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4 Ways to Unclog a Toilet That Won't Drain

There’s never an appropriate time for your toilet to clog. Whether you’re at a holiday dinner or a neighborhood Bunco night, a clogged toilet can create an embarrassing mess. Clearing a clogged toilet can be tricky, and it’s even trickier when you don’t have a plunger. Don’t sweat it—we’ll talk you through clearing your clog, step by step.

Wield the Plunger

Person using a plunger in a toilet

Get your clogged toilet back up and running again the good old-fashioned way—with a plunger and some serious elbow grease. Here’s how to restore your toilet to working order in just six easy steps:

How to Unclog a Toilet With Soap and Hot Water

About 30 minutes
If your toilet isn’t draining, you may not need a plunger to fix it. Here are three unconventional ways to remove a blockage from your toilet pipes.

Necessary Items:

- Soap
- A gallon of very hot water
- A plastic cup

1. Make room in the bowl

image showing empty toilet bowl
Manually remove some water from the toilet bowl, ensuring that there is space for adding a gallon of liquid. Remove the water with a small container—like a cup from the bathroom sink. Just make sure you don't put it back on the counter when you're done!

2. Add soap

image showing a person adding soap to toilet bowl
Lubricate the toilet bowl by adding some dish soap, shampoo, or a few slivers of bar soap.

3. Add hot water

image of hot water being poured into toilet bowl
Heat a gallon of water to very hot but not boiling. A drinkable tea temperature is just right. If the water is too hot, it could crack your toilet bowl. Pour the water into the bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes.

4. Test your work

image of toilet
Try flushing the toilet. If it flushes, you’re all set! If instead it starts to overflow, turn the water valve off behind the toilet—then start again at step 1 or try another method.

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Today just isn’t your lucky day. Your toilet’s clogged, and you don’t have a plunger? Hang in there. There are still a few ways to work through this. If your toilet isn’t draining, you may not need a plunger to fix it. Here are three unconventional ways to remove a blockage from your toilet pipes.

How to Unclog Your Toilet with Soap and Hot Water

Person pouring diswashing soap in toilet

  1. Manually remove some water from the toilet bowl, ensuring that there is space for adding a gallon of liquid. Remove the water with a small container—like a cup from the bathroom sink. Just make sure you don't put it back on the counter when you're done!
  2. Lubricate the toilet bowl by adding some dish soap, shampoo, or a few slivers of bar soap.
  3. Person pouring watetr in toiletHeat a gallon of water to very hot but not boiling. A drinkable tea temperature is just right. If the water is too hot, it could crack your toilet bowl. Pour the water into the bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Try flushing the toilet. If it flushes, you’re all set! If instead it starts to overflow, turn the water valve off behind the toilet—then start again at step 1 or try another method.

How to Unclog Your Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar

If the toilet remains clogged after a few attempts at resolving the problem, remove at least half of the water from the bowl. Then try pouring 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar into the toilet. The mixture will bubble excessively, which is why it’s important to first remove the excess water. Let the bubbles sit for at least 20 minutes before you try to flush.

How to Unclog Your Toilet with Coat Hanger

Still clogged? Here’s one last-ditch effort: Unravel a wire coat hanger, and put on a pair of disposable gloves.

Person cutting a coat hanger

Person holding a cut coat hangerWrap one end of the straightened hanger with a cloth, and duct tape it firmly in place so it doesn’t scratch your toilet. Use the hanger to gently push debris down the pipe until you can flush. Twist and push the wire in a circular motion. If you can’t feel the wire hitting the obstruction, this task may be out of your reach.

Why Won’t My Toilet Unclog? Call for Backup

If, after several attempts at plunging your toilet, it remains backed up, it’s time to call for backup. Get help from the professionals at Mr. Rooter Plumbing. We make your plumbing emergency our top priority and will schedule service with you as quickly as possible to resolve your problem. Call us today at (855) 982-2028.

Need help cleaning around the home? Contact Molly Maid, a Neighborly company, to help with all your house cleaning needs.

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