What Can I use Instead of a Toilet Snake?

So, what can I use instead of a toilet snake?

There are many option to choose from if you don’t have a toilet auger.  Be warned: none of them are as effective as an auger.  You WILL have a clogged toilet again because these methods are not a long term solution to your problem.

what can i use instead of a toilet snake
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What Can I Use Instead of a Toilet Snake Quick List

While the list of things you COULD try to unclog your toilet is endless, we decided to de-bunk a number of myths about unclogging your toilet with everything but the best toilet auger. What home remedy Can I use to unblock a toilet? Here are 6 things you could try to use to unclog your toilet, with varying degrees of success.

Hanger: The Homemade Toilet Snake

Desperate times call for desperate measures with a DIY homemade toilet snake out of a hanger.  If you don’t have a toilet auger, are low on cash, or just have a disgusting mess you NEED gone, you could try a hanger.

You unwind the metal hanger until you have a semi straight piece of metal.  Make sure you have some gloves and work clothes on, just in case anything splashes up from the toilet.  Shove the hanger down the toilet bowl and work it around and around.  Careful not to hit the sides of your nice porcelain bowl; the hanger will 100% scratch the crap out of it.

Hopefully, you get out whatever was temporarily clogging your toilet.  This only works for super shallow and simple clogs.  If there is anything further down your pipes, your toilet WILL clog again.  Take this time to buy yourself a toilet auger.

You could tie a piece of clothing or put some duct tape around the exposed part of the hanger to keep it from scratching the bowl.

Boiling Water

If you’ve got an organic clog that is super shallow this might work.  We caution against using boiling water or anything that causes a chemical reaction in your toilet.  Why? Because both of those things might actually break your porcelain bowl!  It’s due to the heat that they create inside a cold porcelain bowl that is not built to expand or contract based on temperature. A small problem just became a huge expensive one.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is not the cure all for your toilet clogs. Most folks advise to combine baking soda with vinegar and hot water to create a reaction, leaving it to bubble for 10-30 mins in your toilet bowl.  Most likely, the hot water is what’s unclogging your toilet, not the baking soda/vinegar combo.  Plus, if the baking soda and vinegar reaction creates heat, you run the risk of damaging your toilet.


This used to always be my got to.  Then, one day, someone flushed a pencil deep enough into the pipes that the plunger was no good.  Poopy mess 100%.  The toilet needed to be augured and then the pencil came right out.  You see, the pencil ended up wedged inside the pipe.  Plungers work great for simple organic matter like TP or poop that are not too shallow in the pipes, but not so great for random objects.  


Drano causes a chemical reaction in your porcelain bowl and should not be used in anything except PVC pipes. Its effectiveness at clearing out clogs long term is questionable at best.  Keep our oceans and rivers clean too by not dumping random chemicals down your toilet.  Grab an auger instead.

Drain Auger: Can You Use a Regular Auger on a Toilet?

The answer is, if you NEED that toilet unclog then go for it.  Warning though that toilet augers come with cables and bulb heads built for wide pipes like your toilet.  Also, toilet auger have protective coverings on their cables to keep your toilet bowl from getting scratched.  Drain auger do not.  

You WILL scratch your toilet bowl all up if you aren’t super careful if you use a drain auger.  Also, since the bulb head on a drain auger is smaller that a toilet auger, you might not get the whole clog out the first time, only to have it come back with a vengeance. Use this is a pinch, and buy yourself a toilet auger in the meantime.

What can I use Instead of a Toilet Snake

If the clog is caused by something that shouldn’t be in the drain, like a toy or a piece of clothing, it’s best to use a toilet auger to remove it. Also, if the clog keeps returning and your toilet is frequently blocked, it could be a sign of a bigger problem in the pipes, a toilet auger could clean out the pipes. If the problem keeps coming back after you’ve cleaned out the pipes, the problem may be further down the system and you may have to call a plumber.

Using Alternatives to Toilet Snakes in Your Toilet Long Term

Using these DIY remedies to a clogged toilet might solve your problem short term, but long term, you still have debris and gunk in your toilet drains that needs to be removed. A toilet auger is the best and really the only solution to stop clogs from recurring for good.

That’s because it has a thick cable with a large bulb head on the end that is designed to capture debris on the sides of your pipes and bring it out. This debris forms over time and is the cause of many clogs. Other DIY tools are not built with large toilet pipes in mind and will miss this goo.

Toilet Clog Prevention

Here are some tips to prevent future toilet clogs:

  • Don’t flush too much TP down the toilet at once
  • Flush multiple times during a big poop
  • Watch that the kids don’t flush anything
  • Don’t flush any wipes down the toilet
  • Clean out your pipes twice per year with a toilet auger
  • Don’t flush cat litter: it turns into cement in your pipes
  • Grease should be poured into a container and thrown out, not down your toilet

Cost of Buying an Auger Versus Calling in a Pro

A toilet auger can cost anywhere rom $30 to $60 or a bit more. Compare that to the basic call out fee for a pro at $250 and you know which is the better option. And if you have to call a Pro out after hours or on a weekend, that price goes up. For around $60, you can clear out all your clogs for years to come and do twice yearly routine clearing out of your pipes to prevent future issues.


What can I use instead of a toilet auger possibilities are endless.  The better question to ask is, what is the most effective thing to remove toilet clogs?  And that my friends, is a toilet auger.


What is the difference between a toilet auger and a toilet snake?

A toilet auger is 3 – 6 feet long and has a thick cable that rotates to remove debris and clogs from inside your toilet pipes. A snake is a short piece of plastic, about a foot or so long, that has barbs on it. It is meant for drains only, and it designed to clear out very simple clogs like hair.