Here are 5 ways to unclog a stopped up toilet to try (and I DID try them) – and then… the ONE thing that WORKED when NOTHING else worked.
Updated on August 28, 2022
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It finally happened – a toilet got clogged in the house and I did NOT have a plunger.
The grandkids were here and they use the guest bath that I rarely, if ever, use.
SOMEHOW, they managed to totally clog that toilet and… worse yet, my plunger was NOWHERE to be found.
Seriously, Who LOSES a plunger?!?!? But I did mention grandkids, right? haha!
Even WORSE was that this toilet wasn’t just stopped up – it was SUPER clogged!
I don’t know if we had a super-pooper…
or an overly ambitious toilet paper user…
or – BOTH (ugh-ola YUCK!)
But yep, it was CLOGGED – and I was sans plunger lol!
So NOW I need a homemade DIY toilet UNclogger (yep, that’s official name haha!).
I thought about making a DIY plunger contraption with a plastic bottle like this…
Completely fill an empty 2-liter bottle with warm water and cover the bottle opening with your gloved thumb.
Then, invert the bottle and position it deep in the mouth of the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Remove your thumb from the bottle opening and use both hands to squeeze the bottle to force the warm water into the drain, dislodging the clog.
But when I read that you should wear a face mask to cover your mouth and googles and rubber gloves, I TOTALLY lost interest in THAT idea.
I’d really MUCH rather unclog that toilet WITHOUT putting my hands IN it.
So I started looking for other hacks to unclog that stopped up toilet.
Hacks I Tried
Here are the hacks I tried…
and then I’ll tell you what finally DID work – and it was SO easy!
We’re gonna file THIS post under Useful Life Hacks That Actually WORK!
Because I learned a hack for unclogging a toilet the EASY way – and I will NOT forget it!
Dish Soap And Hot Water?
The first way to unclog a clogged toilet when you do NOT have a plunger I tried is to use dish soap and hot water.
Supposedly, you can also use shampoo – but I use Dawn for EVERYTHING (including the easy way I clean my WHITE Hey dudes) so I was resolved to use Dawn dish soap to unclog the toilet too.
How To Use Dish Soap and Hot Water To Unclog a Toilet When You Do NOT Have a Plunger:
- Fill a pot with a gallon of water and set it on the stovetop. You want it very hot but NOT boiling.
- Pour at least a half cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl, let it sit until the water is ready on the stovetop.
- Carefully pour the gallon of very hot water into the toilet bowl and watch as the soap helps to unclog the toilet.
I tried this – and nope, didn’t work for me.
I either did it wrong or my toilet was way TOO clogged for it to work.
So I watched this simple tutorial video and tried it again:
Nope… didn’t work.
I had to keep trying other ways…
Unclog a Toilet With a HANGER?
I then decided to learn how to unclog a toilet with a hanger.
Here’s how to to use a wire hanger to unclog a stopped up toilet when you don’t have a plunger:
Simply unwind the hanger so that it’s completely straight with the exception of the hook.
Then, wrap a small rag around the hook to help prevent any scratches or damage to the porcelain and, while wearing rubber gloves, gently angle the hanger down the drain until you find the clog.
Even though it kinda grossed me out, I grabbed a wire hanger from my closet, bent it like Bob said, put on my gloves and started digging.
That did NOT work.
All it really did was TOTALLY gross me out!
Ok, next idea…
Use Saran Wrap?
Ok, this clogged toilet hack kinda shocked me – you can use plastic SARAN WRAP to unclog a toilet when you don’t have a plunger available.
You know, that cling plastic wrap we all have in the kitchen?
Turns out, yep you can!
Here’s how to use Saran Wrap or plastic wrap to unclog a toilet…
- Totally Cover and tightly seal your entire toilet bowl with saran wrap.
- Flush the toilet.
- When the plastic wrap starts to bubble UP, you push DOWN on the plastic.
Supposedly, the pressure from the air under the saran wrap can force a clog to move when you press down on it.
Soooo – off to the kitchen I went to get my Saran wrap and got to sealing the toilet bowl with the plastic wrap.
Once I FINALLY had it all sealed up, I flushed and THEN….
The toilet water started rising and rising…… yuck! and OH NO!
Thankfully, nothing over-flowed, but I’m putting the Saran wrap hack in the NO column.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar?
Before I jump into this clogged toilet hack, let me say this:
I LOVE using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning!
I use it to get rid of sour laundry smell in my clothes, towels and other laundry.
I use it to clean my glass stovetop.
Both work GREAT!
So when I read that you can use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a toilet without a plunger, you KNOW I was going to try it.
How To Unclog a Toilet With Baking Soda and Vinegar:
- Pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl.
- Slowly pour one cup of vinegar into the bowl.
- Allow the fizz to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- See if it worked.
That sounds easy enough so I tried it.
And then tried it AGAIN.
NO, it did NOT work to unclog my super clogged toilet.
✅ What WORKED
So there I was – nothing worked.
So HOW to unclog a toilet when NOTHING works?
Let me tell ya how I FINALLY got it unclogged.
As I sat there BAFFLED at how I was to unclog that toilet WITHOUT a plunger and WITHOUT calling a plumber, it suddenly dawned on me that I had a big bottle of this MAGIC drain clog remover stuff I use to unclog the sink, shower and bathtub drains.
I’m tellin’ ya – EVERY house should have this stuff in it at ALL times.
So I went and got it, poured it in the toilet… and walked away.
I came back in about an hour, flushed the toilet and…
The toilet was no longer clogged and was flushing properly again!
This is the magic drain stuff I used:
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