Home » How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly? Step by Step Guide!

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly? Step by Step Guide!

A toilet clog doesn’t give us a lot of options. Some people prefer using a plunger, while others hot water and dish soap to unclog a toilet in emergencies. But if none of these things are working, your best shot will be using a toilet snake. Also referred to as a plumbing snake, this tool works its way through the trap way up to the drain, making it very useful for unclogging toilets.

Snake a toilet could be a lifesaver when your running toilet gets clogged. So, before you consider calling a professional plumber to unclog your toilet, you should try using plumbing snakes. If you don’t have one, you can always hire one at the store and unblock your toilet.

8 Steps: How to Use a Toilet Snake?

Dealing with a clogged toilet without a plunger is a headache. But you can get rid of a clogged toilet by following some simple steps. A drain snake is a useful tool with a long metal cable with a coiled hook at the front. This is great for pushing or dredging substances from your toilet’s drain. If you don’t know how to use a toilet snake, you’re in the right place. Here’s how:

Step 1: Gather tools

Before you start working on your toilet blockage, you should gather all the tools you may need to snake a toilet. These include rubber gloves, toilet plunger, bucket, bleach, and toilet snake. If you’re equipped with these tools, unclogging your toilet will be very easy.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the toilet snake

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

If you want to have ample time using the toilet snake, you should familiarize yourself with this tool. The plumbing snakes come with a rod that is housed in a thin rubber hose. On top of that, it features an angled handle that also functions as a crank on one end, and the other end goes into the toilet’s drain.

Related article: Easy steps to use a Toilet Auger

Step 3: Place the end of the snake into the toilet bowl

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

Lower the plumbing snake into the bowl with the metal end facing the toilet bowl. Push the snake into the mouth of the toilet’s drain. At the end of the plumbing, the snake is a hook that will help you push, dredge, or break up the clog.

Ensure the plastic or rubber end at the end of the hook is intact so that it does not damage your toilet’s surface. If it’s not intact, use tape to wrap it.

Step 4: Turn the crank handle clockwise.

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

When the plumbing snake is in position, crank the handle clockwise to send the cable into the toilet drain. This movement will make the snake extend into the drain. Since the drain snake is made with flexible metal coils, it will bend and follow the contours of the toilet’s trap way and drain pipes without any problem.

But if it fails to turn or move forward, you can pull it back a little and quarter-turn the handle counterclockwise (opposite direction), and try again. You will repeat this procedure every time the snake becomes problematic to move or when you want to turn it. If you have any problem with the handle, you fix the handle by following some easy steps.

Step 5: Push carefully when you feel resistance

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

Enter the end of the cable into the toilet. As you push, you may start to feel resistance, or the snake will slow down. This is a sign that you’re reaching the blockage, and it’s causing you to stop. Push the shaft with some force to help the snake loosen up the blockage. Continue twisting the handle in a clockwise manner until the snake clears the drain.

Don’t use force but keep winding and unwinding the plumbing snake so that it can wear down the clog.

Step 6: Break up or pull out the clog

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

As you continue working to fix the clog, try pulling it up or break it into pieces. Rotate the snake in a counterclockwise direction to retract it and see what’s blocking your drain. If it’s possible, you should retract the clog instead of pushing it down the drain. If the clog is something solid, it may end up making matters worse.

Step 7: Flush the toilet to test

How to Use a Toilet Snake Properly?

If you’re sure that the clog has been removed or pushed down the drain, you can flush the toilet and see if your work has been rewarded. If not, you should try and repeat the same process. It is important to drain the water from the toilet bowl and tank

Step 8: Dump the waste and clean the snake.

After you’ve cleared the clog, you should clean all the items that you have used. Rinse and sanitize the snake after every use. Before removing the toilet snake after unclogging the toilet, you should add toilet cleaner and flush the toilet with the snake in it. This will help to clear any mess on it before you rinse it using your garden hose outside.

Your work is done, and the clog should be a thing of the past. But if the plumbing snake fails to work, you should contact a professional plumber.

How to prevent clogs in the future

  • Never put non-soluble items in the toilets. This includes bottles, hair, pads, toys, condoms, and even clothes. Only toilet paper towels and waste should go down the drain.
  • Always make sure that the water level in the toilet bowl and tank is at the recommended level. If the water level is low, the toilet may not push down all the waste as needed, leading to clogging.
  • Don’t use excess tissue after a long call. Many clogs are caused by using excess tissue that finds a hard time going down the drain. Besides, you can flush twice if you think you have placed a lot of tissue in the toilet.
  • Keep your toilet clean regularly. Give your toilet a thorough clean every week. These will help clear anything lingering in the drain and break it up before it becomes a clog. Use substances like vinegar and baking soda during a thorough cleaning.


Even if a plunger, vinegar, hot water, dish soap, & baking soda have failed to unclog your toilet, all hope is not lost. With a toilet snake, you can easily unclog your toilet quickly and straightforwardly. Ensure to follow the steps that we’ve provided above, and you won’t have to call a professional plumber to unblock your toilet.

Note that a toilet auger is a particular type of toilet snake. We hope you’ve received the help you’ve been looking for and can unclog your toilet without any trouble.

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