If you have a clogged toilet, it’s important that you know how to use a plunger to easily and quickly correct the problem. If you follow our instructions, you’ll have your clog clear in no time.
How to use a plunger
- Place the plunger into the toilet bowl and start with a gentle plunge to expel any air from the cup. Make sure the cup of the plunger is filled with water because want to use water to free your clog, not trapped air. All of that water volume will help you generate even more clearing power.
- Make sure you get a good seal between the plunger and the toilet opening. On some low-flow toilets you may need to adjust the angle of the plunger away from vertical to get a seal.
- Starting with gentle pumps, work the plunger up and down. It’s important to work water, and thus the clog, back and forth to dislodge it. You can slowly increase the force as necessary to dislodge the clog.
What to use
If you’re looking for the best tool for cleaning out a clogged toilet, read our post recommending the best toilet plunger of 2017.
We’ve done our research and examined the best selling and highest rates toilet plungers to make our recommendations. We have toilet plunger reviews and top picks for low-flow toilets, traditional toilets and just plain good looks.
What not to use
A standard sink plunger, which has a flat base and no flange is designed to be placed against flat surfaces like a shower or sink drain.
These plungers will not make a good seal in a toilet or generate enough force to dislodge a clog.
How to clean a plunger
After you’ve used your plunger you can rinse it in the clean water that remains in the toilet bowl. If further cleaning is needed you can submerge the plunger in the toilet bowl and give the toilet a couple of flushes to create some water flow to clean the plunger.
If you wish to further disinfect your plunger, put a quarter cup of bleach in the bowl and move the plunger around in the water. If you have a septic system be sure to use a non-chlorine bleach. When you’re finished, flush the toilet and rinse the plunger in the clean bowl water.
You can also spray the plunger with a disinfectant, such as Lysol.