14 Tips to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

What should you do if your toilet is clogged and you don’t have a plunger? There has to be some way to handle a clogged toilet situation if your plunger is MIA, right? Yes! There are quite a lot. A clogged toilet is an emergency in its own right; therefore, there should be more than one solution for times when you don’t have a plunger. If you’ve dealt with one or are dealing with one right now, I’m sure you agree, and you’ll forever appreciate the blessing of smooth flushing.

If you don’t have a plunger, your next instinct might be to call a plumber. But if you’re like me, you will try every trick in the book before you call a plumber and pay unplanned bills. Sometimes, it is even too late for the plumber to show up, or you can’t get any plumbers to come around because it’s Sunday, or it’s the holidays. No plunger, no plumber, no problem! We’ve compiled a list of useful hacks to unblock your toilet nonetheless.

Before we proceed to discuss these tips, you should know that consistent clogging may be a symptom of a more severe toilet issue. If you’re experiencing frequent toilet clogging, you can read our blog on why your toilet clogs. If the clog causes an overflow over the toilet seat, you should remove some of the water before trying hacks that involve adding liquid to the toilet bowl.

Here are 14 ways to unclog your toilet without a plunger:

1. The hold-flush technique

The hold-flush technique

We’ll start with the easiest of all our unclogging tips. Clogs can be caused by weak flushes. If you only turned the flush-knob halfway, you may assume the waste is entirely gone when it disappears. However, there is a very high tendency of the large excreta getting lodged in the toilet trap, which is likely to cause clogging.

If you notice the water has risen a little higher than expected, turn the knob completely when you flush again. When pressure is applied, the flapper stays open; this means the full power of the water may be all you need to get things moving. If you have a dual-flush toilet, flush with the button that releases more water and hold it down.

2. Flush with a pail of water

Flush with a pail of water

This technique can be rewarding or damaging to your unclogging efforts. This is because if it does not work, you would have filled now your toilet to the brim. If it does, it will forcefully displace the clog and force it through the pipe. So how do we go about this? The goal here is to flush with enough pressure with the hope that the clog gets dislodged.

Fill a bucket with water, stand close your toilet bowl with the bucket of water raised high, the higher, the better for this method. Flush with minimal speed. The minimal creates the pressure needed to displace the clogged mass. If you notice that the toilet is filling up instead, stop yourself midway and try other methods.

3. Use a cloth hanger

You probably think this technique is old-school, but it can be really useful for obstructions that are close to the toilet trap space. Get a wire hanger; cover the wire part with tape so you won’t damage the porcelain of the bowl. After this, push the hanger into the hole; shake it around for a minute, then flush.

4. Toilet auger

Toilet auger

This tool is mostly used by plumbers, and if you have one lying around in your home, then you are in luck. However, if your toilet happens to get clogged often, you should consider getting a toilet auger since it works better than a plunger.

A toilet auger works like a tiny snake that goes in the trap space to displace the clog. Its flexibility allows it to adjust to the bends in the toilet bowl without scratching your toilet. It’s more like a modern and more effective version of the hanger technique.

5. Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda

Let’s face it, dealing with a clogged toilet is somewhat messy, and you might want a more laid-back technique instead of coming in contact with the mess.

Well, pouring a mixture of two cups of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda into your clogged toilet bowl tends to dissolve your clog. It’s advisable to leave it in your toilet for 2-3 hours before you flush. You can use this mixture as a cleaning agent for your toilet bowl after the storm settles.

6. Warm water and dish-washing soap

This is another common technique, strangely, many people don’t know about this. All you need is a bucket of warm water and dish-washing detergent. This dish-washing detergent coats the inner walls of the pipe, serving as a lubricant while the warm water dissolves the clog.

The soap goes in first while the water is heating. When the water has adequately heated, pour it carefully into the toilet bowl so you won’t get burnt. Leave the mixture in the toilet bowl for 15-25 minutes before flushing.

7. Using a plastic bottle

Using a plastic bottle

You may consider this technique too hands-on for your convenience; however, it may be your way out of a clogged toilet situation. First, turn off the flapper.

You would need to wear some gloves because you will get your hands dirty. Use a bowl to scoop the water out of your toilet bowl. Pour warm water into a bottle and cover it with your thumb.

Guide the bottle down your toilet bowl and remove your thumb and press the bottle. This forces the water out, and hopefully the clog, through the waste pipe.

8. Epsom salts

Epsom salts

This technique will be of immense help if the blocked toilet is not yours. Most homeowners have Epsom salt in the bathroom, and it is often referred to as a bathroom bomb.

To tackle a clogged toilet, drop some Epsom salt into the toilet bowl. This helps in dissolving whatever clog that is lodged in the waste pipe. Leave it for a few minutes before you flush. Epsom salt is quick and reliable; you might want to get it for yourself if you don’t already have it.

9. Toilet brush

Toilet brush

This technique will work if the clog is lodged close to the waste trap. However, you will need to get down, force the brush through the waste trap, and give it a few forceful pushes. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s much better than stinking up the house while you wait for a plumber.

10. Squirt gun drainer

Squirt gun drainer

This is particularly helpful if you’re looking to drain the water in the toilet bowl. With a sponge, you will likely use long hours, but this automatic tool saves you the stress of soaking and squeezing.

After you have drained the water in the toilet bowl, unclogging becomes quite easy. After draining, you can try other tips with a much higher chance of success.

11. Rubber gloves

Rubber gloves

You probably frowned at this method when you read the heading. However, if a large clog is wedged within the waste pipe, then employing this hands-on technique may be your only ticket out of the messy situation.

The fact is; you will be quite amazed at what you might find; no pun intended. Plumbers tend to find some strange things when they are fixing or plugging a toilet. As a tip, you can add a nose mask to the list of things you need for the job.

12. Strong chemicals

Strong chemicals

If you’re familiar with chemicals that contain neutralizing agents/properties, then you can resort to using them as they may work as dissolving agents. Before you use any chemical, check online, or ask someone who knows about chemicals, so you don’t damage your toilet pipes.

13. Using a wet or dry vacuum

Using a wet or dry vacuum

This technique isn’t common but it is effective. Get your vacuum cleaner ready; fix the nozzle inside the hole of the toilet bowl. You should also make ensure that the nozzle is tightly secured to the vacuum cleaner so the toilet’s content won’t leak.

Once you make sure of this, you can proceed to suck out the clog. All the culprits might not be caught in the vacuum, but after vacuuming you should be able to flush the rest.

14. Call a plumber

Call a plumber

Let’s face it; not all of us enjoy DIY activities. If this is you, feel free to hire a plumber to unclog your toilet. You should also note that hiring a plumber to fix your toilet may be somewhat expensive.

We know you probably read this blog because you didn’t want to call a plumber, but if none of the techniques appeal to you, don’t leave the poop in the toilet; call a plumber now.   Also, we recommend calling a plumber if you use a different type of toilet including upflush toilets.

Final thoughts

There you have it. Most of the tips mentioned in this blog are homemade and cheap. These techniques can provide a temporary solution until you’re able to get a plumber. Also, chemicals work well, but you should be wary about the after-effects. Do not hesitate to call a plumber if things get out of hands.

Have you dealt with a clogged toilet before? Tell us what worked for you in the comments section below.

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