Ideally, when a toilet clogs you’ll grab the nearest flange plunger and clear things up in a minute or two. But what do you do when your toilet’s clogged and there’s no plunger? Maybe you just moved into a new place. Maybe you’re at your plunger-less friend’s house. Are there ways to unclog a toilet beyond the plunger?
Fortunately, unclogging a toilet without a plunger isn’t as difficult (or gross) as you might suspect! In fact, there are several surprisingly easy ways to clear up even tough clogs without a plunger. Here are the best ways to unclog a toilet in the recommend order you should try them:
#1 How to Unclog a Toilet With Hot Water
First, grab a big bucket of hot water. Important note: you want hot, but NOT boiling hot. Boiling water could crack the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Instead, just fill a bucket with the hottest water your tap can provide. Pour that hot water in the toilet bowl until it’s nearly full and let it sit.
The heat should help break down any solid waste enough for the toilet to flush it down. If this doesn’t work, don’t panic–just move on to the next methods. The “hot water toilet trick” is just the place to start.
#2: Unclog Toilet With Dish Soap
Squeeze a bunch of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Use a heavy duty grease cutting brand like Dawn. Let it sit for about fifteen minutes. The soap will help break down any solids. It’ll also lubricate the bowl and pipes themselves, making it easier for the clog to slide into the drain.
After putting the dish soap in the toilet, try the “hot water trick” again. Pour a pot of hot (not boiling!) water into the bowl and let it sit again for around thirty minutes.
After you give the water and soap time to unclog, try flushing again. If that still hasn’t solved the problem, try repeating this process again or leaving the dish soap in the toilet overnight.
#3: Epsom Salt to Unclog Toilet
If you have Epsom salt lying around, you’re in luck. Pouring Epsom salt into water triggers a chemical reaction that makes the water start to fizz and bubble. All that fizzing and bubbling can seriously help dissolve clogs.
Pour a hefty amount of Epsom salt in your toilet bowl. Let it sit for fifteen minutes, then attempt to flush. You should see positive results after the first flush. You could also combine this technique with the dish soap and “hot water trick” for good measure.
#4: Use a Wire Hanger or Toilet Brush
This is the most direct way to clear a clog. If you’ve tried heat and chemical reactions without success, it’s time to reach right in. If you have a toilet brush handy, use that otherwise, unfold a wire hanger. Stick your implement of choice into the toilet bowl, and wiggle it around in the opening.
This might be kind of gross depending on what the clog involves, so we recommend wearing gloves. Be careful not to accidentally damage the toilet bowl while you’re working. Wire hangers can easily scratch up porcelain if you’re too rough or non-discriminate.
#5: Buy a Toilet Plunger
Hopefully, you’ve unclogged your toilet successfully. Now that it’s working, there are a couple of things you should do.
First: go out and buy a flange plunger. These plunger-less techniques will do in a pinch, but they’re no substitute for the genuine article.
Second: figure out why your toilet clogged in the first place. Does this happen a lot? If it does, it may be because there’s a more significant problem with your home plumbing.
#6: Call Your Local Smell Good Plumber
Sometimes, with or without a plunger, drain clogs just can’t be cleared without professional help. Other times bigger plumbing issues cause frustrating repeat clogs and other problems. In either case, get in touch with the pros at Mike Diamond. We’ll take a look at your home’s plumbing and figure out why you’re dealing with these clogs. We’ll be able to help make sure you don’t need that new plunger for a while.