Have you ever found yourself in the unfortunate position of standing over a backed-up toilet with no plunger or snake in your immediate vicinity? It’s likely that we’ve all been in this situation at one point or another, but how we chose to handle it probably varied from case to case. Dealing with a clogged toilet can be an embarrassing ordeal, and oftentimes very frustrating.
The simplest and most plausible way to deal with a clog is using a plunger. Just slip on some rubber gloves, grab the plunger and press it against the drain hole, then give it a gentle push. Ensure that you have enough suction before giving it another nudge — this should help move things along. If there’s not much water left in the bowl, fill up a bucket with tap water and add it in.
In the event that you’ve come face to face with a clogged toilet and there’s no plunger in sight, don’t fret — there are options. One such option, demonstrated by the folks at Build.com, requires just two things: dish soap and a bucket of (preferably hot but not boiling) water. Build.com uploaded the tutorial video to their YouTube channel in March of 2012. The clip has since been viewed nearly 7 million times, indicating that many people have sought a solution for a backed-up toilet in a bathroom sans a plunger.
Many viewers of the video chimed in to tell of their successes and failures using the method. While some were reluctant to believe that the tactic would indeed work, many claimed that it worked like a charm. It’s worth noting that at the onset of the video, the presenter provides a disclaimer that the method isn’t guaranteed to work every single time. After all, every toilet and the accompanying plumbing system is a bit different. Some pipes can handle a larger volume of waste and water than others.
So, where were we? That’s right, you’re standing over a stopped-up toilet with no access to a plunger. Instead of panicking, grab a bottle of dish soap and a bucket of hot water. First things first, add a good amount of dish soap into the toilet bowl. There’s no exact recommended amount, but be liberal with it. The soap is heavier than water and will thus sink to the bottom of the bowl and, over time, bleed into the clog. Build.com suggests waiting for 20 or so minutes after adding the dish soap. If you’re looking for a timely solution for a clog, this may not be the right one for you.
After waiting, pour your bucket of water directly into the toilet bowl — but make sure the water level isn’t too high to begin with. You don’t want to have to deal with an overflow as well. The water will help break up toilet paper while the soap will help lubricate the passageway. If all goes according to plan, the clog will eventually make its way down. Give the toilet one more flush to ensure that things are working properly. Not only have you solved the clog, but now you have a clean toilet bowl, too.
Again, this method isn’t guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time. But because the YouTube comments section is riddled with positive testimonials, it would seem that many people have found luck with this tactic. It’s always best to have a plunger handy in your bathroom, but just remember that there are other solutions for a clog.
Next time you find yourself in this somewhat anxiety-ridden situation, stay calm and remember this easy process. You can see it in action below.