When you have a septic system, you should never use drain cleaner or chemical clog removal products. These products can damage your septic tank as well as kill the enzymes and bacteria that break down waste in your tank. But if your toilet is clogged or overflowing, you may not be sure what to do without these drain cleaners. Here are a few ways you can unclog your toilet without the use of chemical drain cleaning products.
A Plunger or a Snake
If you have a toilet, you should always have a plunger and/or snake on hand. These tools are both designed to move a clog along. A plunger uses suction to push air down the toilet and push a clog through the system. A snake can be fed through the hole in your toilet and help to break apart a clog. When used properly, these two tools can remove the majority of clogs you will experience in your toilet.
If a plunger or snake do not clear up your clog, or you do not have either on hand, a pot of hot water can remove various types of clogs from your toilet. On a stove, bring a large pot of water nearly to the boiling point and then pour it down the center of your toilet. This works best if there is little to no water in your toilet. Allow the water to work its way through your toilet and then flush. Repeat if needed. Never use boiling water, as the water may be too hot and can crack cold porcelain.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If a clog is still present, you can mix baking soda and vinegar to form a natural drain cleaner that is safe for a septic system. Pour one cup of baking soda into your toilet, trying to get as much as possible in the hole in the center. After that has settled, pour two cups of white vinegar over the baking soda. Do this slowly, as the baking soda will begin to fizz and can bubble over your toilet if it is added too quickly. The fizzing action will help to break up any clogs in your toilet. Repeat this process as needed until the clog is removed.
The items you place down your drains and toilets can all have an impact on your septic system. Because of this, it is important to use products that are safe for your septic. This includes items like toilet paper, shampoo, cleaning products, laundry detergent and dish detergent.