How To Unclog A Toilet With A Plunger

Handyman using plunger to clear a toilet
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A clogged toilet is a very common plumbing problem which most people will have to deal with at one time or another. If this is your first time, don’t worry. Follow these steps to learn how to unclog a toilet with a plunger. All you need is a toilet plunger and a few minutes.


  1. Make sure there is standing water in the toilet bowl. Enough water to submerge the head of the plunger is ideal.
  2. Cover the drain hole with the plunger to create a vacuum. The pressure built up by a vacuum can force the clog to move down the drain.
  1. Push & Pull using both hands to apply as much force as possible to the suctioning. Pulling is just as important as pushing. The key is to get the clog moving; the direction isn’t important.
  2. Remove plunger and flush the toilet after you have pushed and pulled several times. Have the tank lid off and be ready to push down the flapper if the toilet begins to overflow.
  3. Repeat the process if necessary. It may take several tries to clear the clog.


  • Always test by flushing down some toilet paper. Sometimes a clog can do fine with just water but when paper is flushed down, it will clog up around the stoppage. If this is the case you might have to use a toilet auger or pull the toilet to remove the clog.
  • If you can’t clear the clog with a plunger try using a toilet auger.