How to Unclog a Blocked Toilet Without a Plunger

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What would you do if your toilet got clogged on a Saturday evening when the shops are closed and you are about to host a curry and beer party?

This instructable will show you a simple method for unclogging a toilet using hot water and shampoo. While there are other methods of clearing a toilet drain, this is a great option for unclogging a toilet because you don’t have to touch the water.

You will need:

  • 1 clogged toilet (works best when someone has been overzealous with the toilet paper)
  • A generous amount of surfactant (i.e., Dawn Dishwashing liquid, shampoo, liquid soap, or any other cleaner that gets sudsy)
  • Hot (but not boiling) water
  • A bucket or a basin to transport water to toilet

This will only work with a toilet that is not overflowing and has some room to hold extra water.

(For squeamish people: The picture of the blocked toilet was not created with actual bodily excretions.)

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Step 1: Add Shampoo and Hot Water.

Get your bottle of shampoo/ soap and squirt a generous amount into the bowl.

Follow that with a bucket of very hot water from the hot tap (not boiling).
Fill the toilet full but not overflowing.

The reason you should not use boiling is because it has been said that boiling water can cause the toilet bowl to crack (I have not personally tested this assertion though as I do not have the money to buy a new toilet).
Then go have a cup of tea and let the blockage 'marinate'.

Step 2: Return and See Your Handy Work.

Hopefully after a few minutes the water level will have lowered. (Hot water helps break up toilet paper quicker and the soap lubricates the passage of solid material).
If nothing has happened wait 10 minutes more. If still nothing has happened you will probably need to use a different method (or bail some of the water out and add more hot water/ soap).

If the water level is lower than before add more soap and more hot water (hot water does not need to be as hot as the first time as this time there is less water in the toilet to heat up).
Again wait for water to drain (this should be quicker).

Repeat the process until water flows freely.

Step 3: Done

Done.
Remind your party goers to treat your toilet with respect and only put bodily excretions and small amounts of toilet paper in.

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264 Discussions

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Xyzxyzxyzxyz900009

3 months ago

Omg thank you so much :'0
Yes I also signed up only to say thank you and to tell others not to get discouraged if it doesn't work at first, it took me about two hours and a shitload of hot water, dishwasher soap and laundry detergand but then it finally worked !!

1 reply
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NavdeepK12

4 months ago

Who ever posted these instructions, you are a life saver. Bless you. Toilet was blocked for 10 hrs. After several plumbers no movement. Googled for help and poured washing liquid and boiling water it cleared in 5 mins. This is first first ever review in life time! Bless you. Thank you.

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randalosgood

8 months ago on Step 1

Keep the water temp below 180° or so if you have PVC or other plastic plumbing in the house. PVC softens at that temp and too long an exposure and your plumbing could disconnect itself. Bad news! No boiling water!

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TanyaM72

11 months ago on Introduction

Wow. This worked. I had to do the steps 3 times but then the water went and toilet flushes as normal Using dishing washing soap worked better than shampoo. Thanks!

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FionaO7

1 year ago on Step 3

Just wanted to say that this has saved me tonight, otherwise I would have flushed my 4yeqr old down the toilet. The usual toilet tissue pushed down with a toilet brush by my four year old. Your method worked instantly with much much thanks.

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Yinka1

1 year ago

Yay it worked! I used boiling water though and a small cup of washing powder! It worked first time.Thank you!

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OkhumoideK

1 year ago

My kid stuffed loads of tissue in the toilet. This technique worked 100%.

First used boiling water with shampoo and detergent but that was taking abit long... so boiled more water...added liquid dishwasher, shampoo, detergent and fabric conditioner and poured it and it just flowed instantly! Thanks.

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GuLp1PLH

Question 1 year ago on Step 1

How much is a generous amount? How long should I let it marinate? Should I fill the toilet full even with the water level low?

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AriëlleT2

1 year ago

It also works with powdered laundry detergent after you let it get full of suds under the bathtub faucet

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AmalitaB

1 year ago

its gotta feel good that almost 5 years after OP people are signing up for an account just to say thank! thanks! it worked instantly.. you have saved our marriage...this time. lol.

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RayC123

1 year ago

Holy cr@p Batman, put some cheap shampoo and hot water down and it worked, nearly called the homeserve people, would have cost me £50. Brilliant.

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MOSES001

1 year ago

I tried it and it worked in minutes. I had a clogged toilet that I was trying to flush waiting for it to go down and the flushing with a bucket but it was not working. I saw your page, followed the instruction and unvelievably, in minutes I was clog free. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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devontaffy

1 year ago

WOW!!!!!! the bowl cleared almost immediately.thanks.

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ElaineL55

1 year ago

Thank you! This simple process really does work - unclogged my bathroom in less than 5 minutes.

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homevidu

2 years ago

thank you, it worked very well in the first instance. I used coles dis-washing liquid and boiling water. waited for 10 minutes it did not work so I left to shops for grocery shoping when I returned I had a clean toilet. Wow amazing:)

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guavabum

2 years ago

just signed up to say thank you and how much trouble it saved me!! I pulled 6 kettle of almost boiled water down and the whole process took around 20 mins , I was about to give up hope and go out and get a plunger also contemplating getting a plumber, then voila, it all worked!!!

1 reply
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guavabumguavabum

Reply 2 years ago

using dishwashing liquid also cleaned out the toilet bowl

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noprobs

2 years ago

This really works! Slightly blocked loo for a few weeks just kept on filling up. It just glugged away on the first bucketful of hot water and quite a lot of washing up liquid! Amazing. If it's still good on Monday I'll be really impressed.

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SanaJ3

2 years ago

Omgggg!!!! It totally and completely works.. after pouring a dozen bottles of bleach down the clogged toilet....THIS is what worked.. thankyou so much...