How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger or Snake
Plumbing issues are a pain for everyone, especially those who are unprepared when the issue arises. Many people come across an unexpected toilet clog that needs immediate attention. Stopped-up toilets can be a real issue, especially when you have multiple people in your home. If you don’t have anything to help you unclog your toilet, keep reading. Ground Zero Plumbing & AC, which does plumbing in Gilbert, AZ, has shared some tips on how to unclog a toilet without a plunger or snake.
Why Is Your Toilet Stopped Up?
There are many different things that could be clogging up your toilet. Knowing what clogs toilets will help you prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Someone is flushing non-flushable products: Whether it be baby wipes, Q-tips, paper towels, feminine products, etc., it is not supposed to be flushed. Even if the baby wipes say they are biodegradable, you still shouldn’t flush them. They can still stop up your toilet. To be safe, only flush toilet paper.
- You have a low-flow toilet: These toilets were designed to help save water, but some of the earliest models, manufactured in the mid 1990s, are likely to clog. According to The Spruce, they don’t have enough pressure to clear the internal trap and drain, which leads to toilet clogs.
- Sewer line problems: If you are experiencing frequent plumbing problems, there could be a problem in your main sewer line. Some problems include a tree root through the pipe, waste buildup (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.), and other non-flushable items clogging up the pipes.
- Old pipework: Collapsing pipes can cause blockage and you may need to get a professional in to fix it.
How to Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger or Snake
Let’s be honest, not everyone is prepared for a toilet clog, and not everyone can make it to the store immediately to get the things they need. But you can’t just let your toilet stay stopped up, especially if you have kids.
So, what do we do? Well, the good news is that there are ways to unclog your toilet without all those things! In fact, you can use everyday household products to unstop it. Here are some methods to try if you have found yourself in this position.
Method 1: Soap and Hot Water
This is a simple method using only Dawn and hot water.
- Pour Dawn dish soap into your toilet (about 1 tbsp).
- Boil a large pot of water.
- When the water comes to a boil, begin to pour it into the toilet. According to Hunker, you should pour it from about three feet above. This should create enough pressure behind it to release the clog.
- Flush the toilet.
- If the clog is still there, repeat these steps.
Method 2: Coat Hanger
This method involves a metal coat hanger and a rag.
- Start by finding the nearest wire hanger and straighten it out completely except for the hook at the end.
- Wrap the rag around the hook end of the hanger to ensure you don’t scratch the porcelain of your toilet.
- Insert the hanger in the toilet and move it around to loosen up and move the clog.
- Flush the toilet to check and see if this method worked.
Method 3: Baking Soda and Vinegar
Like the water and dish soap method, except you will use vinegar and baking soda.
- Grab some vinegar and a box of baking soda.
- Pour the entire box of baking soda in the toilet.
- Begin to slowly pour in the vinegar.
- Let it set for about 15 minutes.
- Flush the toilet to see if that took care of the clog.
You can also leave the mixture in the toilet bowl for up to an hour and a half to increase your chances of breaking up the clog if you have time.
Method 4: Wet/Dry Vacuum Method
This is a last resort because it will involve sanitizing the vacuum thoroughly afterward. Also, NEVER try it with a regular vacuum. It could mess up your vacuum and could cause electrocution!
You will need a wet/dry vacuum, gloves, and an old towel.
- Put the gloves on.
- Get a Shop Vac or any wet/dry vacuum.
- Suck the remaining water out of the toilet bowl.
- Once the bowl is empty, place the vacuum hose into the toilet drain.
- Wrap an old towel around the end of the hose so there is enough suction.
- Turn the vacuum on and try to suck the obstruction out.
- Thoroughly sanitize your vacuum as well as all attachments.
Changes to Make That Decrease Toilet Clogs
To avoid having to go through this again, there are some simple changes you can make that will decrease toilet clogs.
- Flush nothing except human waste and toilet paper, in small amounts). Even those things can clog up the toilet if you aren’t careful.
- Keep a large trash can in the bathroom to make it easy for people to use instead of flushing.
- Put a sign in your bathroom that says what can and cannot be flushed.
- Don’t flush too much at once. Give a couple of courtesy flushes.
There are many options for unclogging your toilet, even if you don’t have a plunger or snake at the time. Just try a few of the above methods and hopefully you have some luck. If not, it may be time to call a plumber for your issue or get the proper equipment if you’d rather handle it on your own.