No Plunger Handy? How To Plunge A Toilet Without One

Carlos Bowman

Did you recently move into a new home or apartment only to find that the toilet has clogged? If you didn't bring a plunger with you when you moved and don't have time to go purchase a new one, you may be wondering if there's any way you can plunge the toilet even without having this plumbing tool at hand. The good news is that you can indeed unclog a toilet without a plunger; the bad news is that it can get messy if you're not careful. If you don't mind the likelihood of (literally) getting your hands dirty, read the following to learn how to do this job properly.

Tools You May Want To Have On Hand

If you have the following items nearby it will make the job easier, although it is still possible to plunge the toilet without them:

  • Plastic grocery bag (any type of large plastic garbage bag or similar type of bag will work as well)
  • An old wire hanger that can be straightened out (this will be needed if it turns out a large, solid object is behind the clog)
  • Old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty (not a necessity, but you will be physically closer to the toilet than you would be if you were using a plunger, so you may have to deal with splashing)

Your need for these items will depend on the cause of the clog and how dirty you're willing to get to fix the problem--if you're planning to shower immediately afterwards anyway, for example, then you may want to go right ahead with the next steps.

Steps to Unclog the Toilet

First, if the toilet has overflowed or is near to overflowing, you may wish to grab a bucket or other container and empty some of the toilet water out into the tub. If there are large pieces of waste or wads of toilet paper in the toilet that you don't wish to dump out into the tub, first wrap the plastic bag around your arm, grab these items, throw them into a garbage bag, and then dump the toilet water into the tub.

Next, wrap the bag around your arm if you haven't already, then stick your hand into the toilet and start to plunge. The key is to try and create enough suction between your hand and the drain to force whatever is clogging the toilet down and out. Try flushing again after a few moments of plunging to see if it's worked; if it hasn't, it's possible that a large object, like a child's toy for example, could be preventing the toilet from draining properly.

If this is the case, straighten out a wire hanger (leave a small hook on one end) and push it as far down the toilet as it can go. If you're lucky, you'll be able to hook onto the object causing the clog and can then pull it out, solving the problem.

If this solution sounds too messy or troublesome, then you may have to wait until you can grab a plunger, or simply look to get drain cleaning by Phil Ballam Plumbing & Heating Co Ltd or other professional plumbers who can take care of the problem for you.