How to Snake a Toilet with a Hanger

How to snake a toilet with a hanger isn’t difficult, but it’s a short term solution to get by without any tools.  

If you’ve got 1 bathroom and need to get your poop down the shoot, try this method. Then buy yourself a toilet auger for future issues.  

how to snake your toilet with a hanger
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How to Snake a Toilet with a Hanger

How to snake a clogged toilet with a hanger is an el cheapo special.  Only works with crazy simple and shallow clogs.  Be warned: this methods is super short term solution.  You WILL need to get a toilet auger to fully clear your clog.  Otherwise, your clog will come back and with a vengeance.  

The chances of this working are pretty slim: the hanger is stiff and short and might not be able to make it to the P trap (if that’s where your clog is hiding and it probably is).  We consider this a short term solution. 

Cons with this method is that it could get unbelievably stuck inside your pipes and also cause damage to your pipes!  We don’t recommend this method to clear a clogged toilet unless you’re desperate.   DIY Beware! 

DON’T forget to wrap your hanger in a rag and secure it with duct tape or you WILL scratch your toilet bowl. 

Can You Snake a Toilet with a Hanger?

Yes you can! While we advise against it in the long run, sometimes you’ve got a crappy mess on your hands and only 1 toilet in the house. You NEED to get it unclogged right away. If that’s the case just be careful not to scratch your toilet bowl with the hanger. We explain how to avoid that below with a rag and some duct tape.

Supplies Needed to Snake a Toilet with a Hanger

  • Wire hanger
  • Gloves
  • Googles
  • Work Clothes
  • Rags
  • Bucket
  • Diluted bleach or disinfectant

How to Make a Toilet Snake out of a Hanger

This is relatively Simple.

Unwind the hanger at the top where the two pieces are tightly wound together to make a decently long piece of wire. Don’t straighten the hooked part of your hanger (this will grab the object or clog and help to remove it).

Wrap a rag around the hooked part of the hanger; some folks say to remove the hooked part. We recommend leaving it on to grab clogs or objects. If you feel that cutting off the hooked part would work better for you, then go for it. Secure the rag you wrapped around with duct tape and any other parts that might hit the bowl to keep it from scratching your porcelain toilet bowl. The only way to fix a scratched toilet bowl is to buy and install a new toilet. Once the rag is secured, you’re ready to begin.

9 Steps to Fixing a Clogged Toilet with a Hanger

How to snake a toilet with a wire hanger is not super hard, but it might be frustrating because it’s not the right tool to do the job. You could be at it for awhile. Better than not having a toilet though.

  1. Make sure to wear some sort of eye protection and gloves
  2. Have a garbage can ready to put your hanger in when done
  3. Cover the floor and anything else that might get splashed with dirty toilet water.
  4. Insert the wrapped up part of your hanger into your toilet pipe
  5. Keep pushing it into the pipe until you feel it stop.  That’s probably your clog
  6. Move and twist the hanger around inside your toilet pipe to dislodge the clog
  7. You know you’ve gotten the clog out when the water starts to drain out of your toilet bowl
  8. Flush your toilet a few times to make sure you’ve gotten the clog
  9. Clean your area and yourself thoroughly to prevent any infections etc.

Congratulations you’ve unclogged your toilet for the time being.  Now get yourself a proper plunger and a toilet auger.  There WILL be a next time….

Can I Use a Coat Hanger as a Drain Snake?

You can. It will only address very shallow and uncomplicated clogs. If you’re in a pinch, this can be the best solution. In the mean time, make sure to buy a drain auger so that you can thoroughly unclog and clean out your pipes to prevent future clogs in both your drains and your toilets.

Can You Get a Hanger Past the Trap?

Using a Hanger means you can only solve very shallow and easy clogs. Most clogs are located by the Trap, which is located in the U bend of the toilet. If you notice that you aren’t having any success with the hanger, the clog could be located too far down the pipes to solve that way. You may need to buy a toilet auger or call in a Pro.

Cost of Calling a Plumber to Auger Your Toilet

This varies from area to area, but generally speaking, you could be paying as much as $250 for this service. There may be extra call out fees for after hours, weekends, and holidays. Compare that to the cost of a toilet auger ($30-70$) which you can use over and over again, and you see that buying an auger is a good investment.


How to snake a toilet with a hanger is not a long term solution to the gunk that is gathering in your toilet pipes.  You can unclog your toilet in the short term, but the gunk will come back.  Take some time and buy yourself a toilet auger to properly rid your toilet of clogs for good.


Is a Hanger the Best Thing to Unclog a Toilet?

The best tool to unclog a toilet is a toilet auger.