How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Bathroom Toilet

We all hope it won’t happen, but inevitable, it does – your toilet backs up, and you don’t have a plunger.  What do you do?

This is one of those situations where it’s easy to panic, but you have to stay calm, think fast, and get smart.  So, the first thing you’ll need to do is turn off the water supply to the toilet as quick as you can. This will prevent the toilet from overflowing, pouring out who knows what kind of unthinkable toilet debris onto your floor, and save you from the cleanup that follows.  

From there, not all hope is lost.  There are other ways to unclog a toilet without the aid of a trusty plunger at-hand.  So, how does one go about moving things along again? Here’s what you can do:

  • Step 1: Relieve – If your toilet starts overflowing, you’ll need to bailout, or manually remove the water to make room for the excess running water so that you can remove the blockage without the added mess.  Use something like a bucket to scoop as much water out of the bowl as you can.
  • Step 2: Lubricate – One way to get things moving down the pipe is to lubricate the pipe enough to allow debris to smoothly carry away.  You can try a few squirts of dish soap or shampoo to smooth the road.
  • Step 3: Loosen– To loosen up the stuck debris, gently pour a gallon of hot water into the bowl.  But, don’t use boiling water, as hot water can crack the porcelain of your toilet bowl.  You want the temperature to be hot enough that you could drink a hot beverage comfortably.  After you pour it in the bowl, let it sit for 20 minutes before attempting to flush again. The hot water should break up solids and toilet paper, and the soap will help it slide down the pipe.  If you still can’t flush after several minutes, try repeating these first three steps, or move on to the next.
  • Step 4: DIY – If the first three don’t work, you might need to shake things up.  From your kitchen, grab 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar, and pour them in the toilet bowl.  This mixture will fizz and bubble to help break things up. Just, don’t forget to remove all of the extra water so that it doesn’t start fizzing onto your floor and so that the mixture remains concentrated.    
  • Step 5: Push – If steps 1-4 don’t work, it may be time to call your plumber.  But, if you want to make one last effort, you can try to gently push the debris down the pipe with an unraveled wire hanger until you can successfully flush.  Just, be gentle so that you don’t scratch the porcelain of the toilet. You’ll want to twist and push the wire in the drain in a circular motion to break down the obstruction (if you can reach it, that is).  

If, after all of your efforts, your toilet remains clogged, just throw in the towel, and call in your trusty plumber.  Sometimes, these things just call for backup. So, save yourself the trouble, and save your floors, by calling in our professional services.  We’ll get things back up and flowing in no time!


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