How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

You have just finished taking care of business when you flush the toilet, and nothing happens.

You go into denial, convincing yourself that it is only a minor obstruction or a slow drain. So, you flush again, and still, nothing happens. Instead, the water level starts to rise.


Your heart drops as you realize you’re in a mess, and frustration hits you like a brick.

You clogged your porcelain throne!

Then, you recall you have a magic wand for a clogged toilet.

A plunger! 

A gleam of optimism breaks through your frustration …

So, you look left and right but cannot see your plunger. You turn around, checking every nook and cranny of your bathroom, hoping to find the plunger.

As minutes tick by, the water level continues to rise, and your anxiety starts to skyrocket.

This is a situation you definitely don’t want to be in, but if you ever are, there are simple ways you can unclog the toilet without a plunger.

We have described three ways in detail to have your uh-oh turn into ah-ha in no time.

1. Use Dish Soap or /and Hot Water

Before you completely freak out and start drowning yourself in shame and frustration, especially if the clogged toilet is not yours, you can grab some of your home items and flush your way out of your toilet misery.

First, grab a bottle of dish soap and pour a generous amount into the toilet bowl. Do not try to be frugal here because the clogged toilet needs a lot of soap to start things flowing.

Then, wait for everything to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before giving it another flush.

If nothing happens, put some water in a kettle or pot and let it boil—the hotter, the better.

Next, carefully pour it into the toilet bowl on top of the dish soap.

With luck, the hot water plus the dish soap may help break down the blockage and get things flowing again.

Remember that you can use hot water or dish soap separately

Also, you can mix them both and pour it all as a mixture of dish soap and hot water rather than pouring the liquid detergent in first.

2. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

If hot water and dish soap does not do the magic of unclogging your toilet, you can still use vinegar and baking soda.

When you mix vinegar and baking soda, it creates a fizzy solution releasing carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide gas creates bubbles that can help break up the blockage,  clearing the pipes and improving the water flow.

For this solution to work, you should do the following:

  • Pour the baking soda first, followed by vinegar.
  • Pour the vinegar slowly, don’t dump it all at once.
  • Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour before flushing the toilet.

3. Use a Squirt Gun Toilet Drainer and Wet/Dry Vacuum

If the first two ways fail, it’s time to get creative and use a squirt gun and a wet/dry vacuum to show your toilet plumbing system who’s boss.

A squirt gun can assist you in sucking in water and squeezing it into a bucket.

However, don’t grab your regular vacuum. Instead, rent a wet/dry vacuum from your local hardware.

The suction force of a regular vacuum is very strong and can damage the toilet bowl or plumbing system. 

Here are tips on how you can use a wet/dry vacuum correctly.



Make sure the vacuum is for wet use

Always use a wet/dry vacuum that can handle liquids.

Create a good seal

Always create a tight seal between the vacuum and toilet bowl to hold the hose in place.

Be patient

If you use a squirt gun, too, this is a time-consuming process, so be patient.

Use for larger blockages

The wet/dry vacuum works better for bigger blockages or further down the pipes.

To use the wet/dry vacuum, follow these steps:

  1. Wear rubber gloves.
  2. Empty the water from the bowl using the squirt gun or the wet/dry vacuum.
  3. Wrap the hose in an old cloth that you are sure you will not need again to create a seal.
  4. Stick the vacuum down the drain, not too deep or on the surface, a few inches deep. Turn on the vacuum and let it suck up the clog.

Get an Expert to Unclog Your Toilet

If you’ve tried all the above DIY approaches and nothing has worked, it’s time to call the professionals.

A professional plumber will save you the trouble of getting your elbows dirty by scooping up the clog, as unpleasant as that task may be.

Also, an expert can handle even the most stubborn blockage and help you not damage your plumbing system.

However, you should not call just any plumber. To guarantee certification, choose a provider who holds a Plumbing Contractor license.

So, don’t let a clogged toilet mess up your day.

Contact Meadow Ridge Plumbing for all your residential or commercial plumbing needs. We offer sewer drain cleaning services and we will have your pipes flowing quickly.

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