How to Fix a Clogged Toilet without a Plunger
If you’ve ever accidentally clogged a toilet, you know how gross it can be to get it working again. The fix is relatively simple to perform with a plunger, but if you don’t have one, it may be challenging to figure out how to unclog the toilet. For those of us who don’t have a plunger but have urgent clogs that need a quick fix, going to the store to buy a new plunger isn’t an option.
Luckily, the plumbing pros at All Dry USA have a few recommendations so that you can do the job with little to no effort and no mess. If you’ve ever wondered how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, here are five methods you can try.
1. Dish Soap
Besides its cleansing and sanitizing properties, dish soap has a slippery quality. Few people know that this property of dish soap can be useful in resolving toilet clogs.
For this method, put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from bacteria. Pour a half-cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl (do not flush) and let it sit for a few minutes so that it can move down the drain and reach the clog. After it has sat for a couple of minutes, flush the toilet. The soap should act as a lubricant and will allow the clog to slide down the drain so that everything can get moving again.
If this doesn’t work (and you’re not opposed to using the rest of your dish soap), pour another half-cup down the drain and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Try flushing after this attempt to see if the clog moves down the drain. If it doesn’t, you will want to move onto the next method of unclogging.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Remember the classic volcano science project from primary school? Here’s where you can put that knowledge to use.
Put on some gloves to protect your hands. These chemicals aren’t too abrasive to human skin, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, the gloves will protect your hands from the toilet water. Make sure that the toilet bowl is mostly empty by scooping out some water and pouring it into a bucket. Then, pour baking soda (one cup) followed by vinegar (one cup) down the drain. This mixture should bubble up and loosen the clog if you do it correctly.
After a half-hour, flush the mixture and see if it worked. If it didn’t work, and the toilet is still clogged or draining very slowly, try pouring some boiling hot water down the drain to follow the mixture then flush again. Ideally, the hot water will help to dissolve the clog that the baking soda and vinegar mixture has helped to break up or loosen. Be careful to pour the boiling water down the drain and not directly on the porcelain to reduce the risk of cracking it.
If the toilet is still clogged, or the toilet bowl is filling up with water again, this means the process didn’t work. At this point, you will need to try another method of unclogging.
3. Toilet Brush
If you’re stuck with a clogged toilet and don’t have a plunger, but you have a toilet brush, you may be in luck!
Put on your trusty gloves again and grab your toilet brush. Angle the bristles down the drain and start moving it up and down to try and reach the clog. One of three things can happen with this method:
- The toilet brush pushes the clog to dislodge it so that you can flush it.
- Moving the toilet brush up and down produces enough pressure in the drain to loosen up the clog and get things moving.
- The clog doesn’t move with pressure, or the brush is short of touching it, and you’ll need to come up with another method.
If this works, follow up by flushing the drain with warm water.
This method is slightly unpleasant to carry out, and if the brush is long enough to touch the source of the clog, it will very likely get dirty. This outcome may result in you wanting to trash the toilet brush entirely.
However, if you’re really in a bind, this method could work. Besides, it’s worth trying if the previous three methods don’t work.
If using a toilet brush to unclog your drain doesn’t work, move onto the next method: creating your own plumbing snake.
4. DIY Plumber’s Snake
We’ve established that some people don’t have plungers in their house, but it’s even less likely that you have a plumber’s snake.
A plumber’s snake, also known as a drain snake, is a long and flexible auger that professionals use to dislodge clogs in drains. They’re usually in reserve for especially severe clogs that a person cannot resolve with a plunger. Making your own plumber’s snake is reasonably straightforward if you have a wire coat hanger that you can re-purpose.
Wear your gloves. Unwind the wire hanger so that it’s completely straight but keep the hook at the end. Wrap a small rag around the hook to protect the porcelain in the toilet from damage or scratches, then gently push the hanger down the drain until you reach the clog. If you can push the clog, do so until the water starts to drain. Finally, flush the toilet to add pressure and clear out the drain.
This simple but effective method can get to the source of the clog without getting your hands too dirty. However, if this doesn’t work, it’s time to move onto our last DIY method of unclogging a toilet drain.
5. Use a Plastic Bottle
This method can get messy, so as always, make sure to wear your gloves. As an extra precaution, you can put towels around the toilet and wear old dirty clothes in case the water splashes on the floor or you.
Start by removing as much water as possible from the toilet. This precaution will minimize the splash risk. Use a small container to scoop out water and put it into a bucket. Next, fill a big plastic bottle with warm water.
Put your thumb over the bottle opening and carefully place the water bottle into the toilet top-side down. Remove your finger and place the bottle opening over the water outlet. Your hands will be in the water, which is why you’re wearing gloves.
Quickly and firmly squeeze the bottle from the middle so that the water in it comes rushing out and adds pressure to the drain line. This pressure should be enough to dislodge the clog and get the water to drain immediately.
If this strategy doesn’t work, try again using warmer water. This time, compress the bottle (instead of squeezing it) from its bottom to the opening. This approach can add more pressure, and it may be easier to accomplish than squeezing the bottle from the middle.
If you’ve tried all of these methods, and nothing has worked, it may be time for method #6 below.
Call the Pros
The obvious solution for how to unclog a toilet may be to purchase a plunger, but if that’s not an option, or you don’t have one on-hand, it’s not impossible to unclog your toilet without one. The process may be challenging to accomplish, but with enough time and effort, it is entirely possible.
However, if none of these methods work, then you may have a particularly tricky clog that is better left to the plumbing experts. There’s no shame in calling a professional to deal with the problem. Any issue in your home can benefit from calling in a professional who has the knowledge to fix any plumbing issues you may have, including clogged sink drains or toilets.
Call an expert for your plumbing, water, and contracting needs to ensure a job well-done and at the highest quality. You won’t even need your rubber gloves! All you will have to do is give a ring, sit back, and relax as your clogged drain issues come to a resolution. Call the experts at All Dry USA for all of your toilet unclogging needs.