August 20, 2023

How to use a plunger

3 minute read

A person wearing a yellow hard hat is inside a toilet bowl with a plunger resting on the toilet seat, demonstrating how to use a plunger. The logo "Doran Plumbing & Drainage" is shown in the upper right corner.

The art of plunging!

When it comes to tackling minor plumbing issues, having a plunger on hand can be a game-changer. This humble tool is a homeowner’s best friend when dealing with clogged drains and toilets. However, using a plunger effectively requires more than just a bit of elbow grease. In this blog, we will delve into the art of plunging and equip you with the knowledge to become a plumbing hero in your home.

1. Choose the Right Plunger:

Not all plungers are created equal. For the task at hand, you’ll want a “cup” or “sink” plunger rather than a “flange” or “toilet” plunger. The cup plunger has a flat, wide rubber surface, making it ideal for use on flat drains, sinks, and bathtubs. The toilet plunger, on the other hand, has an extension flange specifically designed to fit into the curved drain of a toilet.

2. Safety First:

Before you begin, take a moment to prepare the area. Lay down some old towels or newspapers to catch any water that might splash. If you’re working on a toilet, turn off the water supply valve to prevent any unexpected flushing.

3. Assess the Situation:

Determine the type of clog you’re dealing with. If it’s a sink or bathtub, the blockage is likely due to hair, soap scum, or food particles. In the case of a toilet, it’s usually too much toilet paper or an object that shouldn’t have been flushed.

4. Create a Seal:

For a sink or bathtub, fill the fixture with enough water to cover the rubber part of the plunger. If you’re working on a toilet, it should have enough water to submerge the cup of the plunger. Position the plunger over the drain and press down firmly to create a seal.

5. Plunge with Precision:

Using quick, forceful thrusts, push and pull the plunger up and down. The goal is to create a strong pressure difference to dislodge the clog. Be careful not to break the seal between the plunger and the drain, as that can reduce the effectiveness of your efforts.

6. Be Patient:

Sometimes, stubborn clogs require persistent plunging. Don’t give up too soon. Continue plunging for several minutes if necessary, and you may feel the clog start to give way.

7. Check for Success:

After a few minutes of plunging, test the drain or toilet by running water. If it drains more quickly or flushes properly, congratulations! You’ve successfully cleared the clog. If not, repeat the plunging process or consider using other methods, like a plumbing snake or drain cleaner.

8. Preventative Measures:

To avoid clogs in the future, be mindful of what goes down your drains. Use drain strainers to catch hair and debris in sinks and bathtubs, and avoid flushing non-flushable items down the toilet.

9. Cleaning and Maintenance:

After using the plunger, rinse it thoroughly with hot water and disinfect it with a mild cleaner. Store it in a dry, clean place for future use.


Mastering the art of plunging is a valuable skill that can save you time and money on plumbing services. Remember to choose the right plunger, create a proper seal, and be patient while plunging. Regular maintenance and prevention can also help keep your drains and toilets flowing smoothly. With this guide, you’re now equipped to handle common plumbing clogs like a pro!

Penetrator Blocked Drains Logo
The blocked drain specialist – servicing Brisbane

Penetrator (aka Gavin) has been plumbing for over 20 years.  He has worked alongside other plumbers and in both commercial and residential plumbing.  His passion within plumbing has always been the challenge of a blocked drain…He thrives on defeating the blockages and will continue until he is satisfied he has 110% done the best he can.  His work ethic is unsurpassable and his workmanship is second to none. If there’s a blocked drain – Penetrator is your man!

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