Ideally, when a toilet gets clogged, you reach for the nearest flanged plunger and clean things out in a minute or two. But what to do if your toilet is clogged and there is no plunger? Maybe you just moved to a new place. Maybe you’re at your friend’s house without a butt. Are there ways to free a toilet behind the plunger?
Luckily, unclogging a toilet without a plug isn’t as difficult (or disgusting) as you might think! In fact, there are several surprisingly easy ways to clear even the most stubborn clogs without a plunger. Here are the top ways to clean a toilet, in the recommended order, to try:
How to unclog a toilet with hot water
First, take a large bucket of hot water. Important Note: You want hot, but NOT boiling hot. Boiling water could break the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Instead, just fill a bucket with the hottest water your faucet can provide. Pour this hot water into the toilet bowl until it is almost full and let it soak.
The heat should help break down the solid waste enough to flush the toilet. If that doesn’t work, don’t panic, just move on to the next methods. The “hot water toilet trick” is just a start.
Clean the toilet with dish soap
Squeeze a bunch of dishwashing soap into the toilet bowl. Use a Dawn brand heavy-duty grease cutter. Leave for fifteen minutes. The soap helps break down solids. This will also lubricate the bowl and pipes themselves, making it easier to push the clog down the drain.
After pouring the dish soap down the toilet, try the “hot water trick” again. Pour a pot of hot (not boiling!) water into the bowl and let sit for another 30 minutes.
After giving the soap and water time to clear the clog, try rinsing again. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, try repeating this process or leave the detergent in the toilet overnight.
Epsom salts to unclog the toilet
If you have Epsom salts lying around, you’re in luck. Pouring Epsom salts into water triggers a chemical reaction that causes the water to fizz and bubble. All that hissing and bubbling can seriously help clear clogs.
Pour a good amount of Epsom salts into your toilet bowl. Leave it on for fifteen minutes and then try rinsing it off. You should see positive results after the first rinse. You can also combine this technique with dish soap and the “hot water trick”.
Use a wire hanger or toilet brush
This is the most direct way to clear a blockage. If you’ve tried heat and chemical reactions to no avail, it’s time to give it a try. If you have a toilet brush handy, use it, if not, flip open a wire hanger. Insert the tool of your choice into the toilet bowl and wiggle it into the opening.
Depending on what’s causing the clog, it can be a little rough, so we recommend wearing gloves. Be careful not to accidentally damage the toilet bowl while working. Metal hangers can easily scratch porcelain if you are too rough or haphazard.
Buy a toilet plunger
I hope you managed to unclog your toilet. Now that it’s working, there are a few things you should do.
First, go out and buy a flanged piston. These pistonless techniques will suffice in a pinch, but are not a substitute for the original product.
Second, determine why your toilet is clogged in the first place. Does this happen often? If so, it may be because there is a larger problem with the plumbing in your home.
Call your local plumber
Sometimes drain plugs, with or without pistons, just can’t be removed without professional help. In other cases, major plumbing problems cause frustrating recurrent clogs and other problems. In any case, contact the experts at Wisler Plumbing and Air. We’ll examine your home’s plumbing and determine why you’re dealing with those clogs. We can help ensure you don’t need that new piston for a while.