Last updated: 4/29/2022
Toilet clogged and don’t have a plunger at home? Don’t worry! Even toilet brands that are equipped with advanced plumbing have similar needs to their less-advanced counterparts, cleaning siphon jets and toilet clogs being chief among them. Don’t rush to the hardware store near you or start to panic.
While a plunger is extremely handy and the fastest way to unclog a toilet, some home remedies can also help tremendously. Most residential toilets can be easily unclogged with some alternatives available at home and some dish soap!
However, the one method that may be the easiest and most convenient is what we’ll be focusing on heavily in this article: unclogging your toilet with bleach.
The bleach method can be used to unclog a toilet without a plunger quickly and easily.
Liquid bleach, the best type of bleach for unclogging a toilet, is made primarily of sodium hypochlorite, a salt derivative. The sodium hypochlorite, which some people refer to as chlorine, is strong enough to break up organic materials, such as human waste and toilet paper. Bleach is especially effective at dissolving human hair. Bleach is a base that reacts with the acids in hair, breaking it down in the process.
If you have ever used too much bleach as a stain solution on clothes, you know that it dissolves fabric too. Bleach will eat holes through cloth if you use too much and leave it on too long. It will also break up toilet paper.
Steps for Using Bleach to Unclog a Toilet
If you want to try using bleach to help your toilet flush, take the following steps and precautions.
Firstly, get prepared. If you have a fan in your bathroom, I would recommend turning it on for any excess fumes. Then make sure you have the proper attire. Gloves, old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and maybe even gloves if you want to be super precautious. Now your ready to get your hands…dirty? Hopefully not, but you get what I mean. Below are the two methods for removing a toilet clog with bleach:
Bleach Only Method
- Pour two to three cups of bleach into the toilet bowl.
- Allow it to sit for up to 15 minutes so that it flows into the trapway.
- Then, flush the toilet to check whether the clog has released.
Bleach and Hot Water (septic method)
- Add one to two cups of bleach to the toilet bowl.
- After it sits for 10 minutes, fill the toilet bowl halfway with water that has barely begun to boil.
- Allow it to rest for another 10 minutes. Assuming you’ve turned the water off previously, turn it back on, then flush the toilet.
We would recommend using the bleach and hot water method most times. If you have a septic tank, you need to limit how much bleach you’re using (we would suggest only two cups maximum). With this method, you can still try to unclog the toilet with bleach, but the water will help make the solution less volatile by diluting it. Bleach is fine to go into your septic, but only in small amounts. Otherwise, the chemical and bacterial balance that your septic system depends on to process the organic matter may be disrupted.
Does Bleach Actually Break Up Poop?
While hard poop may be the culprit of the clog, it’s not usually the sole problem. Feces tends to soften and dissolve while it sits in water. If the blockage is composed primarily of poop, it should flush down within a few hours if you let it be.
A clog that doesn’t go away easily is often caused by other materials taking up space in your toilet or sewage line. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if bleach breaks up poop. It’s more important to dissolve the other materials that are obstructing the pipes.
Is Bleach the Best Option for Unclogging a Toilet?
The best times to reach for bleach for your toilet emergencies include the following:
- You don’t have a plunger
- The toilet is filled with poop
- You don’t have other clog-removing products
Bleach won’t work on inorganic clogs, like LEGO blocks, toy cars, synthetic wipes or feminine products. You will need to remove those manually or hire a plumber to tackle those unfortunate obstructions.
If you need to use bleach to unclog your toilet frequently, you should look into the source of the problem. Don’t let anyone flush anything but septic-friendly toilet paper down the toilets. Hire a plumber to inspect the pipes. You may need to install a toilet with an extra-large trapway and forceful flush to help you stay clog-free and save your pipes.
When you detect a stubborn clog, the easiest method to unclog a toilet is to fill a bucket with hot water and pour it into the toilet bowl. Make sure you pour at waist level so that the water doesn’t splash around the toilet and make the floor dirty.
Make sure that the water isn’t extremely hot, otherwise you may find yourself having to fix a cracked toilet bowl. After pouring the water, wait for some time to see if the clogged mass has passed through the pipe. After a minute or two, flush the toilet and check if the toilet is still clogged.
Now, if this method is not working, you must be asking yourself: what can you pour down a toilet to unclog it?
Using Dish Soap
If pouring hot water isn’t working, you can use some dish soap for the clogged toilet.
- Pour about a quarter of the dish soap into the toilet bowl. Allow the dish soap to sit for about 15-20 minutes so that it has time to move down from the bowl to the drain and near the clog.
- Add two liters of warm water and let it sit for about five minutes.
- The dish soap will lubricate the drain clog and let the waste and paper pass smoothly. Flush the toilet once or twice to make sure that the toilet won’t clog again.
That is the process that is described in the video below.
Don’t have a plumbing snake? You can make your own! Grab a wire hanger from your closet and twist it into a straight line excluding the wire hook. A plastic-covered hook would be a better alternative so that it doesn’t scratch the porcelain, but you can also cover the hook with a rag instead. Wear some rubber gloves and evenly angle the hanger towards the drain till you reach the clog. Flush the toilet two times after the water starts to drain out to clear the contents of the toilet completely.
Baking Soda or Vinegar
A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is used to clean a lot of surfaces in the house. For example, baking soda can be used to clean pillows, dirty pans, your dishwasher, and yes, it’s even one of the best home remedies for clogged toilets.
The first step is to take one cup of baking soda and spread it evenly in the toilet bowl so that it spreads around. Next, take two cup measures of vinegar and pour it slowly over the baking soda so that it mixes well. You’ll see some fizzing start to happen in the toilet bowl, which will further break down the drain clog. Let the vinegar sit for two hours and flush the contents afterward. If it still doesn’t work, repeat the same process, let it sit overnight, and flush the toilet the next day.
If time is of the essence, Epsom salts and bath bombs are your friends. They are not very easy to find, but if they’re available in your house, you can give it a go. Place the Epsom salts or the bath bomb in the toilet bowl. Wait for it to react with the water in the bowl. Leave it for ten minutes and check if it helped to unclog the toilet.
This might be the worst-case scenario if you are looking to unclog a toilet without a plunger, but a toilet brush can help. It will be unpleasant to work with and absolutely soil the brush, but just angling the brush towards the drain, thrusting it towards the drain hole, and pumping it down and up will do the trick. Flush the toilet to see if it worked and repeat the process if it didn’t. Have some cleaning supplies on standby to clean up!
You can make your own drain cleaner by combining half a gallon of water with one cup of baking soda and two cup measures of vinegar. Pour and spread the baking soda and vinegar into the toilet bowl slowly. Pour the water into the toilet bowl with ease and see some fizzing in the toilet start to happen. Let the mixture sit overnight and flush the toilet the next day.
There are three types of commercial drain cleaners available in the market. They depend on the different types of clogs and drain pipes. Find out what your drain’s clog type is by opening the drain cover in your bathroom and checking the drain. There might be different kinds of clogs, like toilet paper-based or hair-based.
The Three Types of Drain Cleaners:
Caustic drain cleaners convert the clogged content into a soap-like substance so that it dissolves with water. It is the best cleaner type for removing grease, food, and soap scum. One of the best caustic drain cleaners is the Professor Amos Superfast Drain Cleaners.
Acidic drain cleaners are extremely powerful and remove clogs made up of hair, food, toilet paper, grease, and soap residue. In this category, the best drain cleaner is the Liquid Lightning Buffered Sulfuric Acid Drain Cleaner.
Enzymatic drain cleaners help prevent clogs that include soft materials like hair or paper but cannot deal with hard substances like grease and soap scum. Here, one of the best drain cleaners is the Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver. This method has turned out to be the best way to unclog a toilet for many people.
You often don’t really need a plunger to unblock the toilet. Whether you use dish soap, vinegar, or bleach to unclog the toilet, the above methods are very easy and effective. However, some are best for highly clogged toilets, while others may only work for small clogs. The best thing is that all the materials required to unclog your toilet in the above methods are readily available and affordable. However, if the problem persists, you can call a professional plumber.
De-clogging a toilet without a plunger can sometimes get pretty messy and inconvenient. Most of the above alternatives are available in all households and are quite inexpensive too. If all of these alternatives seem to fail, the only option is to consult a plumber and/or buy a plunger.