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How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

No one wants to mess with a clogged toilet. There’s never a convenient time for it to happen, and if you don’t have a plunger, it leaves you scratching your head about what to do. So, let’s take a look at how to unclog a toilet without a plunger. 

First Thing’s First: Is Your Toilet Overflowing?

Before we look at solutions, let’s prevent another problem. If your toilet is overflowing, your first step is to stop the flow of water. 

  1. Remove the tank lid and close the flapper. Unhook the chain that connects the handle to ensure the flapper stays flat. This prevents additional water from entering the bowl.
  2. Once the water level recedes, reattach the chain. 
  3. Avoid repeated flushing until you clear the stoppage. 

7 Ways to Unclog a Toilet

Generally, your best bet to handle a clog is a plumber or a drain snake. But, there are times when you don’t have access to one. 

Luckily, you have a few options with household items that are (or should be) common. None of these involve a plunger, but they can help you try to break through an unexpected clog. If you have a particularly stubborn clog, it’s time to call a plumber. 

unclog toilet with dish soap

1. Dish Soap

Head to the kitchen and grab some dish soap. As it works its way down the drain, it can help to lubricate the pipe so that debris can move more easily. Start with about half a cup. 

If you don’t have dish soap, you can also break up a small bar of soap into small pieces and drop them into the toilet

The difference with dish soap is that it can cut through grease, which helps it dissolve solids that may be causing the stoppage. You can also add some hot water to help the soap soak into the debris. 

2. Hot Water

Another easy tactic to try when you want to figure out how to unclog a toilet without a plunger is to put hot water into the bowl. The hot water can help loosen and dislodge a blockage

Fill a bucket with around a gallon of hot water (not boiling water) from the tub or sink. Then, pour it into the bowl. 

Tip: If your bowl is full of water already, this isn’t the best solution. Let the water drain (if it can) a bit before you attempt this. 

3. DIY Drain Snake with a Wire Hanger

A stubborn clog may require a manual solution to remove whatever is down there. While a drain snake is a great tool, if you don’t have a plunger, you probably don’t have one of those either. 

Without a plunger, you can unravel a wire hanger and bend it straight. Then, push one end down into the drain to prod the debris. 

Ideally, you can break up the debris this way. Another tactic is to form one end into a hook to grab and pull the blockage. This may break it up or bring it out. 

using baking soda to clear a drain

4. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another home remedy for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger is a concoction of vinegar and baking soda. 

  • Before you add this solution, make sure the bowl is about halfway full. 
  • Measure a cup of baking soda and pour it into the bowl. 
  • Next, pour in two cups of white vinegar, creating a fizzy reaction. 

As it fizzes and moves through the bowl, you may notice the water level drop. That means your blockage is starting to clear. 

Tip: You can also use Epsom salt to produce a similar fizz. 

5. Force Airflow with a Plastic Bottle

Another tactic is to use a plastic water bottle to force the blockage through. This is the same general concept of a plunger. 

  • Fill an empty 2-liter bottle with warm water. 
  • Cover the opening with your gloved thumb. 
  • Invert the bottle and position the opening into the mouth of the drain. 
  • Remove your thumb and use both hands to squeeze the bottle. 

Forcing this warm water into the drain can help to dislodge the stoppage. 

Tip: Wear a face mask, goggles, and rubber gloves to protect yourself against splashback. 

6. Drain Cleaner

If you don’t have this at home, you can head to a nearby store, and many heavy-duty cleaners can help bust through a clog. However, it’s important to know that these may take a few hours (or all night) to work. 

Also, if you have a septic tank at your home, make sure you choose a septic-safe cleaner. 

7. Call a Professional Plumber

If you’ve exhausted these tactics, it’s time to call in the big guns. A professional plumber can find the real cause behind a stopped toilet and clear it. At MET Plumbing, our technicians have the equipment, experience, and expertise to identify and address the stoppage

how to prevent a toilet clog

How to Prevent Future Clogs

Know that you know how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, you hopefully have a functional toilet again. Toilets are built to handle toilet paper and human waste. With a little care, you can prevent future blockages. 

  • Avoid flushing products that aren’t meant for a toilet, including tampons, paper towels, and other products. 
  • Don’t flush too much toilet paper. If you feel like you have to use a significant amount, flush incrementally. 
  • Be sure that children in the home know to keep toys and other items out of the toilet. Harder than it sounds, but the toilet is not a toy. 

Do You Know How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger With Another Tactic?

With a few common household items, you can typically unclog a toilet. In the future, it’s probably better to have a plunger on hand, just in case. And remember, if you run into a particularly stubborn stoppage, call in a professional plumber from MET Plumbing LLC.

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