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 

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