How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger

A plugged toilet is right up there on the list of worst-things-that-can-happen-in-a-day. A plugged toilet without a plunger nearby is off-the-charts-terrible.

Hold on though! You can learn how to unclog a toilet without a plunger and save the day!

How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger

Determine What’s Plugging The Toilet

Most toilet clogs are caused by too much toilet paper, and the solutions to unclogging a toilet listed here will work quite nicely. You should be sure, however, that it’s not something else that is causing the issue – especially if you have little ones running around. If it’s your toddlers toy car that has been flushed, or if your teen dropped a comb or barrette into the toilet, then you may be better off simply trying to fish it out before you try any of these methods.


Often times the issue with a clogged toilet can be solved by trying a second, stronger, flush. Many homes have low-flow toilets installed that use much less water per flush. It could be that the amount of water released wasn’t enough to flush the toilet bowl contents down completely. Try re-flushing and hold the flush handle longer to ensure that the tank has completely drained allowing the full force of the water to push the clog through.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

baking soda and vinegar

These two common kitchen ingredients combine to create a powerful fizzing action that just might dissolve the clog away. Pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, followed by two cups of vinegar (now don’t use your fancy cider vinegar here…just regular old white vinegar will do the trick plus, it’s cheap!). The fizzing reaction will start right away. Let it sit for 1/2 an hour and follow with a kettle full of hot, but not boiling water to push the remaining clog away.

Warm Water and Dish Soap

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Soap, Free & Clear, 25 oz, Pack of 6

Regular dish soap can also be used to unclog a toilet without a plunger. Squirt a good amount of dish soap (not dishwasher soap) into the toilet bowl; start with about 1/2 a cup. Let this sit for about 1/2 an hour to let the dish soap seep down the toilet drain walls to the clog. Then slowly pour some hot water to help further loosen the clog. Cross your fingers, and flush again.

How To Unclog a Toilet With A Plastic Bottle

flexible plastic bottle

This method somewhat mimics the action of a plunger, but it’s a little more hands-on so you’ll want to be wearing some rubber gloves.

Fill a flexible water bottle with quite-warm-but-not-boiling water. Hold your thumb or finger over the opening while guiding the bottle opening down into the toilet bowl drain as far as you can. Release the opening and squeeze the bottle, forcing the warm water out of the bottle and into the drain. Using enough force, the warm water will likely dislodge the clog and a quick flush will clear the bowl.

Use Epsom Salts to Unclog Toilet

Epsoak Epsom Salt 5 lbs. Magnesium Sulfate USP

Epsom salts can do more than soothe aching muscles at the end of a long day. When dropped into water epsom salts dissolve quickly producing a fizzy reaction that you can take advantage of to help unclog your toilet. Simply drop 1/2 a cup into the bottom of the toilet bowl and wait until the fizzing action has subsided. The powerful reaction should help remove the clog from your toilet.

Wire Clothes Hanger

200 White Wire Hangers 18" Standard White Clothes Hangers (200, White)

Sometimes, a toilet clog requires more of a manual approach. It’s likely that if you don’t have a plunger, then you probably don’t have a toilet snake either. A toilet snake is flexible metal apparatus that can be inserted into the toilet drain and turned to physically break up the clog.

You can somewhat replicate this action by using a wire clothes hanger. Untwist the hanger and carefully insert one end down into the drain until you can feel the clog. Move the wire hanger back and forth and twist it until you can feel the clog give way. Flush with some warm water to remove the remainder of the clog.

Be careful with this method – it can be easy to scratch the porcelain of the toilet bowl so insert the wire slowly to avoid this.

Buy A Plunger Already!

Ultimately, I hope that one of these methods gets you out of the bind. Now’s the time to get yourself a plunger to avoid this from happening in the future!

You can easily get a basic save-your-butt-in-a-toilet-emergency plunger for under $10…you’ll be happy you did!

Supply Guru SG1976 Heavy Duty Force Cup Rubber Toilet Plunger with a Long Wooden Handle to Fix Clogged Toilets and Drains (18")


no plunger no problem