So, your toilet is clogged…and you don’t have a plunger in the house. Maybe you’ve just moved and you forgot to buy a new plunger. Maybe you recently threw out your old plunger and haven’t gotten around to replacing it. Or maybe the plunger you do have is a sink plunger instead of a toilet plunger.
Whatever the case, the bottom line is that you need to get your toilet unclogged as soon as possible. But how do you do that without a plunger? Well, there are actually several options available for you. Feel free to try any (or all) of them as you work to unclog your toilet.
1. Dump in some dish soap
Dish soap is one of the simplest toilet unclogging solutions and one that should be your go-to method if you don’t have a plunger on hand. The soap’s natural slipperiness provides lubrication so that whatever is clogging your toilet can slide down the drain and be flushed out.
Regular dish soap works fine for this but if you don’t have any, you can finely slice or grate some bar soap into the toilet bowl as well. Let the soap settle and work its way into the drain and then try flushing. Chances are, your toilet will come unplugged. And if not, there’s still plenty of other options to try. Just keep reading!
2. Pour hot water into the toilet bowl
If dish soap doesn’t work, your next line of offense should be hot water. The key to this tip is hot water, not boiling. Boiling water might not cause any problems to your toilet bowl (at least at first), but the chances of it cracking the ceramic are extremely high. So get the available water as hot as possible without it coming to a boil, and then pour it inside the toilet bowl.
The change in temperatures should work to break up the blockage and create a clear, flushable path.
3. Vinegar and baking soda
Vinegar and baking soda mixed together create a powerful reaction that can work wonders for a clogged toilet. Pour some baking soda into the toilet and then add a generous amount of vinegar. Let it sit for half an hour or so. The resulting reaction should break down the contents of your toilet in no time at all.
For added punch, you can also pour some hot water into the toilet once the baking soda and vinegar have ‘calmed down’ a little. Best of all, this method (as with all the solutions on this list) doesn’t use harmful chemicals to flush out your toilet.
4. Utilize a metal hanger
If you’ve tried the above methods and your toilet is still sluggish – or has stopped working altogether – you might want to go hunting for a metal clothes hanger. Be prepared to get a little up close and personal with your toilet, but don’t worry; it’s for a good cause!
You’ll need to snip the metal hanger so that it becomes one long, thin metal rod. Then push it down the toilet drain so that you can break up whatever blockage is down there. You might also want to add a small piece of bunched up cloth at the business end of the rod so that it’s more effective at pushing and moving the blockage.
When using a metal hanger, just make sure you be careful and know what you’re doing. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the toilet even further and you will need to contact a professional plumber for repairs.
5. Employ a water battle for blasting pressure
This toilet-unclogging method is a little tricky and messy, but it can work wonders to remove the obstruction in your toilet. Scoop as much water as possible out of your toilet’s bowl (disposing of it in a sanitary way) and then fill a disposable plastic water bottle with warm or hot water.
Keep your finger or thumb securely over the opening of the water bottle up until placing it in the drain hole in the toilet. (Be sure to wear gloves as a health precaution.) Then firmly push the end of the water bottle down to expel the water inside. It should shoot through your toilet’s drain, breaking up the obstruction via water pressure.
6. Epsom salts breaks up blockage
Epsom salts probably aren’t something you think you’d have on hand (maybe you’ve never even heard of them) but if you own a bath bomb or two, you also own a handy way to unclog your toilet. Pour some epsom salts into your blocked toilet (or throw in a bath bomb) and let the salts’ natural properties unclog your toilet. The epsom salts will create a fizzy reaction not unlike that of vinegar and baking soda – and that can clear your toilet.
7. Use a toilet cleaning brush
If you don’t currently have a plunger, you may have a toilet cleaning brush – it’s pretty essential for keeping your toilet clean, after all. Take the brush and push it into the toilet drain. Move it back and forth, up and down, firmly but gently (taking care not to damage your toilet). This method can break up blockage and leave your toilet flushing freely once more.