It’s Friday night and you’re hosting a party. The guests will be there any minute… and then your child explains that they just clogged the toilet! During these fun situations where you don’t have time to run out to the store, here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

In fact, here are several ways to do so, although some of them are definitely preferred over others. Note that these methods are mainly for removing clogs due to toilet paper or human waste- if a toy or something else that isn’t meant for the toilet is causing the problem, you may need to call your plumber or wait until you can get that plunger after all!

Method 1: Hot Water and Soap

Heat up some water on the stove. It doesn’t have to get boiling hot, about as hot as you’d like your coffee or hot tea is fine. Once it’s good and ready, squirt some soap (such as dishwasher detergent or shampoo) into the bowl. Then pour in the hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. Try flushing it, and everything should go right down!

This works because the hot water is primarily what breaks up the toilet paper. The soap then helps everything slide down without clumping together again.

In general, this is the best way to go. It’s clean, uses things you should have around the house, and works well. But if you want to give another method a go, here a few more to try.

Method #2: Vinegar and Baking Soda

Since these are also items you should have around the home, this may be a good option for you. First, pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl. Follow it with a cup of vinegar, and let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, pour some hot water in there and try to flush the toilet.

If you unclog a toilet without a plunger using this method, just make sure you leave that bathroom fan on! The vinegar may smell worse than what caused the clog in the first place.

Method #3: Wire Hanger

You may not have wire hangers anymore, as many people only have large plastic or wooden ones. If you do happen to have a wire hanger, start by unwinding the top and bending it until it’s relatively straight. Then wrap a rag (preferably one you don’t really care for) at the end- you can secure it with something like a rubber band if necessary.

For the next step… we recommend throwing on some rubber gloves. You’re going to insert the end with the rag into the bowl, and push, pull, and twist it around until you get the clog to clear.

Method #4: Vacuum

If you care at all for your dry/wet vacuum cleaner, we don’t recommend this option. But if it has caused you some trouble in the past and you want to get your revenge, this solution is for you!

This works best if you start by sucking out most of the water in the bowl first. Then place the hose a few inches into the drain, and put some old rags or towels around it to help create an air seal. This will help the vacuum suck out the clog, although the seal may not be necessary if the clog isn’t too far down the drain.

So there you have it- four ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger. If none of these work, your best bet is to either bite the bullet and go buy a toilet plunger or call your plumber. Good luck!