While the simplest and easiest way to unstop a clogged up toilet, there may come a time when you either don’t have a plunger or the plunger just isn’t cutting it. Never fear, however, because there are actually ways of unclogging a stopped up toilet without the use of a plunger. If your potty is plugged here are 5 great ways of getting things flowing again without using a plunger.
1. Dish soap
The same ingredients in dish soap that breaks up even the tough grease will also break down fat inside an organic clog. If you don’t happen to have a bottle of dish soap handy, you can also try shampoo or slivers of bar soap, but they most likely won’t work as quickly or as effectively.
- Squirt several squirts of dish soap into the toilet. The less water there is in the toilet, the more effective this will be
- Pour in four cups of hot water
- Let sit for at least 20 minutes – longer if using shampoo or bar soap
- Try and flush toilet. If toilet does not flush, repeat or try a different method
If your toilet is very full or you think it might be a serious clog, it’s time to haul ou the big guns.
- Pour 2-3 cups of liquid bleach into toilet
- Pour 1 cup of powdered soap in toilet. This can be plain dishwasher detergent or laundry soap, but dishwasher detergent will work best
- Wait at least 10 minutes
- Try and flush toilet
3. Coat hangar
If your toilet is seriously clogged, or there is something solid clogging it that is not going to be dissolved by soap or bleach, you can try using a coat hangar. It’s always best to use a plastic coated wire hangar if possible, so you don’t scratch the porcelain. If you don’t have a plastic coated wire hangar, a plain wire hangar will have to do.
- If you have wire cutters, cut off the top curved end of the wire hangar, so you have one long relatively straight piece of wire
- Bend wire until it is straight
- Put on rubber or plastic gloves if you have them
- Insert straight end of wire down into toilet and work hangar around until you encounter the clog
- Work the hangar around down in the toilet to break up the clog
- Once the clog seems to be cleared, remove the hangar and flush the toilet
- Follow up with either a soap or bleach treatment to be sure clog is completely cleared
4. Use an enzynme waste removal product
Enzyme products are used in septic systems to break down waste. They are generally preferable to commercial drain cleaners, because they won’t harm your pipes or the environment. You can buy them at most hardware stores and follow the directions on the label.
5. Baking Soda and Vinegar
In a pinch, you can make your own homemade drain cleaner that is also better for your pipes and the environment than commercial drain cleaners.
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda into toilet bowl
- Pour 2 cups vinegar into bowl
- Pour a half gallon of hot water into the bowl (not boiling as it can crack the porcelain)
- Let stand overnight
- In the morning the bowl should be clear
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.