Removing a Toilet Clog Without a Plunger
No matter how it happens, we have all been at the mercy of a clogged toilet. Whether you are at your own house, in a public restroom, or the worst of all, at someone else’s house, it is stressful and embarrassing. No one wants to see that water level rising up and up and up. But it happens. And when it happens, it needs to be dealt with. So, if you are somewhere unfamiliar and do not know where the plunger is, what are you to do? Well, we are here to tell you not to fret. There are a few different things you can try to clear the clog and get the water flowing again.
First things first, what you should NOT do is continue flushing the toilet repeatedly. This will only make matters worse and all but guarantee an overflow. Instead, you should start by taking a step back and praying to the toilet gods that the water level stops rising quickly. Having a little luck on your side is never a bad thing either, so make sure to cross your fingers and toes while you are at it. Once the initial panic has subsided, it is time to get to work. Depending on where you are and what you have available, you can use a few things to get the toilet unclogged.
Freeing A Clog With Time
Sometimes a toilet clog will resolve itself. With the assistance of time and gravity, eventually, the water will start to drop and force the clog through the pipes. This is the best-case scenario; however, time is not always on your side. For instance, if you are at a friend’s house, you may be in a bit of a rush to get things cleared out.
Greasing With Dish Soap
Dish soap can be quite helpful in clearing a clogged pipe because the grease-cutting formula is useful to lubricate the pipe allowing the clog to move through more freely.
Flushing With Hot Water
If dish soap alone is not cutting it, add some hot water. This is best if the water level is not already at the brim of the toilet bowl. Adding a bucket or pitcher of hot, not boiling, water to the bowl can help force the clog out. Boiling water can crack a porcelain toilet, so consider this a nuclear option. Just stick to hot water from the bathtub.
If you are still in a toilet-based nightmare and have access to a wire hanger, you can MacGyver it into a homemade drain snake. First, unwind the hanger and straighten it out. Then “plunge” one end of the hanger into the toilet drain and prod around with it to manually dislodge the clog. In some cases, you can also use a toilet brush for this task.
Dissolving A Clog With Baking Soda and Vinegar
This method works best on a half-full toilet bowl. The combination of baking soda and vinegar causes a bubbly, fizzy reaction that also releases carbon dioxide. This gas release causes pressure to build up against the clog, eventually forcing it through the pipe.
If you are desperate, then this final option may be your saving grace. Prepare yourself because it can get messy. Fill a two-liter or other large flexible bottle with warm water. Cover the bottle’s mouth with your thumb and place it as deep into the toilet drain as you can get it. Remove your thumb and use your hands to squeeze the water out of the bottle. The force and the temperature of the water should push the clog through the drain in much the same way as a plunger. We recommend rubber gloves if you are going to try this step.