Unclog a Toilet Using This Kitchen Staple (No Plunger Needed)

published Jun 6, 2023
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Credit: Cat Meschia/Kitchn

TikTok is flooded with an unconventional hack for those with a clogged toilet, and it involves using plastic wrap. 

In several posts by different users, you see them wrapping their toilet bowls in plastic, then pressing down on the wrapper while flushing. At first, it doesn’t seem to work, threatening to overflow, but at the last second, the water goes down as it should. Whew!

What sorcery could this be? It’s actually not magic — it’s science.

According to ToiletSeek, the cling wrap mimics how a plunger works by sealing the drain opening and creating a vacuum. “Therefore, when you press on the wrap, the pressure pushes against the opening of the trap way; the only outlet the air and wastewater can pass.”

Take note, though, that the plastic film’s suction won’t be as strong as a plunger, so the clogs you should apply it on should be small, or else it might not work. The site explained: “The clog will either remain in the bowl or move further down the drain which means, you will have to look for another option to dislodge.”

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using the plastic wrap method.

  1. Lift the lid and leave it up.
  2. Make sure the toilet seat is dry so that the plastic wrap will have a good grip around the bowl.
  3. Wrap the plastic around the toilet in any direction. Check to see if the seal is airtight.
  4. Press the cling wrap to force the air trapped inside the bowl to push down against the water.
  5. If it’s still clogged, flush the toilet and press the plastic again. The cling wrap should bulge because of the changing pressure inside the bowl.
  6. Once the clog is gone, remove the wrap and flush again to ensure the dislodged contents are truly down the drain.

And that’s it! The hack could be useful in instances wherein you don’t have a plunger nearby. Will you be trying this hack, or would you just rather go out and buy a plunger?