A clogged toilet can quickly turn into a messy situation if you don’t immediately release the blockage. If you’re faced with a clogged toilet but don’t have a plunger nearby to handle the problem, don’t panic. There are a few ways to unclog a toilet even without a traditional plunger.
It’s likely you have a number of items in your home that can work as a DIY clog remover.
Dish soap and hot water
Chemical-laden clog removers can actually damage your pipes and may do more harm than good by sliding the clog further into the pipe. Try a basic dish soap and hot water. If the toilet water is near the brim, empty as much excess water as possible with a bucket. Once the water level is low, pour about ½ cup of dish soap into the bowl. The soap can help lubricate the blockage, freeing the debris more easily. Let the soap sit for three to five minutes, then add several cups of hot water. Don’t use boiling water, as the extreme temperature may cause the porcelain to crack. Pour the hot water from a couple feet above the toilet bowl. The forceful water stream will help in loosening the clog.
Baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and white vinegar are often used in green cleaning methods, but what you may not know is the combination is also good at cleaning drains. This is a good way to unclog the toilet if the water level is low. You want the baking soda to be as close as possible to the drain entry. Pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl, topped by two cups of vinegar. The solution will begin to fizz and eat away at the clog. Allow the solution to sit for 20 to 30 minutes and follow with several cups of hot water to remove the clog.
If the clog is far along in the pipe, the liquid solutions may not work well. If that’s the case, grab a wire hanger and stretch it out into a long line with a hook at the end. The hanger can serve as your homemade auger and help retrieve the clog. Slowly push the wire stick into the drain. When you reach the clog, slowly turn the hanger, allowing the hooked end to rip through and grab the blockage.
Epson salts can help eat away at minor clogs and allow you to flush the toilet. If you’re lacking a plunger, pour ½ cup of Epson salt into the toilet and allow to sit for three to five minutes. Try flushing the toilet. If the salts don’t help, reach for the wire hanger.
Unclogging a toilet when you don’t have a plunger doesn’t have to require a gloved hand. Raid your kitchen cabinets and closet for these homemade clog solutions to get your toilet flowing in no time.