How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger: 13 Ways

When the toilet clogs, we frantically try to find ways to unclog it and the first tool we turn to is the plunger. What if you don’t have a plunger or it doesn’t work for this particular clog? Lucky for you, there are many different methods you can use to unclog the toilet without a plunger. 

Use dish soap, hot water, baking soda and vinegar, squirt gun, plastic bottle, wire hanger, drain cleaners, Epsom salt, toilet auger, toilet brush, and a wet/dry vacuum to unclog a toilet without a plunger. When using these plunger alternatives, avoid harsh chemicals which might damage the toilet.

You will know your toilet is clogged when it emits air bubbles, takes time to wash down the dirt, the toilet bowl is filled with water, there is a foul smell indoors, or there is an overflowing gully trap. Clogs can be caused by toilet paper, solids, or a lack of venting. The solutions to a clogged toilet are surprisingly simple as shown below.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

How to unclog a toilet without a plunger

Unclog your toilet without a plunger with the following methods:

Method Procedure 
Dish soapPour 1/2 cup of dish soap into the toilet then flush with a gallon of hot water after 30 minutes.
Hot waterPour a gallon of hot water into the toilet at once.
Baking soda and vinegarPour 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of white vinegar into the toilet then flush with a gallon of hot water after 15 minutes.
Squirt gun toilet drainerRemove water from the toilet bowl with a squirt gun then flush it with a gallon of hot water.
Wire hangerUntwist a wire hanger leaving the hook on one end intact. On the unhooked end, tie a piece of cloth. Push the end with the knob into the toilet seat several times until it dislodges the clog. Flush with a gallon of hot water.
Plastic bottleFill a 1-liter (33.8 oz) plastic bottle with warm to hot water then place your thumb on the opening of the bottle. Place the bottle’s opening into the opening of the toilet bowl. Remove the thumb from the bottle then quickly squeeze the bottle to push water at high pressure into the drain. 
Drain cleanersPour a drain cleaner down the toilet drain then flush as directed.
Bleach and powdered soapPour 1 cup of powdered dish soap and 2 cups of bleach into the toilet bowl. After 30 minutes, flush with hot water.
Epsom saltAdd 1/4 cup of Epsom salt to the water in the toilet bowl then flush with hot water after 30 minutes.
Toilet brushRepeatedly push the toilet brush into the opening of the toilet bowl towards the drain.
Toilet augerInsert the toilet auger as deep as you can into the toilet bowl then crank the end to rotate it. Flush with hot water after that. 
Wet/dry vacuumEmpty the water in the toilet bowl then wrap an old rag around the hose of the vacuum to create a tight seal. Place the hose of the vacuum into the opening of the toilet bowl then suck out the clog. 

1. Dish Soap

Pour ½ cup of dish soap into the toilet. After 30 minutes, flush the toilet with a gallon of hot water to unclog it. At times, you may need to leave the soap in the toilet bowl overnight for it to work. Soap cleans dirt and grease in the clog and lubricates it making it much easier to flush it down. 

If you don’t have dish soap, cut up small pieces of bar soap, put them in warm water then stir to make a soapy solution. Shampoo also works great for a blocked toilet. Use it the same way as the dish soap. If the first trial doesn’t work, repeat until the soap dislodges the clog.

Dawn is the best dish soap to unclog your toilet with. 

2. Hot Water 

Pour a gallon of hot water down the drain to unclog it. Using hot water to unclog a toilet works for clogs that can be softened or dissolved by the hot water. Avoid using boiling water since it can damage the porcelain of the toilet seat and even crack it. 

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar into the toilet then flush with hot water after 15 minutes. You will observe some bubbles and fizzing sounds as the mixture works on the clog. 

The mixture of baking soda and white vinegar is a natural way to unclog a toilet as both substances don’t harm the environment. This clogged toilet solution works in a short time and doesn’t damage your toilet bowl. 

4. Squirt Gun Toilet Drainer

Suck the excess water from the toilet using a squirt gun then flush the toilet with a gallon of hot water. The squirt gun removes the excess water which might make it hard to work on the clog. This is often the case when the toilet bowl is full of water after the clog. 

5. Wire Hanger

Untwist a wire hanger leaving the hook on one end intact. On the unhooked end, tie a piece of cloth to increase the surface area and protect the surface of the toilet bowl. Push the end with the knob into the toilet seat several times until it dislodges the clog. Flush with hot water afterward. 

A wire hanger is a great plunger alternative since it goes directly to the clog and dislodges it. This can help save your wax ring from the inward pressure created by a plunger. 

The hooked end of the wire hanger remains that way to act as a handle for when you want to pull the wire out of the toilet seat. 

6. Plastic Bottle

Fill a 1-liter (33.8 oz) plastic bottle with warm to hot water then place your thumb on the opening of the bottle. Place the bottle’s opening into the opening of the toilet bowl. Remove the thumb from the bottle then quickly squeeze the bottle to push water at high pressure into the drain. 

The water dislodges the clog with pressure. It’s also hot and will soften and dissolve it away. Using a water bottle is a great DIY to unclog a toilet since it uses easily available materials and works on the most common toilet clogs. 

7. Drain Cleaners

Pour a drain cleaner down the toilet drain then flush as directed. Some drain cleaners don’t need flushing. Always read the instructions on the drain cleaner to know how it works and if it’ll damage your toilet bowl or not. 

A drain cleaner makes a great toilet declogger especially if it’s the one for the type of clog in your toilet. Some clogged toilet products may be harsh and damage the look of your toilet seat. Go for the ones that are mild and approved for use on porcelain surfaces. 

There are many drain cleaners to pour down a toilet to unclog with the best being Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver. While these cleaners work in the toilet, avoid using toilet bowl cleaners in the shower as they are too harsh for shower surfaces.

8. Bleach and Powdered Soap

Pour 1 cup of powdered dish soap and 2 cups of bleach into the toilet bowl. After 30 minutes, flush with hot water. The bleach and hot water break down the clog while the dish soap lubricates it making it easy to flush down. Dish soap also breaks down grime, dirt, and grease from the clog.

Bleach and powdered dish soap make an easy clogged toilet fix since both items are easily available and can be found in most homes. 

9. Epsom Salt

Add ¼ cup of Epsom salt to the water in the toilet bowl then flush with hot water after 30 minutes. Epsom salts will produce some fizzing sound when working on the clog with the hot water helping the clog down the drain. Epsom salts make for a great clogged toilet remedy since they work fast and don’t damage the toilet seat. If you don’t have Epsom salt, use a bath bomb instead.

A mix of ¼ cup of Epsom salt, 2 cups of baking soda, and 10 spoons of dish soap provides better results. Alongside dish soap, baking soda, and white vinegar, Epsom salts are among the most used home remedies for clogged toilets. 

10. Toilet Brush

Repeatedly push the toilet brush into the opening of the toilet bowl towards the drain. This creates pressure on the clog and is a way to unclog a toilet fast and without a plunger. Basically, you are plunging the toilet without a plunger when you use a toilet brush to unclog a toilet.

11. Toilet Auger

Insert the toilet auger as deep as you can into the toilet bowl then crank the end to rotate it. Flush with hot water after that. 

The toilet auger eats away at the clog making it easier to wash it down the drain. 

12. Wet/Dry Vacuum

Empty the water in the toilet bowl then wrap an old rag around the hose of the vacuum to create a tight seal. Place the hose of the vacuum into the opening of the toilet bowl then suck out the clog. 

This method only works with wet/dry vacuums and not normal vacuum cleaners. It’s a fast way to unclog a toilet since it only takes a few minutes. 

13. Plastic Wrap

Cover the toilet bowl in tight plastic wrap then flush the toilet. As it bulges upwards, push it down with both arms to force the clog down the drain. This is similar to plunging the toilet but without a plunger.

You can combine some of these methods for better results. For example, you can use dish soap with the toilet brush as a makeshift plunger then use hot water to flush the toilet. Dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar, and other items are simple substances you can use to unstop a commode without harm to the toilet or environment. 

At times, simply waiting can help do away with the clog. The water in the toilet bowl will exert pressure on the clog which may move down the drain naturally. If none of these methods work, call for a plumber since the clog might be in the drainpipe or an item that can’t be flushed away easily. 

How to Prevent Toilet Clogs

Some tips to use to prevent toilet clogs include:

  • Don’t flush too much toilet paper in the toilet. 
  • Keep toys and other solid items away from the toilet. 
  • Don’t flush tampons, wet wipes and diapers down the drain. 
  • Only flush items that can dissolve in water.
  • If you flush the toilet and it doesn’t wash away the dirt, avoid flushing repeatedly since the water will fill up the toilet bowl and overflow. 
  • Vent your toilet to provide a balance of air between the drain pipes and the air outside. 

With these tips, you will easily avoid clogs in your toilet. Even then, toilet clogs can occur due to other aspects such as poor venting. For such a case, determine whether your plumbing system is properly vented or not. If not, vent it yourself or call for an expert.

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