10 Ways To Unclog a Toilet | Even Without a Plunger


Nobody wants to live with a clogged toilet in their house. Besides the fact that it’s unsanitary, it is also one of those situations that is nothing but a recipe for disaster. When you think about ways to unclog a toilet, a plunger is the most common thing that comes to mind.

But what happens when you don’t have one? Situations like these might seem unfavorable, but they do happen from time to time. To help you navigate such situations, we have sorted the top ways to unclog a toilet where you might not have access to a plunger.

How do you unclog a toilet using a plunger?

Most people opt for this, and technically, this is where you can resolve the issue in a matter of a few seconds.

So, if you do have access to a plunger, here’s what you need to do:

  • The first thing you have to do is ensure that there’s enough water in the toilet bowl. 
  • Once that’s out of the way, we’d recommend you run the plunger through some hot water to soften the rubber.
  • Next, insert the plunger into the toilet’s opening and put pressure to create a suction that will unclog the toilet eventually.
  • Lift and push the plunger’s handle a few times for good measure.

Once done and you are sure that the toilet has been unclogged, press the flush to cross-check whether it has been unclogged or not. 

How do you unclog a toilet without a plunger?

Now that the easy trick is out of the way, the next thing you need to pay attention to is situations when you don’t have a plunger with you. What do you do in situations like those? 

1. Use dish soap

Dish Soap
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dish-soap.jpg

In hindsight, this might not seem like a good idea, but it genuinely works. If you aren’t the biggest fan of clogged toilets, rush to your kitchen and get the dish soap. The slipperiness of the soap will help unclog the toilet and ensure that the contents slide down easily.

However, you must use a good amount of dish soap to achieve the desired results. Ideally, pour half a cup of dish soap directly into the toilet bowl. Once you have poured the dish soap, let it sit for a few minutes and then switch on the flush to see if it worked.

2. Pour hot water

We don’t mean boiling and bubbling water when we say hot water. That’s the last thing you want to do. Sometimes, debris and residue in the pipeline lead to a clog.

Pouring hot water down the toilet will quickly loosen the debris and the elements clogging it, helping you unclog it quickly. Once you pour the hot water, we recommend waiting a few minutes or an hour before you flush the toilet.

3. Use an unclogging product

Drain Opener

There are unclogging products available in the market. These are called enzyme waste removal products, which contain a blend of enzymes.

These products break down the pipeline’s elements, contributing to the clog, and loosen things up so that the water passes freely through the pipe again. You can find these products at the home improvement stores easily.

4. Use vinegar and baking soda


The corrosive properties of the acid in the vinegar paired with the baking soda break down the elements clogging the toilet.

You have to pour some baking soda into the clogged toilet bowl and follow it up with some vinegar. Wait till the reaction occurs and let that sit for some time. Once done, you can flush the toilet and see if the clog is fixed.

5. Use a bent wire hanger

Wire Hanger
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/still-life-with-white-daisy-flowers-and-wire-clothes-hanger-18792059/

You can use a metal wire hanger and open up the sides to create a straight line. From there, you need to take the “hook-like” structure, put it into the toilet bowl, and move it around to see if any blockages are clogging the toilet. If you feel an obstruction with the wire hanger, poke and pull it out.

6. Use a plastic bottle

Another method of unclogging the toilet that genuinely works is using a plastic bottle of water shooting. Now, let’s understand this better. The first thing for this hack is to empty as much water as possible from the toilet bowl.

On the side, fill a large plastic water bottle with hot water and hold the opening with your thumb. Ensure that you are wearing gloves. Flip the water bottle, plug it into the opening inside the toilet, and put pressure on it to empty the water you filled into the bottle. The force from the water inside the plastic bottle should eliminate any obstruction inside the pipeline.

7. Use a toilet brush

Toilet Brush

If something physically obstructs the pipeline and clogs the toilet, using a toilet brush is a great alternative to consider if you don’t have a plunger. There’s not much you have to do with this technique.

Take the toilet brush and aim it down the opening of the toilet bowl. Swirl the brush around a few times and poke to see if something is physically blocking the pipeline. Once done, flush the toilet and see if that helped unclog it.

8. Use a plumbing snake

Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake is easy to use and has the same principle as a wired hanger. It is a fairly flexible cleaning tool you can pick up from your nearest hardware or home improvement store.

You have to push the plumbing snake down the clogged toilet and take it as deep as possible so you can clean as much of the pipeline as possible. Always move the pipe in different directions, feel for obstructions, and either pull it out or push it out toward the end of the pipe.

Once satisfied with the cleaning, remove the plumbing snake and flush the toilet to see if that helped unclog it.

9. Use a wet/dry vacuum

Wet Dry Vacuum

If nothing works in unclogging the toilet, your last resort is to rely on a wet/dry vacuum. Kindly remember that the standard vacuum cleaners won’t be of any use. So, you aim to look for wet/dry vacuum cleaners. You can either rent them or buy one.

The first step is to use the vacuum cleaner to remove all the water from the toilet bowl. Once the water is suctioned out, the vacuum will suction out any debris likely stuck inside the toilet bowl and causing obstructions.

Do this until you feel like all the obstruction has been eliminated from the toilet bowl. The process will take some time and patience.

10. Use caustic soda

Caustic Soda

Caution: Caustic Soda: 7 Hazards and Safety Tips You Should Know

Caustic soda is readily available in the market and is excellent for unclogging pipelines and toilets. However, it is a highly abrasive chemical, so you must pay close attention to the safety precautions.

Wear protective eye gear and gloves. Once that’s out of the way, fill a bucket halfway with water. Add 3 cups of caustic soda and mix everything well until there are no lumps.

Pour the solution down the toilet and wait for some time to ensure the chemical sits and eliminate the debris blocking the toilet. Once done, flush the toilet.

In conclusion, unclogging a toilet is a common household issue that can be quickly resolved with various methods. We have explained some of the best ways to unclog a toilet if you don’t have access to a plunger. 

However, if your attempts are unsuccessful or you are unsure about handling the situation, it is always recommended to seek professional assistance from a plumber to avoid potential complications.

Also read: How To Get Rid of Drain Flies | 8 Easy & Effective Fixes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can you pour down a toilet to unclog it?

The hack most commonly used to unclog a toilet is a vinegar and baking soda solution.

What is the quickest way to unblock a toilet without a plunger?

If you have a clogged toilet and don’t have a plunger, pouring hot water down the toilet is a quick way to unclog it.

What is the strongest thing to unclog a toilet?

Caustic soda is the most abrasive chemical you can use to unclog the toilet. It works like magic and will clear everything in no time at all.

Will a toilet unclog naturally?

In most cases, it won’t unclog naturally. Instead, you have to put some extra measures using DIY items to unclog the toilet bowl.

Can boiling water unclog a toilet?

You can pour hot water down the toilet to unclog it, but never pour boiling water because that will damage the pipelines from the inside.

Will salt unclog a toilet?

Adding a salt mix with hot water might help unclog the toilet. But, in this case, it is the hot water that works. The salt doesn’t play much significance.

Can shampoo unclog a toilet?

Any soap-based item will help unclog the toilet, so if you don’t have dish soap, the shampoo works, too.

Does Coca-Cola clear clogged drains?

If you are considering using Coca-Cola to unclog the toilet, we recommend not doing it since it doesn’t have promising results.

How do you unblock a toilet overnight?

Baking soda and vinegar hack for unclogging the toilet works like magic. You can pour the combination, leave it overnight, and see if it yields results the next day.

How can I naturally clear my drains?

If you are looking for DIY techniques, using hot water or baking soda and vinegar works well in unclogging the toilet.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *