How to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger

When You Can’t Take the Plunge

Nobody likes a clogged toilet. Your first instinct is to reach for the plunger. But what if you don’t have a plunger handy? 

All is not lost. There’s no need to panic if you don’t see a plunger within reach. There’s actually a handful of effective ways to clear up toilet clogs, no plunger required. So let’s take the plunge and look at four ways you can unclog a toilet without a plunger using:

    • Dish soap
    • Baking soda and vinegar
    • Wire coat hanger
    • Wet/dry vacuum

So, let’s, if you’ll pardon the expression, dive right in.

How to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger – Method # 1 Dish Soap

Dish soap is one of the best ways to unclog a toilet  quickly and easily. Any brand of dish soap will work. Then just follow these steps:

    1. Add a few squirts of dish soap into the clogged toilet bowl.
    2. Pour a pot of hot water (not boiling water, just very hot) into the toilet bowl. Safety tip: Be sure that when you’re adding the water, you do so from waist-level height to avoid hot water spilling on you.
    3. Wait for the water and soap to mix. This mixture should create sufficient pressure to clear out your drain and unclog the toilet.
    4. Flush the toilet. If the clog is gone, great. If it isn’t, read on.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger – Method # 2 Baking Soda and Vinegar

If for whatever reason using dishwashing liquid and hot water doesn’t work to unclog the toilet, check to see if you have any baking soda and vinegar handy. The only other things you’ll need is a measuring cup and a kettle with water. Then follow these steps:

    1. Pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet bowl.
    2. Pour one cup of vinegar into the clogged toilet bowl.
    3. Wait several minutes.
    4. Pour a kettle of hot (not boiling) water into the clogged toilet bowl (remember the safety tip to stand waist height as you do this).
    5. Flush the toilet to make sure the clog is cleared.

If this fails to work, proceed to the next method.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger – Method # 3 Wire Coat Hanger

If the first two methods aren’t successful, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make a little more effort. You’ll need to employ a wire coat hanger. Since you’ll be reshaping the coat hanger for this purpose, pick a hanger you don’t really need to hang coats. Then follow these steps:

    1. Unravel the handle and straighten the hanger.
    2. Place a rag over one end.
    3. Use a rubber band to secure the rag to the end of the hanger (this is to protect the porcelain in the toilet so you don’t scratch it).
    4. Put rubber gloves on as you may need to place your hands close to the toilet water.
    5. Put the end of the hanger with the rag into the toilet bowl.
    6. Use a circular motion to push the hanger down into the toilet drain. Use some force, but proceed gently so as not to cause any additional damage to the toilet drain.
    7. Continue until the clog is cleared.

If you can’t clear the clog, try the next method.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger – Method # 4 Wet/Dry Vac

You can also use a wet/dry vacuum to unclog a toilet. It’s very important to point out that a regular household vacuum will not work—you must use a wet/dry vacuum! If you’re not sure whether your vacuum is suitable for this task, don’t use it.

If you have the proper wet/dry vac, follow the steps below:

    1. Use the vacuum to empty out all of the water from the toilet bowl.
    2. Take a few old towels that you can discard after use and arrange them in the toilet bowl. These towels will act as a type of seal around the drain.
    3. Take the vacuum hose and stick it a few inches down into the toilet drain.
    4. Turn the vacuum on inside the toilet and suck out the clog.

When to Call the Plumber

If none of the above mentioned do-it-yourself methods successfully unclog your toilet, please don’t hesitate to call your Benjamin Franklin Plumbing team. Our expert plumbers are happy to assist you at any time to get your toilet back up and running.

What can our professional team of plumbers offer you that other plumbing companies can’t? When we say we’ll fix your toilet at a certain time, we mean it! If we’re late, we promise to pay you $5.00 per minute after the promised team – we guarantee it!