How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

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16-12-2019, 13:00
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Updated: November 27, 2019 Clogged toilets are an inconvenience since they are unusable until they’re fixed and have a risk of flooding. If your toilet is clogged and you don’t have a plunger nearby, you can still use many other things in your household to loosen the blockage. For a serious clog, you may need to use a special toilet auger to break it apart. When you’re finished, your toilet should work like new!

Using Dish Soap and Hot Water

  1. Add ⁄4  c (59 ml) of dish soap to your toilet and let it soak for 25 minutes. Pour liquid dish soap directly into the toilet bowl so it can sink to the bottom. Over the next 25 minutes, the soap will make the pipes more slippery so it’s easier for the clog to move through the toilet. During this time, you may notice the water level go down as the clog loosens up.
  2. Pour 1 US gal (3.8 L) of hot water into the toilet bowl. Use the hottest that comes out of your bath faucet. Slowly add the water to the toilet bowl directly over the drain to help force the clog down. The hot water paired with the soap should break apart the clog so your toilet can flush again.
    • Only pour hot water into the bowl if there’s no risk of it overflowing.
    • You can also add 1 cup (200 g) of Epsom salt to help break apart the clog.
  3. Try flushing the toilet to see if the clog went through. Flush your toilet as normal and see if it drains completely. If it does, then the dish soap and hot water worked as intended. If not, you may try again or try to break the clog a different way.

Mixing Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Pour 1 cup (230 g) of baking soda into your toilet bowl. Dump the baking soda directly into the water. Try to spread it evenly throughout the bowl so it covers all of the surfaces. Wait until the baking soda sinks to the bottom of the toilet before moving on.
  2. Add 2  c (470 ml) of vinegar to toilet. Slowly pour the vinegar into your toilet. Work in a circular pattern so the vinegar evenly distributes through the bowl. As it mixes with the baking soda, it will start to fizz and bubble due to a chemical reaction.
    • Make sure the vinegar doesn’t fizz over the edge of your toilet or else you’ll have a bigger mess to clean.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour before flushing it. As the vinegar and baking soda react, they’ll break down the clog so it can fit through your pipes easily. Use another bathroom or wait until 1 hour has passed before trying to flush it.
    • If the water still doesn’t go down, try adding the same amount of baking soda and vinegar, but let it sit overnight.

Breaking Apart the Clog with a Hanger

  1. Unwind a wire hanger except for the hook. Grab the hook with a pair of needle-nose pliers to hold it secure. Grab the bottom part of the hanger and twist it counterclockwise to unwind it. Once it’s unwound, straighten out the hanger as much as you can, leaving the hook intact so you can use it as a handle.
  2. Tie a rag around the end of your hanger. Use the end of the hanger that doesn’t have the hook. Wrap the rag around the hanger and tie a knot so it stays in place. The rag will help prevent any damage to your toilet as you feed it into your pipes.
    • Choose a cleaning rag that you don’t need to save since it will get very dirty when it breaks apart the clog.
  3. Pour ⁄4  c (59 ml) of dish soap into your toilet. Let the soap settle on the bottom of your toilet bowl. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before you use your hanger. During this time, the soap will help lubricate the clog and make it easier to break apart.
    • If you don’t have liquid dish soap, you can also use any other sudsy liquid cleaner, such as shampoo or body wash.
  4. Feed the end of the wire hanger with the rag into the toilet bowl. Hold the hook of the hanger securely in your non-dominant hand. Push the end of the hanger with the rag into your toilet so it goes into the drain. Keep feeding the hanger into your pipes until you feel a clog or until you can’t feed anymore.
    • Wear rubber cleaning gloves if you don’t want the toilet water to splash up.
  5. Jostle the hanger in your pipes to break apart the clog. Use swift up and down movements to hit the clog. The clog should loosen and the water level in your toilet will go down. Keep breaking apart the clog until you can’t feel the obstruction anymore.
    • If you don’t feel a clog or obstruction, it may be deeper in your pipes.
  6. Flush your toilet. Once the hanger is removed, try flushing your toilet like normal. If the hanger was effective, then the water should drain easily. If not, then you can try again to break the clog more.
    • If the hanger doesn’t work for a second time, call a plumber to assess the problem.

Warnings

  • Never pour boiling water into your toilet since the sudden heat could crack the porcelain.
  • If you’ve tried all the methods listed and your toilet is still clogged, contact a plumber as soon as possible to look at the problem.

Things You’ll Need

Using Dish Soap and Hot Water

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Pot

Mixing Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

Breaking Apart the Clog with a Hanger

  • Wire hanger
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Cleaning rag
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cleaning gloves
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