It is inevitable, either somebody flushes something down the toilet that is not meant to be flushed, or a larger than normal load causes your toilet to become clogged resulting in the water being trapped in the bowl. Depending how badly your toilet is clogged you will need either a plunger or a closet auger. You will also want to get a pair of rubber gloves and keep some towels handy in case things get messy.
Unclogging Your Toilet with a Plunger
Place your plunger in the toilet and make sure it fits around the drain in the toilet creating a seal.
Don't plunge hard on your first plunge as there will be air trapped in the bell of the plunger. Thrusting hard will cause the air to blow out around the seal and accompanying it will be some of the gross toilet water. Gently thrust your first plunge to allow the air to sneak out of your seal. If you thrust hard you are basically asking to make a big mess.
Once you've forced the air out of the seal, thrust in and out on the plunger in a vigorous manner. Thrusting the plunger causes the water to move both in and out of the drain pipes. In most cases you should be able to unclog the toilet relatively quickly, but in some cases it may take up to 20 plunges to get whatever is stuck to get unstuck.
Make sure adequate water stays in the toilet bowl to maintain the seal on the plunger. If the water gets too low, the suction will be non existent causing the plunger to just force air down the drain which won't result in an unclogged toilet.
Using a plunger to unclog your toilet should relieve at least 90% of most basic clogs. However, in those circumstances where it is not unclogging your toilet, you make have to reach for a closet auger!
Unclogging Your Toilet with a Closet Auger
Right now you are probably wondering what a Closet Auger is? Basically it is a short piece of coiled wire that runs through the inside of a piece of curved metal tubing designed to slide down your toilet without scratching the enamel. The idea is, you push the auger into the toilet until you break up whatever it is limiting the water from moving down the drain.
If you are going to the hardware store to buy the tool, make sure you grab a closet auger and not a cheaper toilet snake. The auger makes it a lot easier to apply force, and is less damaging to the porcelain. While snakes may be able to get deeper the majority of clogs are typically located around the first bend of the toilet piping.
To use your closet auger, manipulate the auger so it is down in the bend of the toilet. Once you feel like you may be hitting the clog, spin the coil to breakup any debris that is blocking your toilet. If you still can't unblock your toilet it is probably in your best interest to call a plumber. Your entire toilet may have to be removed to pull out the debris.
Quick Tip: Teach your kids not to throw toys down the toilet as they are the number one reported reason for toilet clogs!