How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

How-To Guides, Maintenance & Repairs

A clogged toilet can be quite an annoying situation. Specially, if you happen to find yourself without a plunger. And although a plunger is the easiest way to unclog a toilet fast, there are a number of household items that you can use to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Let’s find out.

Use Hot Water to Unclog a Toilet

Pouring hot water down the toilet bowl can be an easy way to unclog a toilet without a plunger becasue the hot water may help dissolve a simple clog that sits near the top of the drain line.

However, although hot water may be a simple solution, it may not help remove bigger clogs that are further down the toilet line, or clogs made up of large amounts of toilet paper.

It is also important to keep in mind not to use boiling water, as the heat from boiling water may cause the toilet bowl to crack or it may also damage your drain line.

This is how to use hot water to unclog a toilet:

1. Pour hot water from the sink, shower or tub into an easy-to-carry bucket or container.

2. Carefully pour the hot water down the toilet.

3. Repeat as needed until the clog is able to be flushed down the toilet.

How to Unclog a Toilet with Dish Soap

Dish soap is specially made to break up grease and hardened food particles stuck to dishes and silverware.

If poured down the toilet at the first signs of a clog, these same properties can work to break down a clog down the toilet bowl and eventually unclog the toilet. 

Here is how:

1. Using liquid dish soap, pour a generous amount down the toilet bowl.

2. Wait for an hour or two for the mixture to break up the clog.

3. Repeat as needed.

Bonus Tip!

For an added boost of power, you can combine both of the methods mentioned above. The combination of hot water and the dish soap can be more successful in breaking up the clog.

Use a Large Bucket

Pouring water from a bucket or large container can also help unclog a toilet fast because the force from the water can dislodge any blockages and pushing them down the drain line.

Here is how:

1. First ensure that the water level in the toilet bowl is low enough to be able to add more water without overflowing the toilet bowl.

*If it happens that the toilet is clogged to the point that no water is being drained down the line and adding more water can cause it to overfill, it is better to use another one of the methods covered on this article.

2. The more water you can pour down at once, the most likely that you will be able to dislodge the clog.

3. With a bucket full of water, pour the water into the bowl from about 1 foot above the toilet seat.

Pouring the water from a higher distance will ensure there is enough down force to push the clog down the drain line.

4. Repeat as needed.

How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Unlike harsh chemicals, using a simple and natural mixture of vinegar and baking soda can help dissolve and loosen any blockages down the toilet line. 

1. Mix 1 cup of Baking Soda and 2 cups of White Vinegar in a measuring cup or heat resistant container.

2. As soon as you mix the two materials and they start to react, pour the mixture down the toilet bowl.

3. Wait for an hour or two for the mixture to break up the clog.

4. Flush!

5. Repeat as needed. 

How to Unclog a Toilet with Epsom Salt

Epsom salt can be used to create a similar reaction than baking soda and vinegar, in the fact that when mixed with the water already in the toilet bowl, it creates a reaction that can help dissolve or break up a clog in the toilet.

This is how to unclog a toilet with epsom salt:

1. Pour about a 1 cup of Epsom salt in the toilet bowl.

2. Preferably, if you have a toilet brush, stir the Epsom salt until it dissolves.

3. Wait for an hour or two for the mixture to break up the clog.

4. Flush!

5. Repeat as needed.

How to Unclog a Toilet with a Coat Hanger or Hook

In some instances, you may also be able to unclog a toilet with a coat hanger by breaking up the clog.

This is how to unclog a toilet with a wire hanger:

1. Find and straighten a wire coat hanger as much as possible. Then create two hooks at each end. One to be inserted down the toilet bowl and the other for better grip when holding the wire.

2. In order to prevent scratching of the toilet bowl surface, wrap and tie a piece of cloth or a piece of sponge to the end of the wire that you will be inserting down the toilet.

3. Being careful not to drop the hook down in the bowl, insert the hook down the drain and attempt to break up any blockages.

4. Flush!

5. Repeat as needed.

How to Unclog a Toilet with a Toilet Snake or Auger

If you are unable to unclog a toilet with a wire hanger, it could mean that the blockage is further down the drain line.

For that, a Plumber’s Snake or Drain Auger can help catch and remove any unwanted clogs further down the toilet line.

This is how to unclog a toilet with a toilet snake:

1. Insert the Auger’s line down the toilet, slowly, feeling for any resistance. Resistance means the Auger has hit a clog.

2. Once you are able to feel the clog, turn the handle, in order to catch the clog firmly.

3. Continue to lower the Auger down the drain as it captures more debris.

4. Once you feel less resistance, it means you are passed the blockage. At this time pull out the Auger slowly, ensuring not to lose the clog back into the drain.

5. Flush the toilet a couple of times to ensure all blockages and clogs are flush down the pipe.

Tips to Prevent Future Toilet Clogs

The toilet is made specifically to flush human waste and toilet paper only, so preventing a clogged toilet is all about avoiding the accumulation of large blockages down the line.

Any foreign objects should not be flushed in order to prevent unwanted clogs.

With that said, some clogs may be unavoidable, and although there are many ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger, having a toilet plunger handy can save you a lot of time.

We hope these tips helped you learn how to unclog a toilet without a plunger. We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments.

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