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How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Maybe you’ve just moved into a new apartment or house and haven’t gotten all the proper plumbing equipment to have on hand. Perhaps you’re at a friend’s house, and they don’t have a plunger. Besides the obvious, many things can clog a toilet, and sometimes, we’re not prepared to handle minor plumbing problems.

It happens to the best of us: The toilet gets clogged, and you start to panic when there’s no plunger in sight.

What exactly happens when a toilet clogs? To understand how to fix it, we think it’s essential first to know why clogs happen. There are a few common reasons why a toilet gets clogged, and if your toilet clogs frequently, you may want to take a look at what you’re flushing down.

  • Too much toilet paper.
    As one of the leading causes of clogs, it’s also one of the easiest fixes. (We’re all guilty of using too much toilet paper at some point.) If you like to use a lot of toilet paper, here are a few tips you can try:

      • Double flush. Flush the waste first, then do a second flush for just the toilet paper. This helps to minimize flushing too much all at once.
      • Try better quality paper. Thicker, higher-quality paper can help you cut down on how much you use.
      • Fold rather than crumple. Instead of just bunching it into a ball, try folding the paper before using it.
      • Invest in a bidet. They are wonderful for personal hygiene and can help you reduce your paper use.

      Flushing non-flushable objects.

      Nothing but toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. While it may seem like everything is fine as it flushes down the pipes—even Kleenex or wipes—they can build up, get trapped, and cause problems over time. Instead of flushing these things down the toilet, try these instead:

      • Keep a garbage bin handy in the bathroom so you can toss sanitary products in there instead of the toilet.
      • Even though some wipes claim to be “flushable,” we recommend throwing them in the trash. These items are known to cause clogs.
      • If you’ve been flushing non-flushable things down your toilet, please stop. While you may not have had a clog yet, it will happen sooner or later.

      Items you shouldn’t flush down the toilet include:

      • Feminine products
      • Diapers
      • Baby wipes
      • Makeup wipes
      • Tissues
      • Paper towels
      • Cotton balls/Q-tips
      • Dental floss
      • Hair from your brush or razor
      • Food or beverage items
      • Cooking grease

      Now that you know what not to flush, let’s talk about actually unclogging your toilet.

      No matter the reason for your clog, there are some non-plunger fixes you can try. However, if the clog is particularly troublesome, you may need a drain snake to unclog it. We recommend trying these home remedies for more minor clogs!

      Dish soap
      That’s right! Ordinary dish soap can be a quick fix for a clogged toilet. Its slippery quality can help lubricate the clogged pipe and allow the debris to slide down more easily. Pour about half of a cup into the toilet. Out of dish liquid? Chop a bar of hand soap into small chunks and drop pieces into the toilet.

      Add hot water
      If dish liquid didn’t do the trick, try adding some hot water. This can help move things along. Pour hot (but not boiling!) water into the toilet from about waist level. The force of the water may dislodge the clog. Why not boiling water? It may cause the porcelain to crack!

      Make-your-own drain snake
      If it’s a severe blockage, it may require manual unclogging. Grab a wire hanger and unravel it until it’s straight. Push one end into the clog and maneuver it around until it loosens and flushes. While we recommend keeping a drain auger on hand, a wire hanger will work in a jiffy.

      Baking soda mixture
      Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar into the toilet. Allow it to bubble and fizz for half an hour. If this doesn’t unclog the toilet, try the hot water trick.

      There are other tricks you may try, such as draining the water from the toilet, but they can be messy and, overall, not very useful. If none of these tricks are successful, we recommend investing in a drain snake or calling a plumber like Everest Plumbing! We can have your toilet unclogged quickly and efficiently with no effort on your part.

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"Dalius was very professional and friendly. He explained everything he would do and gave me a firm price before starting. Definitely would use them again."
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"Quality workmanship at reasonable price. We highly recommend Everest Plumbing. Outstanding company!!!"
Anna C.
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"All involved were professional, patient and personable. Our issue was explained clearly by Dalius before, during and after the process of fixing it. I would absolutely use them again. It’s good to know who to call next time!"

At Everest Plumbing in Greenville, SC, we make burst pipe repair easy and keep your home and family safe from further damage. Call us today at (864) 610-2336 to schedule your service with one of our trained professionals.


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