How to Unclog a Toilet When a Plunger Doesn’t Work

If there’s one skill a homeowner should be familiar about, that’s learning how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work. You’d think it won’t happen, but honestly, it will.

You should know how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work because you won’t know when your plunger will give up on you. Take note of these steps and get yourself started.

First Method: Soap and Water

The first method of how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work involves items that you can easily find in your home: soap and water.

How do you do it? Here’s how.

  • Grab the bottle of soap and pour a generous amount inside the toilet bowl (shampoo, dish detergent or dishwashing liquid can also work).
  • Next, pour hot (but not boiling) water inside the bowl. Fill the bowl with water but don’t let it overflow.
  • Wait for a few minutes. By this time, the water level should have gone down.
  • Did nothing happen? Pour more soap and hot water – but not necessarily as hot as the first. Give a few more minutes.

That should do the trick – the water should have drained, and flushing will make the water flow freely.

There are some tips you should take note of –  this will be most effective with a toilet that’s not overflowing and still has room for more water. Plus, remember to use hot – not boiling – water; boiling water may cause the bowl to crack. The costs of buying a new plunger will be way cheaper compared to buying a new toilet bowl, don’t you think?

Second Method: Vinegar and Baking Soda

Learning how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work is easy. The second method involves another duo that will work wonders for your clogged toilet – vinegar and baking soda.

vinegar baking soda

How do you use these two?

  • First, pour a cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet bowl.
  • Next, pour a cup of white vinegar. A fizzing reaction will take place.
  • Wait for a few minutes, and then afterwards, pour a kettle of hot water into the toilet bowl.
  • Is the clog still there? If yes, then repeat the previous steps to remove the clog.

If you’re dealing with a minor clog, then you can just use the full intended amount of vinegar and baking soda (in this case, 1 cup). If it’s more severe, then you can first use smaller amounts to gradually remove the clog.

Don’t forget to use equal amounts of vinegar and baking soda to get the best results.

Third Method: Baking Soda, Epsom Salt and Dish Detergent

Still finding ways on how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work? Try these three ingredients to make your own “toilet bomb”: baking soda, Epsom salt and dish detergent.

If you have muffin tins and muffin liners with you, then we can start.

  • First, mix the Epsom salts and baking soda together. Mix them well to avoid clumps.
  • Afterwards, mix the dish detergent a tablespoon at a time and wait until you’ve reached consistency similar to that of wet sand.
  • Place liners inside the muffin tins. Fill liners and pack them down tightly.
  • Let it rest and have it dry overnight – or even longer, if needed – to let them dry and make them come out of the tin easily.

How do you use them? By grabbing one out of the liner, dropping it into the clogged bowl, pouring hot water (a few cups may do), and allowing it to dissolve for an hour or two. You should be able to flush the toilet then.

This may not be an ideal method if you’re in a hurry, but if you’ve made some toilet bombs like these, you can store them inside your bathroom. This way, they can be used by you or other members of your household when you need them. You can even teach them how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work, right?


Aren’t you glad you’ve learned all about these methods? It’s best to know how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work, because you’ll never know when a clogged toilet will be a problem.

The items on this list are typically found inside your pantry. Vinegar, baking soda, dish detergent, liquid soap, you probably already have them all in the house. So, aren’t you relieved that a clogged toilet won’t be a problem anymore by knowing how to unclog a toilet when a plunger doesn’t work?

What did you think of this article? Did you find it helpful? Did it work for you? Post your opinions in the comments box so we’d know what you think of it. Feel free to share the article to your friends.

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