Having a clogged toilet can be a frustrating and embarrassing moment. Your best-case scenario with a clogged toilet is that you live alone or with family. If you live with roommates, you are at a friend’s or in another public location, typically you might reach for the plunger to unclog a toilet.

In this case, you have options. Either the plunger works and you clear the toilet, the plunger does not wor, or there is no plunger at all. In the case of the last two options, never fear, you can pour something down a toilet to unclog it.

To unclog a toilet there are many options, but one of the best options is to use dish soap and hot water. Simply add a lot of dish soap to the clogged toilet, let it sit, and then pour hot water. This should unclog the toilet and you will be on your way. If not, there are a few other options as well.

Hot Water

One of the best options, when you have a toilet clog, is to use hot water. Simply go to the stove, and heat up some hot water. This should be almost to a boiling point, but not quite that hot.

Pour this down the toilet and wait a few minutes. You should notice it begin to work when the toilet begins to drain. Once you see this, attempt to flush the toilet, and it should flow down nicely.

Dish Soap and Hot Water

If hot water on its own does not work, then you can use the original method we introduced, dish soap and hot water. Head to the kitchen (quietly if you are attempting to do this without alerting anyone), and grab some dish soap.

You will need a large amount of dish soap, about a 1/4 cup. Put this into the toilet bowl, and relax for about five to ten minutes. After this time is up, it should have moved into the drain to reach what is clogged.

Take some hot water, that is not boiling, and pour some hot water into the bowl. The soap and hot water should work together as a lubricant and move the clog down the drain. Flush it once you begin to see movement.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If both of these above options do not work, then it is time to get a bit more creative. Hopefully, you will have baking soda and regular white vinegar available.

If the toilet bowl is extremely high, you may need to take some of the water out (which can be a bit disgusting).  Use a bucket to remove this water and wait to dispose of it.

Now you will need to take one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Pour this down the toilet. Be aware that when the vinegar and baking soda combine, they will bubble up.

This may overflow a bit. These should help to loosen the clog, but after thirty minutes you can repeat the hot water process as listed above. If this does not completely work, repeat the process again.

DIY Draino

Instead of leaving the house to purchase Draino (or using chemicals), you can make your own de-clogger. You will need to mix together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 8-10 tablespoons of dish detergent

Pour the combination of the baking soda and Epsom salt into individual muffin liners, then add one tablespoon of dish detergent to each. Let them dry and harden overnight.

The next morning, drop one of these into the toilet bowl. You can then add four cups of warm water, and let it sit for a few hours. Hopefully, this will give you results.

How to Unclog Your Toilet With Household Items

If you have attempted to pour down different mixtures into the toilet and it is not working, but you still do not want to resort to a plunger, then you can use different household items to do so.

Be aware that you will probably want to throw these items away once you are finished. This, of course, depends on how dirty the toilet is that you are plunging into.

Toilet Brush

If you truly do not have a plunger, and you are a bit desperate, then you can take the toilet brush. Angle the bristles into the drain. Pump it a few times similar to using a plunger. This should be enough to loosen the clog.


Using a plumbing snake is a great option. These snakes are cheap and can be purchased at any hardware store. if you are looking to save money and are avoiding purchasing any devices to unclog your toilet, then you do have options. Instead, you can use a hanger as a replacement to a plumbing snake.

First, take a wire coat hanger from your closet. Unwind the hanger so that it is completely straight, but still have the hook on the end. Find a rag that you do not mind throwing away and place it on the hook. This will help to prevent scratches to your toilet.

You will most likely want to wear rubber gloves to do this part of the process. Angle the hanger down the drain and search for the clog. If you find it, then the water should begin to drain. When this happens you can begin to flush the toilet.

Wet/Dry Vacuum

Whether you have tried a plunger as well as a snake, you have attempted pouring multiple mixtures down the toilet, but all else has failed, as a last resort you can rent a wet/dry vacuum from a local hardware store This should not be done with a regular vacuum, but this specialty vacuum should do the trick.

Begin by emptying all of the water from the bowl. Next, wearing your rubber gloves, take a rag (that you do not mind throwing away). Wrap the rag around the hose of the vacuum.

Instead of sucking out the clog, you simply want to loosen it, so this should create a seal. Place the vacuum a few inches down the drain. Once you turn on the vacuum you should feel the clog become loose and see it drain a bit. Finally, attempt flushing the toilet.

Related Questions

At What Point Should I Call a Plumber For My Clogged Toilet?

If there has been a foreign object or there is a horrific smell, then you may want to call the plumber. You most likely will not be able to reach inside and find a toy in the pipes, but a plumber can.

When there is a funky smell (other than waste matter) you may have a hidden leak. This can be a sign of issues with mold, or damage behind the wall.

If I have them on hand, should I pour chemicals like Draino down my toilet to unclog it?

It is recommended that you never use chemical products, like Drano, to unclog your toilet. Although these are sold in stores, they can cause corrosion to your pipes, they can lead to leaks, and are also unhealthy for the water system.