1. Don’t keep trying the flush. If you’ve tried it once and it doesn’t flush properly, it’s blocked and flushed it again won’t help.
2. Locate the blockage. Lift the cover to see if the chamber is full of water. If it is, the blockage is further along the soil pipe. If the chamber is empty, the blockage is in the soil pipe between the loo and the chamber. You can try and clear any blockages in the pipes by using a drain rod or a wire clothes hanger (if this is unsuccessful, it may be time to call in a plumber!).
3. Use the plunger. A ball-shaped plunger is best as it’s shaped to seal the opening in the toilet bowl. Start with a gentle pressure to avoid pushing the blockage further down. Gradually increase the pressure you push and pull with until the water starts to recede. Add more water if needed and repeat. Flush the toilet to see if the flow has returned to normal.
4. Use a wire hanger. If you don’t have a plunger to hand, grab a wire hanger and unwind it so you have one piece of long wire. You can then use this to gently push the blockage clear; be careful though – you don’t want to scratch your toilet.