There are few things in life around your home that are more inconvenient than a plugged up drain on your toilet; this is especially true if you did not notice your toilet was backed up until after you just got rid of last night’s dinner. You have been conditioned that the plunger you keep handy will always cure this problem but low and behold that is not the case today. Before you start to scream and throw things, here are some inexpensive and handy ways other than using the plunger that may get your clogged toilet drain flowing again.

1. Use a Homemade drain cleaner

That baking soda and bottle of vinegar that are just sitting in your cupboard make an excellent and inexpensive homemade drain cleaner when the two are combined. You do this by adding 1 cup of baking soda along with two cups of vinegar directly into the toilet bowl. Don’t worry all that fizzing will not make the toilet bowl explode but it will get rid of most clogs that are not caused by solid obstructions. This method is best used in households that have more than one toilet because it will take overnight to work.

2. Use a Homemade Snake

Before you go out and buy an expensive snake or spend the money on a rental, try making one out of a metal coat hanger if one is available. You do this by separating the twisted end of the hanger and then straightening it out. Make sure you put several layers of duct tape on one end so it does not scratch the surface of the toilet. Stick the taped end into the drain and use a poking motion to punch through anything solid obstruction you come into contact with. This method will usually work if your clogged toilet has a blockage that is not deeper than a foot or two into the pipe.

3. Use Your Wet/Dry Vac

Now you have another use for that handy wet/dry vac that you keep in the garage; it can now be used to free up your clogged toilet too. Before you start, make sure you turn the water off to the toilet so the bowl does not keep filling up and then use your shop vac on the suction setting to get all of the water out of the bowl. Once the water is out of the bowl then stick the suction end of the hose into the drain opening; press it firmly so it makes as tight a seal as possible. Hopefully you can use the vac’s powerful suction to open up your clogged toilet line.

Of course if all of these methods fail you will have no choice but to call a professional plumber or rent yourself a portable snake to do the job, but if you follow the instructions listed here you will have a much better than average chance of freeing up your clogged toilet inexpensively.