Non-Plunger Drain Cleaning Methods to Consider, Part 1

In cases of a drain clog, whether for a toilet, sink drain or any other, the most common homeowner tool is well-known: The plunger. What if, however, you find yourself in a drain clog situation where a plunger is not available?

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re proud to offer numerous drain cleaning and related services for those in need of professional assistance. We assist with everything from pipe jetting and major sewer line cleaning to simple expertise on removing more moderate clogs. Using the toilet as our basic example, this two-part blog series will discuss several options at your disposal for clearing a drain clog even if you don’t have a plunger on-hand, including a couple that often work well as secondary measures even if a plunger is present but isn’t working.

non-plunger drain cleaning methods

Hot (Not Boiling) Water

Many clogs, both in toilets and other locations, are due to blockages of some kind of hardened material, often some kind of oil or grease (many others also). For some of these, simply using hot water to break up the blockage is the way to go.

It’s vital to keep this water hot, but not boiling. This is because boiling water can crack ceramic and ruin your toilet bowl, while hot water will not. Get a large bucket and fill it with hot water, then flush it down the drain to heat and move out the blockage. In some cases, following this up with a bucket of cool water to flush down any remaining debris will be helpful.

Dish Soap Alternative

Did you know that a primary purpose of dish soap is to break down grease and other kinds of waste? This same theme can be applied to many other clog types, including those in the toilet.

Get at least one cup of dish soap and squeeze it into the bowl, then let this sit for at least 30 minutes. Check back after this period – is the water in the bowl dropping from its previous level? This is a sign that the soap is working to break up the clog.

Epsom Salt

For clogs you’re having trouble getting at or identifying, certain mixtures might help you out. One involves simply pouring a few pinches of Epsom salt into your toilet bowl – it will react with the water and create a fizzing chemical output, one that often assists with unclogging minor clogs.

Baking Soda Mix

Another mixture to consider here is the baking soda and vinegar combination. Get roughly a cup of baking soda and about two cups of vinegar, and pour both into the drain together. Allow them to combine and fizz for 30 minutes, then come back. If this doesn’t solve the issue, try performing it and then using the hot water method from above right after.

For more on how to clear a drain clog in your toilet without a plunger available, or to learn about any of our plumbers or plumbing services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.