Serving 15 counties in VA and WV since 1989


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If you find yourself in that unfortunate situation where you’re facing a clogged toilet and do not have a plunger, fear not: You still may be able to solve the problem without a trip to the store or awkwardly knocking on your neighbor’s door.

Here are a few things to try:

  1. Dish soap: This may not seem obvious, but if you dump a half cup of liquid dish soap into the toilet and try flushing, the soap may help loosen the clog. This is a solid first-try option.
  2. If dish soap doesn’t work, try adding hot (not boiling) water to the toilet bowl. Fill a bucket with hot bath water and dish soap and try flushing the toilet again. The force and heat from the water could be enough to dislodge the clog.
  3. Wire hanger: You knew it could unclog drains, but did you know it could also help you unclog a toilet? Yes, a wire hanger can potentially break up and dislodge clogs—rubber gloves are strongly recommended with this option.
  4. Vinegar and baking soda: Okay, you’ve tried other options, and your toilet is still clogged. You still don’t have a plunger, and you still don’t want to go and ask your neighbor to borrow theirs. Understandable. It’s now time to bring out the big chemistry guns. Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then, try flushing with more hot tap water. 

Is your toilet still clogged? If so, it might be time to bite the bullet and go buy that plunger. Or, if you’re really brave, go ask your neighbor for theirs. Maybe you can tell them it is for a non-toilet problem. But if that still doesn’t do it, Powell’s Plumbing is here to help. We provide speedy, professional service that will let you get out of your bathroom and back into the rest of your day!