Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Shawna Bailey
by Shawna Bailey
2 Materials
5 Minutes

This is the coolest trick to unclog a toilet. It's so much cleaner than using a plunger. I can’t promise it will work every time for you, but it worked every time I tried it. All you need is dish soap and hot water.

I would never actually photograph a real clogged toilet because that would be gross. But I wanted to show you how well this method worked, so I stuffed my toilet full of paper towels and toilet paper. I thought those were some pretty tough conditions.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

I used dish soap and hot water. (I told you this was cleaner than using a plunger!)

Step 2: Squirt in Some Soap

I just squirted in about ¼ cup of dish soap.

You'll see the soap settle to the bottom. It lubricates the toilet bowl and helps break up the toilet paper.

Step 3: Add Very Warm Water

I didn’t add boiling water because I didn’t want to damage any of the seals or the toilet bowl itself, but hot water helps break up all the toilet paper. Add enough to help break everything up, but make sure not to overflow the toilet.

Step 4: Flush

You'll see the water slowly move down (it might take a few minutes, so be patient). Once that happens, feel free to flush it and watch the clog go down the drain. Easy peasy!

For more ideas on how to fix a gurgling toilet click here!

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Resources for this project:
Warm water
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 95 questions
  • Barbara Barbara on Apr 29, 2023

    I’m just wondering how safe this method would be for toilets with a leach bed? Or septic system?

  • Betty Betty on May 01, 2023

    I always thought you weren't suppose to put paper towels in the toliet for these plug toliets?

  • Ellen Glymph Ellen Glymph on May 15, 2023

    What's the best method for cleaning the soleplate of an iron?

Join the conversation
2 of 537 comments
  • Gdc92716687 Gdc92716687 on Feb 20, 2024

    I tried this several times unsuccessfully,BUT I didn't realize you has to add hot water. So next time it will hopefully work. I'll try again!

  • Laura Laura on Apr 20, 2024

    I have tried this and it’s my go to for clogs now !!!!!!!!! Works fantastically