I did not invent this specific plunger-free plunging process – the same basic technique is scattered throughout the web on plumbing and do-it-yourself blogs, both mainstream and obscure – but I can confirm its strength and power.
The next time you hide a toilet for whatever reason, even if you have a plunger on hand, you can try it instead and avoid the splashing, drippy, unsanitary mess making a plunger .
Most bathrooms have everything you need
To perform this trick, you need three things that can be found in almost every bathroom: soap, warm water and a barrel to get the water to the toilet bowl bring. Dishwashing liquid and a five-gallon bucket work best, but if secrecy is paramount and leaving the toilet would blow up your lid, a small plastic waste bin and a few pumps from the hand soap dispenser are fine.
you want the hot water to run into the sink or the bath and give enough time to reach the maximum temperature. You do not want (or need to) use boiling water that can damage the toilet's porcelain or, worse, injure you . Let the tap get as hot as possible – that will be hot enough.
While you wait for hot water, go ahead and clear everything from the floor, such as bowls or bath mats. You will of course be very careful to prevent spillage, but better to be safe than wet.
Mixing the magic potion
The goal is to get the liquid in the toilet bowl as hot and soapy as possible without allowing it to overflow. To do this, you can pour (or pump) soap directly into the bowl and then add hot water, or you can mix the soap in the hot water before adding it to the bowl.
I prefer to add soap directly to the toilet bowl if the clog has not left much room (for example, less than an inch). This ensures a high soap-water ratio. However, if there is sufficient space above the waterline (an inch or two or more), premixing ensures an even distribution of the soap.
You really can't overdo the soap. You are not going to shake the solution, so you will not spawn a suds volcano if you go overboard. I'm not saying you have to pour the whole bottle in it, but I'm not saying that you shouldn't do that. Anywhere from a tablespoon to half a cup should work.
Add the hot water carefully and carefully
Mixing everything in the toilet bowl is the step that requires the most finesse. You want to raise the average water temperature and get the soap in every crack, but you don't necessarily want to make a slurry with what's in it.
So do not use anything to stir it up. Instead, don't be shy about pouring your hot water – go ahead and throw it in there. Be careful and be careful not to overfill.
Most toilet backups are not total congestion, so there is a good chance that yours will slowly drain first. Keep an eye on the water level and, while it drops, keep adding more hot water to keep it full. If the clog is not too stubborn, the added pressure of a full toilet bowl should help the backup case fairly quickly.
If all else fails, time is on your side
The worst-case scenario is that the clog is clamped too tightly and the above steps do not immediately push it down. If that happens, you don't have to call a plumber or go to the hardware store.
Try to give it some time to get that hot soapy water to work to break the blockage. Walk away, close the bathroom door and wait 30 to 60 minutes before checking again. If you do that, you may be pleasantly surprised that your problem has been flushed down the drain.
Your toilet is not the only household sanitary appliance that can hide, but luckily there are equally fast, clean and efficient ways of handling other simple sanitary problems in the home. If the drain in your kitchen hurts you, check out these. If your shower head simply does not protrude the pressure that used to be, you can quickly break down the build-up of minerals in your shower head as follows . Once you have picked up that waste, consider using it properly and .
Originally published earlier this week.