How to Unclog a Toilet Without A Plunger or Snake

Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by toilethaven

Clogged toilets are normal occurrences in many homes. They are especially common if you have young kids who tend to throw just about anything down down the drain.

A toilet plunger is normally sufficient to dislodge most toilet clogs. What if you don’t have a plunger? How else can you unclog a toilet without a plunger?

There are 8 ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger that actually work. The idea here is to use what you have and in accordance to the state of the clogged toilet.

The first thing you do is to drain your toilet bowl. This is not always easy especially if the toilet is clogged with poop and/or toilet paper. Just drain everything into a bucket and get going. For more details on how to drain a toilet check this post.

These are the different ways you can unclog a toilet without a plunger:

  • With your bare hand
  • Using hot water
  • With dish soap
  • Baking soda and vinegar solution
  • With saran wrap
  • using a wire hanger
  • With a plastic bottle
  • Using Epsom salt

1. How to unclog a toilet using your hand

Yes guys! It is the first and easiest method you should try. If for instance someone was mopping the house and dumped the dirty water with the rag inside the toilet, the clogging rag will most likely be at the toilet trap.

This is where it help to have small hands. Try and insert your hand through the bowl outlet and feel if there is anything you can touch. If it is just toilet paper clogging your toilet remove as much of it as possible.

Try plunging with your bare hand as you would if you had a plunger if you can feel anything. The idea is to force as much water as possible down the drain and forcefully too.

If you are visiting someone and happen to clog their toilet or are just trying to unclog a hotel toilet without a plunger, this is the first method you should think of.

2. How to unclog a toilet with dish soap

Why dish soap, you may ask. The idea is to lubricate the surface of the toilet trap and drainpipe as much as possible and hopefully with time the clog will slide along and unclog the toilet. Pour about half to a full cup of dish soap into the bowl and give it about half an hour to work. Make sure the bowl has been completely drained out prior.

If you are however running low on dish soap, you can always use a bar soap. Shred it into small pieces and drop it in the toilet bowl. Alternatively, you can dissolve the small pieces in warm water then pour the solution in the bowl.

For more information on this method check out this post.

3. How to unclog a toilet using hot water

In case the dish soap method didn’t work, you can try a bucket of hot water. As a matter of fact, using both dish soap and hot water works even better than using the 2 methods separately.

We are using hot water as it easy very effective in breaking down toilet paper, which are what causes toilet clogs most of the time.

Pour the water gently from waist level, and face away from the toilet bowl. You don’t water anything from the toilet, or the water splashing back on your face. The force of the water will also help in pushing down/dislodging the clog.

It is important that you don’t use water that is too hot. The toilet bowl is made of ceramic. Very hot water could make the bowl expand suddenly and hence crack.

4. How to unclog a toilet with baking soda and vinegar

Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl then add two cups of vinegar. Pour the vinegar slowly as it reacts very fast with baking soda. Vinegar is an acidic substance while baking soda is an alkaline substance.

The fizzing reaction between vinegar and baking soda will hopefully break down the clog unless its very solid. Give the solution 30 minutes to work out its magic.

If time lapses and this solution doesn’t seem to work, dump a bucket of hot water inside the bowl and see what happens. Sometimes it takes more than one method to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

For more information on this method check out this post.

5. How to unclog a toilet with a saran wrap

For this method, you will need water in the toilet bowl. The idea is to completely seal off the toilet bowl with saran wrap and apply as much force as possible from the top. Hopefully this will help to push the clog down the drain. Follow the steps below.

  • Ensure your toilet has water up to the ¾ mark.
  • Lift the toilet seat and lid.
  • Cover the toilet bowl with a plastic wrap. Make sure it is air tight.
  • Flush the toilet.
  • As the flush water fills the bowl, use your palm and push forcefully downwards on the plastic wrap.
  • Always face away from the toilet bowl.

What this method does is build up a big pressure differential between the top of the clog and the drain pipe forcing the clog to be sucked it to the drain pipe.

6. How to unclog a toilet with a wire hanger

Another clever way of unclogging a toilet without a plunger is to use a wire hanger. Get a wire hanger from your closet and straighten out with a pair of pliers.

In this method, the wire hanger will simulate how a toilet snake/auger works. The most important thing here is to make sure that you do not scratch the toilet bowl.

Hold one end of the wire and push the other one through the toilet drain. Twist and push it the way you would a plumber’s snake. This will most likely shred the clog into smaller pieces hence making them move further down the drain

You should always be extra careful while using this method. It is very easy to scratch the inside of the toilet bowl. This can leave very ugly marks on the bowl.

7. How to unclog a toilet with a plastic bottle

This method works just the same way as a plunger only that it is not as effective, or fast. You will need a plastic bottle, preferably 2 liters or larger, rubber gloves, a sponge, a bucket and if possible eye googles. It can get very messy.

Wear your gloves and using the sponge mop out as much water as possible from the bowl and drain it in the bucket. Next, fill up the water bottle with warm water.

Placing your thumb on top of the bottle opening, insert it into the toilet bowl outlet and remove your thumb. Push it down and squeeze it hard.

The idea here is to build up pressure above the clog and therefore force it down the drainpipe. This works well when you are kneeling besides the toilet and as soon a you insert the bottle opening in the toilet outlet face away from the toilet.

8. How to unclog a toilet using salt

Epsom salt is your best bet here. Just like baking soda and vinegar, creates a fizzy reaction when it comes into contact with water, hence helping to break down whatever that is clogging the toilet.

You should therefore make sure the toilet bowl is ¼ full of water, preferably warm water. If Epsom salt is not available just go with the common table salt.

Mix about and 1 cup of table salt and 6 cups of hot water and dump in a bowl that has been completely drained. It is important to have the bowl drained so that the solution acts on the clog directly.

How to Unclog a Toilet when Nothing Works

how to unclog-a-toilet-without-a-plunger

This might look like a drastic move but most often than not, it is the correct one. Sometimes even when you have a plunger, the clog won’t go away and you are left with no option than to remove the toilet. Removing a toilet is a rather simple process.

  • Check on either side of your toilet base and you will see two bolts. If they are covered with plastic caps, pry them off with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Using an adjustable spanner, loosen the nuts from the bolts and take them out.
  • Hold the toilet by the bowl and rock it a little to break the wax seal.
  • Lift off the toilet and lay it on its side.

From there it is very easy to see what is clogging your toilet. You can push your hand into the toilet from underneath the bowl to make sure it is not clogged. You can also check inside the drain pipe.

Once you have removed the clog. Follow the same steps as above to install the toilet. Be sure to use a new wax ring since wax rings cannot be reused.

For more information on this method check out this post.


All the above methods are great tips on how to unclog a toilet without a plunger. Because of the nature of clogs, there is no one method to fit all toilet clogs. This is why it is important to follow all of them sequentially until you get to the one that works for you. If unfortunately you didn’t manage to unclog your toilet, there is no shame in failing. Feel free to call a professional plumber.


1. Do toilet eventually unclog themselves?

If the toilet is clogged by water-soluble items like toilet paper or soap then it will unclog itself after some time. A toilet that that is clogged by solid and insoluble items like toys will not unclog itself no matter how long you wait.

2. What can your pour down a toilet to unclog it?

Vinegar and baking soda solution or hot water are quite effective in unclogging a toilet. What you don’t want to pour down a toilet is chemical drain cleaners as they bad for the plumbing, not eco-friendly and unsafe for a septic system.

3. How do you unclog a toilet when water is high?

The first thing you do is drain the water bowl. Scoop the water and toilet paper/poop into a bucket before attempting to unclog the toilet to avoid splashing.