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How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to unclog your toilet by using common household products when a plunger is not available.

Plumbing
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January 28, 2021

If you're reading this article, your toilet probably isn't flushing properly or the bowl is filling up with water. You looked for a plunger but you don't have one handy. Luckily, there are some safe alternatives that might save you a trip to the store! Continue on for more information on how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Before you start, turn off the water flow to the clogged toilet

This initial step is important, you must first stop the flow of water to the clogged toilet. Remove the lid and pull the toilet float (also known as float valve) up to stop the flow. Then completely shut off the water by turning the valve located near the base of the toilet.

1. Use Hot Water (not boiling)

This step requires that there be a small amount of water in the bowl. If your toilet was already very close to overflowing you will need to get a bucket or cup to remove the excess water. Once the bowl has a minimal amount of water, take a bucket or cup with hot (not boiling) water from either the sink or tub. Pour it directly into the toilet a few cups at a time and wait a few minutes. The hot water will help loosen the clog in the toilet.

2. Use Dish Soap or Shampoo (surfactants) with hot water

If you tried the hot-water method but the clog remained, try adding a surfactant. This is just a fancy name for dish soap or shampoo. Again making sure to remove as much water as you can from the toilet, squirt a generous amount of soap directly into the toilet bowl, then pour the hot water in. The reason this works is the soap helps lubricate the clog and pipes to get things moving again.

3. Use a Wire Hanger (DIY Drain Snake)

If you have a severe blockage you may need to consider manual removal of the clog. You can use a wire clothing hanger by unraveling and straightening it out. Push one end of the wire into the toilet until you reach the debris. Carefully prod the blockage to break it up, sending the pieces down the drain.

Don't forget to turn the water back on and buy a plunger

Once the blockage has been cleared and water is flowing freely down the toilet drain, turn the water back on at the valve and flush the toilet again. If soaps were used during the removal then flush several times to remove any residue.

You can always count on the plumbing professionals at B&B Plumbing, Inc. should you have any questions or need assistance from any of our licensed and experienced plumbers.

 

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