There is no telling what is happening in the pipes just a few feet down the line from the toilet. It could literally be one flush away from getting clogged. Maybe you don’t have a plunger at the ready to eliminate the overflow from the toilet. Consider these 6 methods on how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

1. The Shop-Vac Method

There is a very easy way how to unclog a toilet using a Shop-Vac. The first thing that you want to do is to get the water level down before attempting to break up the clog. Get the hose into the toilet and vacuum up as much as you can until the bowl is empty.

Once the bowl has no more liquid in it, what you will need next is an old towel or several small rags. Insert the tip of the vacuum hose into the drain and then surround the hose with a wet towel or rags to create a tight seal. Now turn on the Shop-Vac and the suction should be able to remove the clog from the drain.

2. Dishwashing Liquid Flush

Want to learn how to unclog a toilet without any tools at all? All you need is your favorite dishwashing product and a pot. Start by squirting a few drops of the dishwashing liquid directly into the toilet bowl. Now bring a large pot of water to a boil before bringing that into the bathroom.

Slowly pour the hot water into the toilet so it mixes with the dishwashing liquid and begins to break up the clog. Allow the hot water to sit in the bowl for about five minutes, then flush the toilet and the clog should break loose. If things get better but the flushing is still sluggish, simply repeat the process and the rest of that clog should pass down the drain.

3. Vinegar & Baking Soda Method

Another very effective way of how to unclog a toilet without any tools is making a baking soda and vinegar mixture to attack and dissolve the clog. This potion will allow water to pass. To start, you will need one cup of vinegar and one cup of baking soda. Place a large kettle on the stove with water and bring to a boil.

While the water is on the stove, pour the cup of baking soda and the cup of vinegar into the toilet. Once the water has come to a boil, slowly pour it into the toilet and allow to sit for approximately five minutes. After five minutes have passed, flush the toilet and the clog should allow water to pass. If the clog is not completely gone, you can repeat these steps until the toilet is again flushing without trouble.

4. Wire Coat Hanger

Every household should have a wire coat hanger in one of the closets. We will discuss how to unclog a toilet simply using this wire coat hanger and a rag. The first thing you will need to do is to unravel the metal hanger, so it is one straight piece of wire. Now take the rag and attach it to the end of the hanger with the hook. If you wrap it tight enough in a ball around that hook, it should stay in place without trouble. If you want to make sure the rag stays on the wire, you could wrap the end with electrical or duct tape because both of these are waterproof.

Once attached, insert the end of the wire hanger with the rag into the toilet and towards the drain. Begin twisting and pushing at the same time, moving in a corkscrew motion as you penetrate and puncture the clog. The clog is free once you begin to see the water recede.

5. Toilet Brush to the Rescue

toilet brush

When there is no plunger, you can use other toilet parts. If you want to learn how to unclog a toilet quickly, grab that toilet brush sitting on the floor next to the tank. What you are going to do is basically use the toilet brush in the same manner as you would the plunger. Insert the brush as far down into the drain as possible, then follow with several forceful pumps to break the clog free.

If the bowl is full of liquid, yes this is going to be gross. The brown water can splash all over the floor, and someone needs to clean that up. Insert the brush into the drain, push, pull, repeat. Once you see the water recede, you know you hit the clog, and things are improving.

The toilet brush is usually made of brittle plastic, so don’t overdo it or the bristle end could snap off and get stuck in the drain. The key to unclog the drain is quick yet forceful motions that jar the debris free so the liquid can pass by.

6. Renting the Power Snake

As a last resort, rent a power snake from one of the local home shopping centers or hardware stores. The power snake can reach deeper down the line where a potential clog could be causing the trouble. Remember that this is a powerful tool that could easily break the clog and allow water to flow freely again. However, if you are not careful, you might do damage to the plumbing system and turn a bad situation into much worse.

The power snake needs to be operated with care because you could break a fragile piece of pipe or push the clog further down the line where it becomes lodged in a tighter area and stops the flow of water. Use the power snake only if you can access the clog that’s a few feet from the drain opening. If the clog is further down the line, a professional plumbing company should be called.


Most of these methods on how to unclog a toilet are going to break free that clog and get the water flowing again unless the trouble is further down the line and requires a professional plumbing company to clear the lines. If you gained your own experience with unclogging your toilet, feel free to describe your method so other readers can give them a try too.

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