This Genius Hack Makes Unclogging Toilets Quicker And Easier Than Ever

There are few things more embarrassing than accidentally clogging up your toilet, or worse — someone else's. Toilets can get blocked if you try to flush down too much tissue or other objects that don't belong down there, like baby wipes. If you find yourself struggling with an emergency overflow, the best way to unclog your toilet is by locating some Vaseline and a plunger. Petroleum jelly is a known sealant, so rubbing some on your plunger will give it some elbow grease to fix your watery situation.

Plungers unclog toilets using the power of suction. The more you shove the handle down, and the rubber cup flattens and retracts, the more pressure you apply to the water and objects blocking the pipe. Sometimes, though, the force of the plunger just isn't enough, and you need some extra suction force. That's where the petroleum jelly comes in to save the day. Its water-resistant and semi-solid form makes it a great candidate to seal the edge of the plunger, hold it in place, and promote suction. 

There's no doubt about it — the idea of rubbing petroleum jelly onto a plunger that has been used before is enough to make anyone barf. If you are in an emergency, then you'll just have to suck it up and take the leap. If you have a handy item nearby, like a Q-tip or gloves to help spread the jelly, however, then that's a preferable scenario.

Apply petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger

You probably didn't think petroleum jelly could save you from an overflowing toilet in a million years, but it surely can. A TikTok by @familyhandyman shows just how lining the rim of your plunger can create enough stability for the suction force to suck up whatever is blocking the toilet and allow water to pass through the pipes freely.

Using your finger or an application object such as a Q-tip, dip into the petroleum jelly and gather a generous heap. Then, simply rub it all around the rim of the plunger, making sure to make the application as thick as possible. You want to get enough jelly on there to do the job. After this, go on and plunge the toilet. You'll find that it sticks better to the hole and offers more targeted pressure.

After you've finished plunging the toilet, make sure to wash off the petroleum jelly thoroughly. Lots of plungers are made with rubber cups, which petroleum jelly can corrode if left on there for extended periods of time. Also, because petroleum jelly is greasy, impurities from the toilet will naturally stick to it. Use a rag or cotton pad soaked in isopropyl alcohol to wipe off the jelly.