No matter how new your plumbing may be, it’s a good idea to have a plunger in your home. It’s a useful tool that can be used not only for toilets but also for bathroom sinks and bathtub drains.
But what if you realize your toilet just isn’t going to flush and there’s no plunger within arm’s reach? Learning how to unclog a toilet without a plunger can save you from an emergency trip to the hardware store.
Tips on How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger
It’s important to know what to do when a toilet is clogged, especially if you’re in someone else’s house and no plunger is in sight. Below are a few ways to unclog a toilet without ever needing a plunger. Take note: most of these methods only work for toilets that are not overflowing since you will be pouring liquids to it.
1. Shampoo or Dish Soap
Squirt generous amounts of dish soap or any type of shampoo into the toilet. These substances will coat the toilet drain and make it easier to flush down the clog. Once the shampoo or dish soap sets, pour a gallon of hot (not boiling) water into the toilet. You may need to do this repeatedly until the obstruction is gone.
2. Hot Water
This technique is quite similar to the first one–the only difference is there is no soap used. Pour a gallon of hot water directly into the bowl to help break down the clog into smaller pieces. This will make it easier to push it down the drain. Never use boiling water as it could crack your toilet.
3. Wire Hanger
Most people don’t realize how useful a wire hanger can be when it comes to bathroom clogs. Just head to your closet and look for a wire hanger, preferably one that has a plastic coating so you won’t scratch the surface of the toilet. Unwind the wire and try to straighten it as much as you can. Insert the wire into the toilet bowl and move it around, using it as you would a drain snake to get rid of the clog.
4. Powdered Detergent and Bleach
If the above methods still won’t work, you might want to try a mixture of bleach and powdered detergent. Take several cups of the detergent and one cup of bleach, and pour these into the bowl. Wait at least 20 minutes for the mixture to set before attempting to flush again.
A clogged toilet can be easily fixed with the help of common household items, but a toilet backing up is a different story. It’s often a sign of something wrong with your drain line, so it has to be checked by a professional right away. A leaking toilet should also be assessed ASAP because it may lead to serious pipe damage if neglected.
If your toilet is not working as it should, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit from a trusted plumber. Aside from knowing how to fix a clogged toilet, they can give you maintenance tips so the same problem won’t happen again.