Home > Plumbing Repairs > How to Unblock a Blocked Toilet - Guaranteed!! Using Just a Mop and a Bag

How to Unblock a Blocked Toilet - Guaranteed!! Using Just a Mop and a Bag

By: Alan Cole - Updated: 22 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Unblocking A Toilet How To Unblock A

A blocked toilet can seem like an emergency job requiring a plumber to remove the blockage... but do not panic, as it is a task which is often easy to fix by using our FREE yet simple method. In the first instance we are going to try a mop and a sturdy plastic bag. As you can see from the many comments we've had, it seems that many people have had success with blocked toilets using our 'super sized plunger' which is made simply from an old mop with a plastic bag tied around the head. Make sure the bag is sturdy and won't tear too easily. This seems to be a sure fire way to shift the stubborn blockages that other plungers just can't deal with. Best of all it's FREE!!

So, if you're stuck, before calling a plumber, give it a go. And please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page if it works (or not). Recent comments include:

  • "Amazing! I had a horribly blocked toilet for two days and tried everything. I was about to call a plumber when I found this web page. This method worked so quickly, I couldn't believe it. It saved me the cost and embarrassment of calling a plumber. Thank you!"
    Jane - 14-Oct-14
  • "Worked so well it made me laugh. Spent 2 days using various chemicals, flushing, hot water and all other methods. Finally decided 2 buy a mop and it worked in about 5 seconds. Awesome tip"
    clarkee - 28-Sep-14
  • "Fabulous method! Fixed the problem in less than a minute! So glad I came across this page. Feel like a domestic goddess now!"
    nickers - 23-Aug-14
  • "How ironic that I look online for just about everything but never ONCE thought to look online when the (newly installed!!) toilet decided to act up on a Bank Holiday weekend! I didn't have cable ties but I "double bagged" the plastic bags, twisted 2 handles together (to make one sturdier one), wrapped the handles around the stick and tied really tight. Got a little nervous when it didn't work on the first go buy, as they say, if at first you don't succeed...Thank you...Thank You...THANK YOU!!!"
    Goldenlady - 23-Aug-14

Our Step By Step Guide...
Step 1. Get a good sized mop and sturdy plasic bag. It's better if it won't rip.
Step 2. Attach the bag firmly to the mop. Cable ties work well.
Step 3. Force the mop down the toilet. Once may well do it. If not then try repeatedly.
Step 4. Admire your unblocked toilet...
Or The Conventional Way
To unblock a blocked toilet conventionally rather than using the mop and bag method, here are the Essential Tools you will need:
  • Plunger
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Bucket
  • Clearing Rods
  • Auger

What Causes a Blockage?

Unfortunately, toilets occasionally do get blocked, usually due to too much toilet paper or heavy loads being put down the pan. First things first, you need to find the location of the blockage. If you have drain inspection covers outside, it is worth lifting the one nearest the pan. If the chamber is full, you need to try to clear the blockage in the pipes or around the drain either using a specialist rod or a makeshift device, such as a wire or piece of wood. If the Drain Is Unblocked, the blockage must be located somewhere between the chamber and the pan. In most cases, the blockage is found at the pan itself.

Unblocking the Pan
Following these simple steps should fix most blockages:
  • Try pushing a flexible drain cleaning wire down the WC pan.
  • It is a good idea to ask someone to observe the drain chamber while you are doing this to see if the item causing the blockage emerges. Anything emerging that may have caused the blockage should be removed. If you don’t remove an offending item, you only run the risk of it causing a blockage further down the system which may be more difficult to unblock.
  • It’s worth using a plunger or auger (see below) if you have one.
  • A chemical drain cleaner or caustic soda may help, but you must follow the instructions carefully and remember these products need to be handled safely. Always use rubber gloves.
Plunger Basics
Try using a plunger to unblock the damage. Most people have a cup shaped plunger but this does not always work and can be a bit messy. Toilets bowls benefit from a specialist flange shaped or a ball shaped plunger. Both these types of plunger have a bottom which is shaped to seal the opening in the bottom of the toilet bowl. This seal action as you plunge creates the necessary vacuum and pressure and is more effective.

Toilet Auger
A toilet or WC auger, available from most hardware stores, is a special plumbing tool used to clear blocked toilets. This device uses a flexible clearing rod with a hand crank, a long sleeve handle and a special auger device at the end which is used to break blockages or retrieve them. The auger drops into the toilet as far as possible. It reaches about 0.5 metres. The auger is connected via the flexible shaft to the crank handle which you control. When the obstruction is discovered you clamp and turn the cranked handle and either push or pull the blockage to dislodge it. Once the blockage is removed flush and clean your loo and disinfect the auger.

More Top Tips
Another useful tip is to consider draining water from your toilet pan. If the water level in the pan of your WC is high, you should consider this. Try using any old container to bale out the water first or you can use a hose to siphon it off. You can also try pouring hot or boiling water down the pan as an alternative to using caustic soda. Often this can be helpful and will break down clogged up matter down your waste pipe.

More DIY Fixes?

For more plumbing repairs, read our articles on Bleeding A Radiator and Unblocking A Sink on this site.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Mazz - Your Question:
We have a recurring problem with our upstairs toilet blocking and I have had the pleasure of unblocking it by hand more times than I care to remember. This evening after two doses of evil smelling one shot and no success I tried this. Fantastic!!! Never thought it would work but it's great. THANKS!!

Our Response:
Hopefully, you now have the formula to unblock it every time, or until such time you wish to get a plumber to sort your issue out for good.
DIYBasics - 23-Feb-18 @ 9:40 AM
We have a recurring problem with our upstairs toilet blocking and I have had the pleasure of unblocking it by hand more times than I care to remember. This evening after two doses of evil smelling one shot and no success I tried this. Fantastic!!! Never thought it would work but it's great. THANKS!!
Mazz - 22-Feb-18 @ 7:25 PM
Shell- Your Question:
Wow worked like a charm thank you who ever thought of this past 2 days I was stressed out.

Our Response:
We're glad ou are now de-stressed and it saved you calling out a plumber.
DIYBasics - 13-Feb-18 @ 2:46 PM
Just unblocked my toilet using a mop and plastic bag. Couldn't belive it. Marvelous. The best tip I have heard for a long time.
Worcestershire - 11-Feb-18 @ 10:24 AM
Wowworked like a charm thank you who ever thought of this past 2 days I was stressedout.
Shell - 9-Feb-18 @ 3:16 PM
Bin liner and mop worked worked amazing didn’t think it would but it saved me a call out for a plumber cheers
Stuart - 24-Jan-18 @ 10:13 PM
Dolly - Your Question:
Went on face book last nite toilet blocked said I will give this a go with mop and plastic bag couldn't see how it would work but OMG did it worked a dream great tip no smell any more thank you so much. Patricia.

Our Response:
You're welcome - we are pleased it worked for you.
DIYBasics - 23-Jan-18 @ 2:28 PM
Went on face book last nite toilet blocked said I will give this a go with mop and plastic bag couldn't see how it would work but OMG did it worked a dream great tip no smell any more thank you so much.. Patricia .
Dolly - 20-Jan-18 @ 12:28 PM
Hi tried and my toilet was unblocked in minutes. First time I have had to do this and it certainly worked. Thanks for the tip.
Trish - 4-Jan-18 @ 7:39 PM
Omg. Did not think this would work but have just unblocked my toilet . And I had been up to my armpits trying to unblock it for ages! Just before entire family coming to stay for Xmas. Cannot thank you enough for your advice..... and I never write on the internet !
Alida - 23-Dec-17 @ 3:14 PM
JR - Your Question:
Found this while looking online for a plumber. Used a carrier bag with 2 old tea towels inside. Worked second try. Genius! Thank you so much!

Our Response:
We're glad we were able to save you from having to part with any money at this expensive time of year.
DIYBasics - 7-Dec-17 @ 10:58 AM
Found this while looking online for a plumber. Used a carrier bag with 2 old tea towels inside. Worked second try. Genius! Thank you so much!
JR - 6-Dec-17 @ 8:52 AM
Worked for me in two minutes. Thanks.
Keith - 5-Dec-17 @ 1:29 PM
Bumble - Your Question:
Brilliant ,worked straight away, saved a lot of extra yuk Thank you !!

Our Response:
We are always happy to hear this method has worked and always pleased when it has saved our readers from having to deal with any mess.
DIYBasics - 30-Nov-17 @ 3:49 PM
Brilliant ,worked straight away, saved a lot of extra yuk Thank you !!
Bumble - 28-Nov-17 @ 5:39 PM
Worked immediately on first plunge. Thank you so much. Used black bin bag with some garden metal twine. Easy peasy.
Bet - 25-Nov-17 @ 8:12 AM
Stu - Your Question:
Omg just spent over an hour.with coathangers (3) max drain unblocked, kicking the toilet and generally swearing a lot. One mild plunge with the mop in a bag and gone. You sir work miracles!

Our Response:
Fabulous. One obviously happy man!
DIYBasics - 17-Nov-17 @ 2:14 PM
Omg just spent over an hour.with coathangers (3) max drain unblocked, kicking the toilet and generally swearing a lot. One mild plunge with the mop in a bag and gone. You sir work miracles!
Stu - 14-Nov-17 @ 8:32 PM
Work first time, I’m so chuffed I didn’t need to call a plumber, cheers
Julie - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:14 PM
Amazing! I was sceptical when I came across this and tried everything else first: plunger, auger, drain unblocker, washing up liquid. None of them worked but a few minutes persistence using this technique unblocked my toilet and saved me a fortune in plumber charges. Thanks!
Tom R - 12-Nov-17 @ 9:04 PM
Unreal worked first time and I had tried washing up liquid,pat hanger, drain unblocker liquid. About 5 pumps with a mop ow was done .
Tom - 11-Nov-17 @ 11:17 AM
absolutely fantastic it took me 2 seconds to unblock my toilet
norrie - 5-Nov-17 @ 9:30 AM
Yay! Brilliant advice, my loo is up and running again.
jolouise - 28-Oct-17 @ 9:10 AM
Doggle - Your Question:
Omg it worked!!! Tried one shot hot water plunger over two day to no avail. Read this got me mop placed a back bin bag over it two flushed and about ten plunges and BOOM! All gone!

Our Response:
We're glad this helped sort your problem quickly and efficiently.
DIYBasics - 17-Oct-17 @ 12:01 PM
Omg it worked!!! Tried one shot hot water plunger over two day to no avail. Read this got me mop placed a back bin bag over it two flushed and about ten plunges and BOOM! All gone!
Doggle - 16-Oct-17 @ 4:25 PM
Amazing can't believe it worked so fast! Many thanks
Peggy - 4-Oct-17 @ 12:53 AM
Thank you so much, I tried everything tounblock my toilet and after totries it worked a treat.
bagpuss - 22-Sep-17 @ 10:51 AM
Mop and bag method worked like magic ! Many thanks.
LizzySUN - 31-Aug-17 @ 7:19 AM
Shell - Your Question:
It worked! Toilet was well and truly blocked and I had tried everything, bleach, hot, water, washing up liquid, a wire coat hanger, my hand down the u-bend. Had even had to remove dirty toilet water into a bin cos it wouldn't drain atall. Try the mop and bag and within 5 seconds it was cleared. Thank you, I was out of ideas and getting desperate.

Our Response:
We're glad it worked for you. It's a shame you had to go through the other unfortunate trials before trying it.
DIYBasics - 29-Aug-17 @ 4:11 PM
It worked! Toilet was well and truly blocked and I had tried everything, bleach, hot, water, washing up liquid, a wire coat hanger, my hand down the u-bend. Had even had to remove dirty toilet water into a bin cos it wouldn't drain atall. Try the mop and bag and within 5 seconds it was cleared. Thank you, I was out of ideas and getting desperate.
Shell - 27-Aug-17 @ 9:20 PM
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