Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Few things can derail a good day like a clogged toilet. You’re going about your business when you realize the flush didn’t accomplish its task; even worse, you realize there isn’t a plunger in sight. Fortunately, there are a few other tricks you can try to unclog a toilet without a plunger, before you resort to calling a plumber.

Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger: Minor Clog Solutions

If you suspect the clog is due to an isolated incident rather than a major blockage that has been building over time, the following methods may help to restore your toilet’s flow.

  • Dish soap: Pour a cup of dish soap into the bowl to help lubricate the pipe and any items that may be stuck inside it.
  • Hot water: If you have enough room in the toilet bowl, try slowly pouring in 32 to 64 ounces of hot water, which can help disintegrate clogs made by organic material. Avoid using boiling water, as it can cause the bowl to crack.
  • Wire coat hanger: Untwist the wire to create a straight tool and slide it as far into the pipe as possible, moving it back and forth to loosen any large items.
  • DIY drain cleaner: Add one cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl, spreading it evenly throughout the bowl. Once it settles to the bottom, slowly pour two cups of vinegar into the bowl, pouring in a circular pattern for uniform distribution. The water in the bowl will begin to fizz as the vinegar and baking soda react. You may have to let the solution sit for several hours or even overnight to clear the blockage, so this method isn’t recommended if the toilet is the only one in your home or business.

Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger: Major Clog Rescue

If the previous steps don’t work or you suspect that large items like feminine products or wet wipes have recently been flushed, you may have a major clog on your hands. In that case, you’ll need to try these more drastic measures:

  • Toilet auger: Also known as a closet auger, this manual tool consists of a long metal tube that’s bent on one end. A wire cable is threaded through the tube and turned with a handle. The end of the cable that goes into the toilet has a corkscrew-style tip that can be threaded into clogs so they can be pulled out of the pipe. The bent portion of the auger is shaped to fit into the hole at the bottom of the bowl to get the cable as close to the trap as possible.
  • Motorized drain snake: A motorized drain snake brings the power to clear the most stubborn clogs. For about $100, you can add this lifesaving tool to your household arsenal and breathe easier knowing you’ll never be stuck with an indefinitely clogged toilet or drain. These snakes are essentially a more muscular version of the manual auger and are often outfitted with a longer, sturdier cable and interchangeable cutter heads to address a variety of clogs.

If you’ve tried all of these tricks and still haven’t gotten the toilet working, you have an industrial-sized clog that requires professional help. Do yourself a favor and call an experienced plumber.

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