The last thing any homeowner wants to do is unclog a toilet. No one wakes up and uses the toilet in hopes that they have to unclog it. It quite possibly could be the least exciting home maintenance of any homeowner. Unfortunately, this is something that every homeowner experiences in their lifetime. Whether the clog comes from your kids, a guest, or yourself, it is necessary to deal with. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can unclog a toilet. Most homeowners will go straight to the plunger for immediate assistance. However, the only concern is the possibility that you aren’t strong enough to put enough pressure on the plunger handle to pressure push the clog loose. If the plunger isn’t for you, then take a look at some safe household options. One of those happens to involve salt. How to unclog a toilet with salt? Create a mixture with salt, baking soda, and hot water. Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl and wait.
Let’s take a look below at some more detailed steps to ensure this project gets handled properly.
When Do I Know It’s Clogged
It is good to understand when and how your toilet bowl gets clogged. The obvious way to avoid a clog is to eliminate flushing anything other than water, waste, and toilet paper. However, this does happen as people forget or have children accidentally flush other items that can cause a clog. Here are some ways you will know you have a clog:
- The toilet bowl will gurgle indicating air is in the system and not being used to push the flush through.
- A rotten egg or foul smell is present because the system cannot flush gases out of a clogged vent.
- The toilet bowl is filled to the top or even over-flowing.
- A slow drain of the toilet bowl water or the possibility that you need to add more water for the flush.
What Salts Can I Use
There are three kinds of salts that you can use to flush down your toilet and help with loosening the clog. Each salt type has a varying effect on the clog, so it will be up to you to determine which works best.
- Table salt – can be used to clean your dirty toilet bowl or mixed with other ingredients for a successful clogged toilet removal.
- Rock salt – when added to hot water it can work quickly to break down a clog. It comes in rock form and has more clog-breaking minerals than table salt.
- Epsom salt – can be used to dissolve larger solid debris. It is made up of magnesium, sulfate, and trace minerals that work to break particles down into more simple forms.
How Can I Unclog It
Taking a step-by-step approach here will ensure that you have success in getting rid of a toilet bowl clog. If you are patient and have the time, using a home remedy like salt to unclog your toilet might be the best bet. Here are the steps:
- Mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt into a measuring cup.
- Pour one cup of your salt mixture into the toilet bowl.
- Pour 6 cups of boiling water into the toilet bowl.
- Mix the water and salt mixture up, this will cause a chemical reaction in your pipes.
- Allow the new solution to sit in the toilet bowl overnight. Give the solution a minimum of 8 hours to work.
- Now, pour more cups of hot water into the toilet bowl and flush it.
If this doesn’t work the first time, you could try it again and repeat the steps as many times as needed. However, if you are looking for a quicker fix, switch your salt types to more aggressive rock salt or even a cup of Epsom salt.
If you choose to use the rock salt, you will need 3 gallons of hot water and will need to dissolve all of the rock salt before pouring it into your toilet bowl. For the best results, you will let it sit overnight.
Preventative maintenance is always something that a homeowner can forget about. Busy schedules and life responsibilities tend to keep us away from our daily chores. Try treating your toilet weekly with a cup of baking soda, a cup of table salt, and a quarter cup of tartar cream. Once the mixture settles to the bottom of the toilet bowl, you can pour a cup of cold water down the toilet drain.
Lastly, consider pouring hot water into your toilet bowl and flushing it once a week. This allows the hot water to flow through the pipes and keeps your drain free of clogs and odor-free. Also, consider using a cup of vinegar or dish soap as other alternatives to keep your toilet bowl drain pipes clean.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you have a better understanding of whether or not salt can be used to unclog your toilet. This could be a great time to read up on what not to flush. It is especially important if you don’t already understand how and why your toilet can overflow. You never want to come home to a flooded bathroom or a mess in your kid’s bathroom because someone in the house flushed the wrong items.
Next, take a look at your other plumbing. If you have clogs in places like your dishwasher or your garbage disposal, this could contribute to a clog in your toilet. Your waste plumbing is all tied together and eventually meets to head out to the same place at the city sewer line or your septic tanks.
Lastly, not all drains come from the obvious places. Depending on how old your home is and how many trees or shrubs you have in your yard, it could provide the potential for a bigger plumbing issue. Although we can see a toilet bowl clog as it fills with water and we can see other standing water in our appliances, indicating a clog, this doesn’t necessarily mean that food and waste is the culprit. Believe it or not, in some cases tree roots can grow into your plumbing pipes and begin to grow and feast on the water and waste minerals. As the roots grow into the pipes, the pipe is damaged and a buildup occurs. Thus, your pipes will never drain properly and you will experience a major backup. Additionally, try to keep trees at a safe distance from your main plumbing line.
When Do I Call A Professional
Understanding how to complete some weekly home maintenance can almost assure you of zero toilet issues. However, not all do-it-yourself ideas are successful or completed in a proper manner. In most cases, you are better off calling on a professionally licensed master plumber as they can determine the extent of your plumbing issues. Keep in mind that your plumbing has many working parts and many appliances that rely on those parts working successfully. Also, reaching out to your local home inspection team could also be a great idea here. They will inspect your plumbing and give you the contact information for the most reputable master plumber in town. This ensures that you know exactly what needs to be done and you aren’t left spending extra on items not needed.
Remembering to complete regular maintenance on your plumbing, appliances, and other items in the home can be very stressful. Most homeowners do not keep a list of weekly chores in terms of preventative maintenance. Sure, taking out the trash and doing the dishes are standard chores for most. However, cleaning your plumbing and appliances might be afterthoughts. In case you lose track, it is a great idea to reach out to your local home inspection team. They can conduct a thorough inspection of your home and tell you what projects need to be done to maintain the longevity of a healthy home. Call on Colorado Inspection Team can check your plumbing during a home inspection in Castle Rock, CO.