Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger

Time: 5-10 mins per method

The water is flowing into the bowl, but instead of going down the drain, it’s filling the basin. UH OH, your toilet is probably clogged. Time to grab the plunger. But, it doesn’t work. Or worse, you don’t even have one. Try one of these DIYs to unclog your toilet without a plunger.

What's in it for you?

  • Working toilet
  • Decreased pressure on your pipes
  • Decreased strain on your plumbing system

Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger

First thing’s first — you need to stop the toilet from refilling. Remove the lid from your toilet tank and find the small plastic piece attached to a chain that’s hooked to your flush handle. (Fun fact: this piece is called a flapper.) Push the flapper down to stop your toilet water from flowing. Easy!

For mild clogs, use your toilet brush. Yes, we mean the one you typically use for cleaning. Press the brush into the toilet hole as far as possible and pull it up and down (much like you would with a plunger). It’ll be just enough to break apart any small clogs.

For mild to moderate clogs, use dish soap. Squeeze some dish soap into your toilet bowl and add a few cups of hot water to create suds. Circulate with a toilet brush to break up mild to moderate clogs.

For moderate or recurring clogs, use a bucket of hot water: Fill a bucket with hot water and pour it into your toilet. If you use a slow, steady pace, the water will put pressure on the pipes and force a flush. Trust us — it may seem like the toilet will overflow, but this one often works.

For severe clogs, rinse pipes with (eco-friendly) cleaners. Pour one cup of baking soda directly into the clogged toilet. Wait at least five minutes and add two cups of vinegar. Careful — you’ll need to pour slowly or the bubbles from the reaction will overflow. Wait 5-10 minutes and try flushing the toilet again.

For all clogs, use a wire hanger. We all have at least a couple wire hangers lying around — generally from the dry cleaners. Bend one so it’s straight and work it slowly down the pipe through the toilet hole. Wiggle it around to catch and break apart clogs of all sizes that are high in the pipe.

Pro Tip: A slow or weak flush usually indicates a clog is forming. Take care of it before your toilet stops flushing entirely.

Sign up for home care updates:

PREV

Repair Window Screens to Keep Out Bugs

Time: 15 minutes per window It’s the season to throw open those windows, people — warmer weather is upon…

NEXT

Clean Your Range Hood to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Time: 30-45 minutes We all love a good home-cooked meal, but the steam and smoke from all that home…