5 Ways to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger
Fun plumbing fact: the plunger was invented in 1874. For being almost 150 years old, it’s impressive that the plunger is still one of the most widely used drain-clearing tools.
However, a plunger isn’t the only way to unclog a drain. If you experience a clogged toilet and don’t have a plunger, there are other useful methods, including dish soap and hot water, baking soda and vinegar, Epsom salt, a metal wire hanger, and a plastic bottle.
How to unclog a toilet without a plunger
- Dish soap – Head to the kitchen and grab your bottle of dish soap. Squeeze about a half-cup of the dish soap into the toilet and give it some time to work its magic. The soap breaks down solids and lubricates the blockage so it can pass through the toilet trap. It also helps to flush the soapy water down the toilet with hot (but not boiling water).
- Baking soda and vinegar – Instead of liquid drain cleaner with harsh chemicals, try this natural, safer alternative. First, pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, followed by two cups of vinegar. Give the mixture some time to fizz, expand, and hopefully loosen the clog. Finish by adding hot water to push everything through.
- Epsom salt. Similar to the baking soda/vinegar trick, Epsom salt creates a bubbling reaction that dislodges simple clogs. Pour some Epsom salt into the toilet bowl, let it work for about 20 minutes, then flush with hot water.
- Metal wire hanger – Professional plumbers often use a drain snake, which is a thin metal cable, to reach and break up clogs. If you don’t have a snake or auger at your home, try the next best thing – a metal wire hanger. Straighten the hanger and place the rod into the toilet drain. When you feel the wire reach the clog, wiggle it around to agitate and break up the solid contents. This method can get a bit messy, so be sure to wear gloves and safety goggles.
- Plastic water bottle – Sometimes, you can use a plastic bottle to create enough water pressure to push the blockage through the trap, which usually resolves the clogging issue. First, remove as much water as you can from the toilet bowl. Next, fill a small plastic bottle with warm water. While plugging the top with your finger (to hold the water in), aim the bottle at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Remove your finger and squeeze the bottle hard to send a surge of water down the drain hole. Hopefully, this provides stronger pressure than a normal flush, and the clog will pass through.
When to call a plumber
Hopefully, one of these simple methods will unclog your toilet. But if you have a stubborn blockage, it may be time to bring in a plumber.
At Reichelt Plumbing, we use advanced drain cleaning tools that are both powerful and safe on your pipes. To schedule professional drain cleaning service in the Schererville area, call us today at (219) 322-4906.