How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger

Clogging the toilet is an inevitable part of life. It doesn’t matter how advanced your toilet may be, it’s likely to happen at some point. What’s usually an easy fix can become a bit more complicated when you’ve loaned your neighbor your plunger or have failed to ever buy one. Don’t worry, there are plenty of different ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger. 

You can unclog a toilet with household materials easily if you know what you’re doing. We’ve given you a fair number of ways to fix your most recent toilet mistake. If none of these work, you may need to make a quick trip to the store and buy a plunger.

Getting a toilet unclogged doesn't mean it's time for a professional to come in.
Photo Credit: Alexas_fotos, Pixabay

Stop Overflow

The first step in unclogging a toilet without a plunger is to shut the water off. If the toilet is overflowing, this needs to be done as quickly as possible. It’s best to avoid having to fix water damage after unclogging the toilet. 

An easy way to stop the flow of water into the toilet is to disconnect the chain from the flapper. It will then sit flat and stop the water in the tank from entering the bowl, or your floor.


One of the most effective methods of unclogging a toilet without a plunger is just to wait. It doesn’t seem like anything is going to happen, but the pressure on your pipes can eventually release and naturally flush. Time allows for the water to break down your clog.

Practice patience by watching the clock and waiting for things to work themselves out.
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If time doesn’t do it, you may need to remove some water. If you haven’t already, put on some big rubber gloves because things can definitely get messy. Scoop some of the water from the toilet bowl into a bucket or down another drain (make sure there are no solids first). This will give you the room in the toilet bowl to work. 

Hot Water

If you’ve ever tried washing dishes with cold water, you know the power of warm water. It breaks things down easily and that isn’t only applicable to your kitchen sink. A bucket of hot water could possibly be your solution to a clogged toilet. This might dislodge the blockage and allow everything to move on to where it belongs. 

Get some hot water boiling so you can break up a clog.
Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Dish Soap

Another thing you’ll find easy around the house to unclog a toilet without a plunger is dish soap. Its grease-destroying capabilities will help break down any solids and hopefully start some flow down the tube. 

This one is best paired with hot water so the two can team up and work on their clog destruction simultaneously. If these two methods don’t work, you may need to resort to some more hands-on options. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

The next option is to turn your toilet into a third-grade science project with some baking soda and vinegar. These two work together to clean any messes around the house and even in the toilet.

Spread baking soda around the toilet bowl so it covers the surface area of the water and let it sink. The closer to the clog, the better. Next, slowly pour about two cups of vinegar into the toilet in a swirling motion so it can reach all of the baking soda. 

It’s not going to have a volcanic reaction, but it may have enough fizz in it to break everything down.

Let the mixture sit for about an hour and then you can attempt a flush. If this doesn’t work, add the same amounts of baking soda and vinegar, but let it sit overnight. Cross your fingers, because if this doesn’t work you have a close-up experience with a toilet coming in the morning. 

Baking soda and vinegar are a great option to break down clogs
Photo Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

Wire Hanger

It seems pretty unconventional, but if you have a wire hanger at home that you are willing to part with, your toilet issues can be gone. You can make a quick impromptu snake that will break the clog enough to allow you to flush.

Just be careful with the sharp edges that the hanger may have. You want to avoid scratching the inside of the toilet bowl if possible. Wrapping an old rag securely on the end can prevent scratches from occurring. 

2-Liter Water Pressure

This is probably going to be your last resort. It involves getting even more up close and personal. I recommend some goggles, gloves, and even a face mask just in case of some potential splash hazards.

Fill an empty 2-liter bottle with hot water and cover the opening with your thumb. Turn the bottle upside down and place it deep in the drain of the toilet then remove your thumb. Now, you can use both hands to squeeze the bottle and force the water into the drain, using the pressure to dislodge the clog. 

This is the closest method to a plunger because of the use of pressure. It’s also the one that I, personally, dislike doing the most. 

A water bottle is like a miniature pressure plunger that requires you to get down and dirty
Photo Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

Last Resort

Your last resort is to drive to the store and buy either some chemical cleaning solutions or just a plunger. At this point, you may feel frustrated enough to just buy both. Then you will have a plunger on hand for future clogs. Let us know if this worked for you by sharing your experience with the ManMade community on Facebook or Pinterest!