How to Clean a Toilet Bowl Trap

A toilet bowl's trap is a curved pipe that connects the toilet to the plumbing.

The trap is a common location for clogs, most of which are too deep to remove with a plunger. Cleaning a toilet bowl trap requires a closet auger, which is a snake-like plumbing tool that you feed into the trap to remove clogs. Once you clean the trap with the auger, the toilet should flush normally.

Hold the closet auger with the crank in one hand, and the bottom of the shaft in the other hand. Hold it over the toilet so the end of the snake points upward.

Lower the bent end of the snake into the center of the toilet bowl. Turn the crank of the shaft and feed the auger into the piping. Continue turning the crank until all three feet of the auger is in the trap.

Reverse the direction of your crank turning and pull up on the auger to retrieve the entire length of the snake. Flush the toilet.

Lower the snake, tip pointing upward, into the bottom of the toilet again. Turn the crank and feed the snake down the left side of the hole in the bottom of the toilet. Feed out the entire auger, then retrieve it.

Feed the auger into the bottom of the toilet, down the right side of the hole in the bottom. Retrieve the auger and flush the toilet again. The trap should now be completely cleaned out.

Things You Will Need

  • Closet auger

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.