How to Snake a Toilet without a Snake

A clogged toilet can be a difficult problem for anyone, especially when they are expecting guests, and they need to act fast. This actually happened to me for the last Thanksgiving and luckily I knew just the right thing to do. The automatic snake I have is actually made for the pipes only up to 2 inches and it is suggested not to use it on the pipes wider than that. 

Since I spent some money on this household item, I am willing to keep it in order so the guarantee can be applied in case it broke by any chance. Thus, when my toilet clogged I had to apply some other methods on my toilet pipe that is 4 inches wide. Not to mention that any plumber would charge me more for the holidays.

how to snake a toilet without a snake

Do not panic!

If you find yourself in front of the clogged toilet, do not fall into the trap and try to flush again. It will cause a flood and make your bathroom even dirtier. You probably flushed the first time, after which you realized that the toilet was clogged.

Thus, if you flush one more time, the pressure of bigger amount of water could be enough to unplug the toilet maybe, you think. But in most of the cases it won’t be, and you will be stuck with the flood of unclean water. There is a better way that water has in order to help. Let’s give a look.

How to Snake a Toilet without a Snake

1. Plunger

First of all, you should try with a plunger. I suppose that every household has it. If not, you can purchase it for a very cheap price.

The plunger should be wider than the aperture of your toilet. This way it will make a vacuum that draws the clog up.  You should put the plunger into position above the aperture of your toilet, then move it slowly until the vacuum has been made. Then you start moving the plunger in the up-down direction. Move it up, then down dozens of times until the toilet has been unclogged.

After the unclogging, you should flush to be sure that your toilet has been unclogged. My advice is to pour water from the bucket firstly, and not from the cistern. This way, you can control the amount of water, and if you see that water doesn’t go away, stop pouring and repeat the process with plunger again.

plunger for overflowing toilet

If you do not have a plunger or the plunger didn’t help with the unclogging, you should try some other ways of unplugging your toilet.

2. Hot water

As we mentioned before, there is a way to unclog your toilet with water. This time, water needs to be hot.

Hot water helps with greasy stuff that clogged your toilet. You probably know that it isn’t smart to pour food leftovers into the toilet. However, your children might have done something similar, so it doesn’t hurt to try. If this is the case, hot water should help.

First, you should pour some detergent into your toilet bowl.

The detergent also attacks the grease and fat, and since there is no place for a mistake, you should attack fiercely. Pour one tea cup of detergent into the toilet, wait for a few minutes, after which you should add very hot water from a bucket, or a pot.

If water runs freely afterwards, it means that the toilet has been unclogged. If not, you should try with another way of unplugging the toilet. Do not repeat this procedure since the space for water in your toilet is limited and it could easily flood.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

If you are already panicking, please calm down, and try with baking soda and the vinegar.

These two combined make chemical reaction that will melt anything in its way.

  1. Pour one cup of baking soda directly into your toilet, same as in this video.
  2. After adding the soda, pour a small amount of vinegar, because it spumes easily.
  3. Continue pouring the vinegar until the toilet has been unclogged, or the water stops spuming.

If you do not have vinegar but have baking soda in your house, you can try just with it, but with a different approach.

How-to-Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda
  • You can melt soda in warm (not hot) water, and add it into your toilet.
  • Wait for a few minutes,
  • After which you should try with pouring water from a bucket into the toilet.

If you succeeded, it means that your toilet has been unclogged. If not, stop pouring the water and try one of the other suggested ways.

4. Piece of wire

This is the real substitute for snaking without a proper snaking device, yet it seems quite unhygienic and if you are squeamish you shouldn’t try this method. Yet, a mechanic way is the only way that works in any case.

First, make sure that you have a piece of wire, at least a few feet long. You can reattach your metal coat hanger, or use old spare parts from your bike, car, or anything else that looks like wire.

coat hanger

When you find a proper part, slowly put it in your toilet. Once you feel the resistance, you should start rotating. Rotate until you do not feel the resistance anymore, and then pour some water from a bucket. If the water doesn’t run freely repeat the process.

5. Chemicals 

Beside the plunger, this is really the easiest way for unclogging the toilet. There are plenty of different chemicals that had been made precisely for unclogging the toilet. The only problem is that you should buy it, and have it in your home just in case before the toilet even gets clogged.

Otherwise, it could happen that in the time you drive to the first store to buy the product, the unpleasant smell could spread throughout the whole apartment.

There are a few different types of these products and you should decide which to buy considering your own preference.

Liquid chemicals

The most common are liquid chemicals that you can pour into your toilet are XIONLAB Safer Drain Opener, Green Gobbler Ultimate Main Drain Opener, Liquid-Plumr Pro-Strength Full Clog Destroyer ...

All of these products promise that you will never have to use plunger again if you use them. I can say that it depends on the level of congestion. In most cases these chemicals can help. Last time I had difficulties with my sink, I unplugged it with one of these.

See here for a list of the best drain cleaners for toilet.

best drain cleaner review

Tablets

This is the rarest type of unclogging chemicals, yet it is the most compact one. You can keep it wherever you want, but be sure that none of these products is reachable to your kids or pets. These are extremely dangerous and poisonous.

I didn’t try this type of products so I do not know how long it takes for the tablet to dissolve. If you prefer this type, you can buy Compac Plink Fizzy Drain Cleaner. From what I’ve heard, it works miracles.

Powdery chemicals

These types of products are also very often used in the households around the globe. Pick the one that you prefer, pour it into your toilet and flush the water after a few minutes. Products that I would recommend are:

6. Clean the floor drain

If none of these works and your toilet remains clogged, check the main drain of your bathroom, which can usually be found on the floor.

The dirt from your sink, tub drain, or shower drain, along with that from your toilet goes through this pipe.

If you cannot unclog your toilet no matter what you’ve tried, you should check this drain. Sometimes it can get clogged with some hair, dirt or something else, so you should try to unclog this drain first, and afterward, repeat one of the processes with your toilet.

The flow drain can easily be cleaned by hand: put hygienic gloves on your hands, remove the grate, and clean it. If you are nauseous, try with a piece of wire, or pour some of the chemicals in it.

Conclusion: Snaking a Toilet without a Snake

There are many ways to unclog your toilet without a snaking device, yet it cannot be said which is the best one. It depends on the nature of the toilet clog.

Also, you can choose the way of unplugging the toilet according to supplies you have in your home. Sometimes, just hot water is enough.