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: 13 Dec 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]
I was going out my mind after my gorgeous little nephew blocked my toilet with the loo roll. Tried this and worked first time. Thanks Headache gone
TAm - 13-Dec-18 @ 2:55 PM
Hi desperate for help! Sept.weekend 2018 had to get emergency plumber to unblock toilet said he couldn't find the source of the problem but removed toilet paper only at a cost of £180! 3 weeks ago had another company out they used camera ect couldn't find a problem except for air pockets? however this weekend 25th Nov blockage again & the smell is unbearable!! who do I contact now? can anyone point me in the direction of finding a solution?
Ell - 25-Nov-18 @ 5:58 PM
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT and so so simple, like magic. I keep looking down the loo to make sure IT has all gone, can't believe it. Thank you.
Lulu - 19-Nov-18 @ 11:09 AM
Blimey. It worked. Threw several gallons of hot water down the loo afterwards and the whole thing is fine, and clean as a whistle. Thank you so much for the tip.
Bellicose50 - 4-Nov-18 @ 2:57 PM
Thank you so much for your unblocking idea its brilliant have tried for days to clear it good old mop and bag
Fay Meredith - 4-Oct-18 @ 6:25 PM
Would never have believed it worked so fast 2or3 plungers and it was clear ,no mess at all mop still in good condition thank you very much"your Clive ( Maderos123)
Maderos - 17-Sep-18 @ 12:07 PM
Spent the whole day trying to unblock the toilet with hot water, soap, bleach with no success. Was about to all emergency plumber and decided to give this method a try. Woooo success after second plunge. Thank you so so much just saved me a fortune ??
RA - 14-Sep-18 @ 5:46 PM
@Dazza - yeh it's not for the drains further down the line. But this article is just for blocked toilets not blocked drains.
BNB - 13-Sep-18 @ 10:56 AM
Unless the blocked area is near to the front, then it does not work at all.
Dazza - 12-Sep-18 @ 3:23 PM
Thank you so very very much. It actually works. Yes I did use a red bag and have a lovely red colour at base, but a bit of bleach and this will gol. Im so grateful . Just been waiting for a delayed plunger to be delivered and you have solved it. Thanks
dizzy di - 30-Aug-18 @ 8:22 PM
worked a treat, used a blue Gap bag with string drawstring, and in hindsight I should have turned it inside out, as I now have a blue stain on the toilet bowl!Otherwise, I was very impressed!
Harry - 18-Aug-18 @ 9:19 AM
Gayle - Your Question:
I managed to unblock 3 toilets at work using this tip, it's brilliant and so simple.I used a big Tesco carrier bag and just held onto the handles around the mop, I gave it a few pushes and it flushed away, then I just dropped the bag into the bin, and best of all NO SPLASH BACK.I usually have at least one toilet blocked every week, and I certainly won't be going back to using a loo brush, great idea THANKS.

Our Response:
We are glad this has managed to solve your ongoing blockage problem to minimal effect!
DIYBasics - 13-Aug-18 @ 1:48 PM
I managed to unblock 3 toilets at work using this tip, it's brilliant and so simple. I used a big Tesco carrier bag and just held onto the handles around the mop, I gave it a few pushes and it flushed away, then I just dropped the bag into the bin, and best of all NO SPLASH BACK... I usually have at least one toilet blocked every week, and I certainly won't be going back to using a loo brush, great idea THANKS.
Gayle - 10-Aug-18 @ 9:26 PM
I am a cleaner in a mens warehouse, and the toilets are always disgusting. I have 3 toilets blocked at the moment and have used 5 toilet brushes, which wasn't a good idea, what with only having disposable hand gloves, it wasn't enough to cover my arms from the splash back.... Needless to say the length of a mop handle sounds like a great idea, I'm going to try out the mop and carrier bag tomorrow, thanks for the tip, I think I might need quite a few bags !!
Gayle - 8-Aug-18 @ 8:23 PM
Thank you so much. This was my last resort - the next time it will be my first try. Work a treat and very quickly. Happiness is a free flowing WC!
GadgetGirlie - 26-Jun-18 @ 7:21 PM
Sally - Your Question:
Thanks, had a blocked toilet for 2 days, near flushing over the sides, tried various old tricks and stuff from the shop, but nothing worked. Just tried this and hey presto, unblocked, cheers!

Our Response:
We're glad it helped. Two days of a blocked loo mustn't have been a pleasant experience.
DIYBasics - 14-Jun-18 @ 12:33 PM
Thanks, had a blocked toilet for 2 days, near flushing over the sides, tried various old tricks and stuff from the shop, but nothing worked. Just tried this and hey presto, unblocked, cheers!
Sally - 12-Jun-18 @ 4:07 PM
Thank you this worked brilliantly
Princess - 3-Jun-18 @ 11:25 AM
Just used a toilet brush and plastic bag. Took only six pumps to shift!
Fast Eddie - 30-May-18 @ 2:54 PM
Works. Nothing more I can add.
matt - 29-Apr-18 @ 5:26 PM
So I was in the verge of suicide over my blocked toilet like no other (the kids have had to pee in the bath) and a friend suggested this method. Then I googled and found this and thought ‘whatever’ won’t work for me. Anyway, no less than 75 aggressive plunges later it’s clear. I could cry with relief almost as if it was my own personal blockage that had been cleared! If you get my meaning! ??
Milly - 14-Apr-18 @ 12:42 PM
Omg after using hot water washing up liquid special soda from hardware shop loo was still blocked so tried the mop and bag this morning Two pushes and heard the blockage pop and water went down Toilet cleared thank you
Lil2306 - 30-Mar-18 @ 10:12 AM
terry - Your Question:
Amazing piece of information on blocked toilet I tried everything be for all failed till I came across your site through google that mop and a plastic bag did it 2 pumps away it went and I was looking at a few hundred quid to get that sorted as for the plastic bag I used a large zip up freezer bag locked it on handle thank you so much

Our Response:
We're happy it allowed you to save your money to spend on something more rewarding than a blocked loo.
DIYBasics - 20-Mar-18 @ 11:49 AM
amazing piece of information on blocked toileti tried everythingbe for all failed till i came across your site through googlethat mop and a plastic bagdid it 2 pumps away it wentand i was looking at a few hundred quid to get that sorted as for the plastic bag i useda large zip up freezerbag locked it on handlethank you so much
terry - 19-Mar-18 @ 7:42 PM
I have unblocked the toilet on several occasions using a strong thick piece of plastic tubing or a thin plumbers wire. On this occasion I failed. I was about to give in and phone a plumber when I decided to attempt the mop and poly bag solution. I did not expect success as I suspect the blockage was too far away. After about a minute of plunging the blockage cleared. Really pleased. Thanks.
Sheils - 13-Mar-18 @ 10:22 PM
Papii - Your Question:
Wow!! Thanks so much on this bolt experience. We were scare to touch the waste and it smell all over the house, worst of it all the toilet block on Sunday. No plumber work on Sunday here. so I had to ask Chere (My wife) please go ask the neighbor if they have toilet unblocked tool, it was 10 pm the neighbor has already slept and Gift my madam secretary was badly pressed she took iron and start push the waste, but unable to go through. It come a time were everybody was pressed including me. So I took my laptop went online to search on toilet block and I find this helpful experience.OMG. it work with a blink of an eye, I ran out and call my wife check it out dear she was scare thinking I have it all over my hands but the truth is my hands was clean. she look in It work it work it was so helpful now everyone has to go in there and do the thin. she said. Thanks Thanks Thanks.

Our Response:
Fabulous, were are glad it worked for you. It shows you that searching the internet can be very helpful sometimes.
DIYBasics - 12-Mar-18 @ 12:38 PM
wow!!Thanks so much on this bolt experience. We were scare to touch the waste and it smell all over the house, worst of it all the toilet block on Sunday. No plumber work on Sunday here. so i had to ask Chere (My wife) please go ask the neighbor if they have toilet unblocked tool, it was 10 pm the neighbor has already slept and Gift my madam secretary was badly pressed she took iron and start push the waste, but unable to go through. It come a time were everybody was pressed including me. So i took my laptop went online to search on toilet block and i find this helpful experience. OMG. it work with a blink of an eye, i ran out and call my wife check it out dear she was scare thinking i have it all over my hands but the truth is my hands was clean. she look in It work it work it was so helpful now everyone has to go in there and do the thin....... she said.Thanks Thanks Thanks.
Papii - 12-Mar-18 @ 1:45 AM
Thank you.A badly blocked toilet, up enough to reach within 3 cm of raised toilet seat!Some serious baling out, a flush to give me some water to work with, a few good pumps with the mob and carrier bag and whey hey, no blockage.There was no way we could afford a plumber, so I cannot say thank you enough. As an after thought, there is an excellent need for strong carrier bags and obviously everyone here has discovered it!
Squeak - 10-Mar-18 @ 10:36 PM
Problem Bog - Your Question:
We have had a problem with a blocked toilet since we had a new one installed, a few weeks ago. After trying several solutions, its worse than ever. I phoned the company today and as its an emergency, I was told after a 45 minute wait on the phone, with terrible music, then transferred to the company, that as its under guarantee someone would call me today! To no avail!! I have used several of your tips, the washing up liquid one, didn't work !I had already tried boiling water and foaming crap from a bottle!EVENTUALLY I USED THE MOP BRUSH SECURED VERY TIGHT WITH 2 CARRIER BAGS, USING HAIR BOBBLES. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! STILL SOME POO TO GO IT'S BUT CLEARING AWAY AND ITS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Our Response:
Hopefully, this will carry you forward until the company can come out and resolve the issue fully. How annoying for you though to have a nice new loo installed and then it not to work.
DIYBasics - 8-Mar-18 @ 2:25 PM
We have had a problem with a blocked toilet since we had a new one installed, a few weeks ago. After trying several solutions, its worse than ever. I phoned the company today and as its an emergency, I was told after a 45 minute wait on the phone, with terrible music, then transferred to the company, that as its under guarantee someone would call me today! To no avail!! I have used several of your tips, the washing up liquid one, didn't work ! I had already tried boiling water and foaming crap from a bottle! EVENTUALLY I USED THE MOP BRUSH SECURED VERY TIGHT WITH 2 CARRIER BAGS, USING HAIR BOBBLES. IT WAS FANTASTIC!!! STILL SOME POO TO GO IT'S BUT CLEARING AWAY AND ITS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Problem Bog - 8-Mar-18 @ 12:28 AM
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