Tips and Guides

A Step-by-Step Guide to Unclogging a Toilet Without a Plunger

Try this trick before ringing a plumbing pro!

Photography: IKEA website (Main Photo)

Whether you live in a brand new home or a rented flat, it's always a good idea to have a plunger in the house—after all, pipes can get blocked no matter how new the plumbing is. 

If you ever find yourself without one in time of need, no need to worry, all hope is not lost. In the rare instance that you find yourself with a clogged toilet, all you need is some hot water and dishwashing liquid. Curious? Check out the complete instructions below: 

What you need:

  • A bucket
  • Hot water
  • Dishwashing liquid


  • Assess the situation first. Try pouring a little water around it—if it goes through, go ahead and proceed with the following steps. If it doesn't and there is a risk of an overflowing toilet, leave it to the pros. 
  • Pour very hot (but not boiling) water slowly into the toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. Keep doing this until the congestion in the pipes loosens up a little bit. 
  • Try flushing the toilet. If it's still not moving, add more hot water—things should start moving around and breaking up in a half hour or so.
  • In more extreme cases, dishwashing liquid does the trick. Squeeze a generous amount into the bowl and let it sit for a few hours. The soap acts as a lubricant and dissolves any blockage. Flush as you normally would. 

PHOTOS and SOURCES: IKEA website (Main) | and | | How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger via Apartment Therapy 

More on

RL Tips: Unclogging a Drain

5 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

6 Must-Haves That Can Help You Unclog Drains


Latest Stories

Fertilizer 101

No idea what to use in nourishing your green wonders? Check out this guide.

10 Textured Finishes That Can Upgrade Your Home

Go beyond stark white walls and plain floors with these textured-looking surface finishes that will add drama and depth to your space

Plant Decorating Ideas Inspired by Aubrey Miles's Indoor Garden

Let your favorite potted green wonders shine around your space

Choosing The Right Grout For Your Tiles

Having trouble looking for the perfect color match? Read on for a quick crash course.

5 Unique Storage Ideas You Need In Your Home

Everyone can use a little extra storage space

Would You Sleep In An Aquino or Romulo Bedroom?

Check out these photos of rooms inspired by famous Filipino personalities, and get to know the amazing history of this hotel in Manila

6 Small-Space-Friendly Pieces For Studio Units

Check out these smart, multitasking furniture pieces, which are must haves for tiny homes!

Coffee Tones Add Warmth to this Renter-Friendly Studio Unit

See how a 30sqm space can be gender-neutral, homey, and beachy all at the same time

7 Questions To Ask When Planning A Home Office

You deserve a proper space where you can be creative and productive

These Salons and Clinics Do More Than Make You Feel Good

Indulge in your favorite beauty and wellness treatments, and feast your eyes on these delightful interiors

This Interactive Festival Teaches You About Architecture

Even if you are not an architect or designer, you will have fun and learn a lot with this first ever interactive architectural festival in the Philippines

5 Small Space Ideas We Learned from the Hosts of Tiny House Nation

Living in a tiny house can make you happy!
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!