How to fix a blocked toilet without a plunger

We’ve all been there. You push the button to flush your toilet and you watch the water rise… and rise… and rise some more. ‘Great!’ You think to yourself ‘toilets blocked’.

Your first instinct might be to keep furiously flushing the toilet to try and move the object that’s blocking your loo, but chances are you will just end up with water all over the floor and depending on what’s currently in that water… that’s never a good option. 

The next step for most people is to head out to the garage or shed to grab the plunger they bought… well, sometimes years ago, but often they find the rubber has deteriorated and it’s now a bit of useless old rubber on a stick. 

The shops are closed and it doesn’t seem like that much of an emergency you need to call a plumber, right? So what are your options from here if you don’t have a plunger and you find yourself with a blocked toilet? Surprisingly there are quite a few things you can do before you give up and call a plumber or tell the rest of the family not to use the loo until the morning when you can call a plumber. Here’s a run-down of some of the things you can do if you find your toilet is blocked or clogged and you’re without a plunger.

How to unclog a toilet when you don’t have a plunger


Sometimes the best solution is patience. If there’s a buildup of toilet paper clogging up your toilet, it can sometimes break up on its own if you give it some time. Wait an hour or so before trying to flush it again (an hour should be enough time for the water to go down – if it’s still full, don’t flush the toilet again otherwise it will overflow).

It’s worth noting here that it’s a good idea to also try to find out why your toilet is blocked to make sure you can avoid it in the future. 

Here is a list of things you should never throw down the toilet:-

  • Paper towel (or kitchen paper) as it won’t dissolve
  • Tooth floss
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappies 

A Bucket

Sometimes the humble bucket can come in handy. Fill a bucket with hot water and pour it down your toilet. Sometimes this can be enough to dislodge or move whatever is blocking your toilet or if it’s a blockage caused by grease or animal fat (yes, sometimes people pour oil or grease into the toilet – please don’t do this) this can be enough to dissolve the grease or fat and clear up the pipe again. 

Dish Soap

You can try adding about a quarter of a cup (about a 5-second squirt) into the bottom of your toilet. Let this soak in for at least half an hour. The soap can help to break up and displace any grease (if that’s the issue) and it can help to make your pipes more slippery so that the blockage has an opportunity to move along the piping system. 

Bicarb and Vinegar

Is there nothing this magical combination can’t do? From science project volcanos to cleaning BBQs and everything in between. You want to add about double the amount of vinegar as you do bicarb, so if you add 1 cup of bicarb, add two cups of vinegar. 

Put the bicarb in first and then slowly pour the vinegar in (if you don’t there’s a chance it will fizz up and spill over your floor giving you two jobs to do!!) then let it sit for an hour. Flush your dunny and see if it works. If the clog isn’t fixed you can try this method, but let the bicarb/vinegar mix sit overnight to give the chemical reaction more of a chance to work. 

Water Bottle

Bit of a warning with this one, it can get messy so depending on the state of the water, gloves, goggles or perhaps a full hazmat suit may be in order. You want to make sure you’ve got the larger water bottles (1-1.5 litres) and really only works with the thinner plastic ones (you know the ones you can crush down easily when they're empty). It’s not really going to work with your average Schweppes or Coke soft drink bottle as the plastic is quite hard and doesn’t allow you to build up the pressure needed. 

What you will want to do is fill up the water bottle with water, then put your finger or thumb over the opening and turn it upside down and put it into the toilet, opening first. Then you want to push down on the base of the bottle and expel as much of the water as you can with as much force as you can to try and move the blockage. 

As we said, this one can get messy but it’s actually a pretty good method if you have no other options. 

If all the methods above fail and you’ve tried everything you can think of, it’s time to call us on 0424 141 174 so we can come out and take a look at it for you.