How To Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Clogged toilets can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have a plunger at home. Fortunately, there are simple ways to unclog the toilet without ever needing a plunger.

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Clogged toilets can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have a plunger at home. Fortunately, there are simple ways to unclog the toilet without ever needing a plunger.

You can unclog a toilet by using everyday items you probably already have at home. Sometimes it is as simple as using a liquid like dish soap or even hot water. Other times you have to use a wire hanger, baking soda, or an empty water bottle.

It is probably best to try easier methods first, then move on to your other options if simple methods fail. It is also very important to know things you should not do in the event of a toilet related emergency.

If your toilet is rapidly filling with water, you can stop the flow before the bathroom gets flooded. Take the lid off of the tank and hold the flapper down. You have two options at this point. One is to take the chain off of the plunger so that the flapper will stay down and stop water flow. The other is to turn off the valve that is typically located behind the toilet. Now you still have to unclog it, but there it isn’t a time sensitive emergency.

Table of Contents

Dish Soap

Dish soap can help because it breaks solids down and lubricates the drain and pipes. This can slide away any debris that is clogging the toilet. Typically it will work with around a half a cup, give or take.

This is the easiest and fastest method to unclog your toilet without a plunger, but it doesn’t always work either. If you don’t have success with soap, there are still a lot of options.

Hot Water

First, it is important to mention that the water should be hot, not boiling. Boiling water can actually crack your toilet.

First, you need to fill a bucket with hot water. Water from the bathtub is hot enough to work. The heat will help to break apart the solid waste that is clogging the toilet.

Take the bucket of hot water and pour it into the toilet from 1 to 2 feet above the toilet seat. The force of the water can disperse the clog, or even push it away.

Wire Hanger

This is probably the most effective way to unclog a toilet without a plunger. This can work with even the most stubborn toilet clogs.

Basically, you will be using a wire hanger as a drain snake. Just undo the hanger and bend it so that it is straight. Push one end of the wire into the clogged area and down into the drain. You can keep prodding until the toilet is sufficiently unclogged.

One tip for this method is to fasten two wire hangers together so that you can get more force without bending the wire.

Baking Soda with Vinegar

You may have mixed vinegar and baking soda to make a volcano for 7th grade science class, but it can also help you defeat that pesky clog in your toilet.

First, pour around a cup of baking soda directly into the toilet and try to spread it around. You want it to cover as much area as possible when it sinks into the water.

Now, add around 2 cups of vinegar to the toilet bowl. Pour it slowly and try to make it hit every part of the toilet water as you pour. The mixture will bubble and fizz which will break up the clog. It is best to let this sit for an hour or two before you flush the toilet. If it doesn’t work, it is worth a second try, this time leaving it for 4 or more hours.

Epsom Salt

This works in a similar way as baking soda and vinegar. A bath bomb can also be used to cause violent fizzing that can break the clog into small enough pieces. Then you can flush your toilet and get on with your life.

Empty Bottle

This method is messier than the others, but it definitely works. All you need is a large plastic bottle and some water. An empty two liter bottle will work best.

First you will have to remove as much water from the toilet bowl as you can. Just use any small container and then you can just dump it when it is filled. You can empty it into the bathtub or a bucket, whatever works best for you.

Now, get the biggest empty plastic bottle that you have and fill it with warm water. The way this method works is by creating water pressure.

Place your thumb over the top of the plastic bottle and put it into the toilet bowl so that it is close to the drain. Take your thumb off and squeeze the bottle so that water squirts violently into the hole. It may take a couple tries, but this pressure should be enough to dislodge the clog.


If you have a shop vac at home, then it is worth a try to use it to unclog your toilet. You can use the vacuum to suck the water out of the toilet bowl.

Then, while the vacuum is off, stick it down into the drain. Use old wash clothes or towels to fit around the drain and create a seal. Turn the vacuum on and the force should be enough to unclog the pipes.

Drain Cleaners

You have probably used drain cleaners on other drains in your house, so why not use them for the toilet? Just make sure you do not use bleach or any corrosive materials. This method is easy and doesn’t create any sort of mess. It also should work even if the other choices have failed.

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