional to unclog your toilet, especially if homemade remedies don’t work. However, you can use the DIY toilet snake in an emergency.
How to Unclog a Toilet with a Toilet Snake
Unclogging a toilet with a toilet snake is quite easy since it involves a few simple steps as follows:
You need to clear all the mess surrounding the toilet. Lay two towels at the base, wear rubber gloves, and put a large bucket close to the toilet.
2. Extend the Snake
Insert the toilet snake into the toilet bowl to point it down the drain. To extend the snake’s cable, turn the handle clockwise downwards into the drain targeting your clog.
3. Locate the Clog
Wire cloth toilet snakes are about 25 feet long. Thus, you may need to turn them for a while until you discover how far the clog is. When you feel the cable hitting some resistance, you’ve hit the clog and can stop turning the cable.
4. Disintegrate the Clog
Once you have hit the clog, push the toilet snake forward and backward multiple times, then start cranking the cable back in. Your main goal is to remove or disintegrate the entire clog from the drain for proper drainage. Ensure that no clog is left at this stage.
5. Flush your Toilet
When you have completely withdrawn the toilet snake, discard any unpleasant clog debris you set aside in your large bucket. Repeat this procedure until you break down all clogs. Your toilet will flush normally and faster after clearing the clog.
Toilet Snake Alternatives
If you don’t have a toilet snake or plunger, you shouldn’t fear getting rid of toilet clogs within your drainage. Here are other household alternatives you can suitably use as their substitutes:
There is no fun in plunging into a clogged toilet. Luckily, kitchen dish soap is a better way to unclog a toilet without a plunger or snake. This slippery soap helps to lubricate the clogged pipe and allows the stuck debris to flow out more easily.
Use dish soap to unclog a toilet as follows:
- Pour about a half cup of dish soap into the toilet. Alternatively, chop some bar hand soap and throw some pieces into the toilet.
- If the above step doesn’t work, attempt the third step.
- Pour about a bucket full of hot water into the toilet at your waist level. The force of the water can displace the cause of the clog.
If the clog doesn’t go away on the first attempt, do it again.
A Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar
A mixture of baking soda is an alternative if you don’t have a toilet snake or dish soap. Pour a cup of natural baking soda and two cups of vinegar into your clogged toilet. Allow it to act for about half an hour. If the clog doesn’t dispel, try to use hot water to increase its action rate.
Squirt Gun Toilet Drainer
If you decide to dry your toilet bowl before handling the clog, here’s a special tip to eliminate water.
You must get rid of all the water when replacing or repairing your toilet. Typically, shutting down the water supply and flushing it won’t be effective. You can use a sponge, but it’s quite slow.
Thus, use a squirt gun to absorb the water and jet it into a bucket. You can later use a sponge to absorb the few remaining drops.
For all these methods, always clean up afterward to prevent the spread of germs in the house. Be keen when cleaning toilet plungers and snakes since dirt hides in many crevices.
How to Prevent Toilet Clogs
If your toilet keeps on clogging, you can try implementing the following preventive tips:
- Only flush items that can easily break down when exposed to water. For instance, cleaning wipes and paper towels don’t disintegrate like toilet paper.
- Avoid regular use of chemical drain cleaners. These chemicals can trigger the build-up of clogs in the drain system and destroy your toilet bowl.
- Always close the toilet lid after using the toilet. These will prevent the entry of non-flushable items that may accidentally fall into your toilet or be stuffed in by the kids. My kids always do that.
- Use less amount of tissue paper. Too much tissue paper can prevent your toilet from flushing properly. Thus, you can try using a maximum of 8 pieces of toilet paper to save on your toilet paper budget while preventing toilet clogs.
- Watch roots within your sewer line. If trees are planted close to your toilet drainage system, they will likely grow and clog your toilet, making it hard to flush. Consider hiring a professional for regular root inspections to keep this problem under control.
- Use septic-safe toilet paper, as it’s easily broken down to prevent clogs in the drain pipe. These types of clogs are harder to fix and may require the input of an expert.
The best preventive measure for clogs in the toilet is only to flush flushable items. Throw anything else in the trash can instead.
A clogged toilet drain can trigger a filthy experience as you use your toilet. However, you can quickly eliminate toilet clogs using a toilet snake, dish soap, hot water, or a squirt gun toilet drainer.
Additionally, if you are in an emergency where you cannot access a manufactured toilet snake, you can try making a DIY toilet snake using your wire cloth hanger. Thankfully, all these ways will eliminate toilet clogs and leave your toilet functioning normally.