A clogged toilet is an instant day-ruiner, especially if you don’t have the right tools on hand. When we’re dealing with a toilet clog, the first thing we usually turn to is a plunger. But knowing how to unclog a toilet without a plunger is a handy thing to know. Is it possible?
Clogged toilets can be unclogged without a plunger by using hot water and soap/shampoo, vinegar and baking soda, Coca-Cola, and a variety of chemical cleaners. You can also make your own plunger with a water bottle or use a drain snake to remove the clog.
Although plungers are one of the most common solutions, there are a lot of options available that are cheap and easy to use. Below we’ll discuss some of the top de-clogging methods, as well as some DIY tools you can use if you don’t have access to the real thing.
Toilet Preparations Before Declogging
There are lots of things you can try when you need to unclog your toilet, but there are a few things you should do to prepare the toilet and the surrounding area.
First of all, make sure the toilet will not overflow. No one wants to clean up that mess, so it’s best to make sure it never gets to that point. If the toilet looks overly full, consider scooping out some of the water into a bucket. This will prevent overflow and create more room for you to add any dissolving agents and cleaning products you might want to use.
Next, make sure the area around the toilet is protected. You can use paper towels, newspaper, or cloth towels that can get dirty. These will help absorb any overflow and protect the ground.
Protect Your Hands and Lungs
Finally, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves and are ready to tackle the problem. Try to flush the toilet once or twice before you add anything to it. Sometimes a toilet just needs to sit for a minute and it will fix itself. If the clog won’t go away, it’s time to try some plunger-less techniques!
Soap and Hot Water
One of the oldest cleaning tricks in the book is hot water and soap. We use these to clean a variety of other things, such as dishes and our own bodies, so why wouldn’t it work for a toilet as well? Hot water helps to loosen and dissolve clogs, while soap softens them and makes it easier for everything to move through the plumbing.
The type of soap that you use isn’t really important. The main thing that matters is that it can mix well with water and makes everything break down more easily. You can use dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, or even hand soap.
When you add hot water, make sure that you pour slowly and don’t splash or overfill the toilet.
I know that this method works because I tried it (after a recommendation from a professional). I was expecting a very technical process and solution, but the handyman just suggested that I pour a generous amount of shampoo into the toilet, wait for a bit, then try to flush it again. It worked like a charm!
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Another cleaning standby is good ol’ vinegar and baking soda. This is a catch-all cleaning solution that works for a lot of different problems. It turns out that toilet clogs are just one more thing that this miraculous combination can fix.
Vinegar is acidic and is a powerful disinfectant. This makes it a great cleaning product. When it reacts with baking soda, it becomes more powerful and can break down tough buildups and stains.
If you’re interested in this method, pour a generous amount of baking soda into the toilet bowl (at least 1/2 cup) and let it dissolve into the water. This will take about 30 minutes. After this time period is up, add 2 cups of vinegar and stir the mixture slightly. After it sits for about 30 more minutes, add a few cups of lukewarm water and try to flush the toilet again. (Source)
If you’re looking for a solution that can be found in your pantry or refrigerator, look no further! Coca-Cola might seem like a surprising choice, but this carbonated beverage has proven itself to be a handy de-clogger. You may have heard that soda can degrade your teeth (which is true over time) but it can also break down tough clogs and build-ups in your drain. It’s also nice to use a cleaning agent that smells good!
If you want to use Coca-Cola as your toilet cleaner, simply pour a 20-ounce bottle into the toilet and let it rest overnight. In the morning, add a bit of water to make it flush more easily and flush the toilet. When it has several hours to break down the clogs, Coca-Cola can do a great job! (Source)
It might be a bit of a waste to pour your favorite soda into the toilet, so this may not be the first solution you’ll turn to. But if nothing else works and you have a 2-liter on hand, give it a try!
The techniques listed above are easy tool-less ways to try to get rid of toilet clogs. In many cases, they will be able to get the job done just fine. However, some clogs are too solid to easily dissolve and you need a physical tool to help force it down the drain or break it up.
Plungers are the most common household tool for this issue, but if you don’t have one, you can try some DIY solutions.
One good method to try is using a water bottle as a makeshift plunger. Use a clean 2-liter plastic bottle and fill it with water. Then you just position it over the toilet drain, submerge it partially, and squeeze the bottle hard. This increased water pressure can sometimes force the clog to go through, clearing up the rest of the plumbing works.
You can also use a drain snake to reach deep into the toilet’s mechanism and break up any stubborn clogs. You can use an official drain snake, or make your own from a wire hanger. For more details on this process, visit this guide.
Advice From a Plumber
There are a lot of solutions for a clogged toilet, and it can be hard to know which ones are effective and safe. For a bit of expert help, I called the owner of King George’s Royal Flush, which is a business that specializes in plumbing and drain issues.
The owner suggested that people who have clogged toilets and no plungers should turn to closet augers. This is another name for a drain snake and he said that he often uses them to fix clogged toilets.
Use Caution on Plumbing
When asked about chemical solutions, he said that it can be effective for smaller clogs, but can cause major issues if the clog doesn’t go away on the first try. It can damage equipment and make it harder for professionals to fix your drain, so use them with caution.
He also suggested that you can use a wire coat hanger to clean the water jets on your toilet and give them more flushing power. However, you shouldn’t push the hanger more than 3 inches into the jet because this can cause more harm than good.