How to Keep Water in a Bathtub Without a Stopper?

For many people, taking a bath is the perfect way to relax at the end of a long day. Unfortunately, keeping the water in the tub long enough can be difficult without a bathtub stopper. But do not worry! You do not need a stopper or plug right away. So, how to keep water in a bathtub without a stopper?

Some alternative ways to a stopper for the bathtub can be a coffee pod, plastic bag, plumber’s putty, toilet, and plunger. You can also use a rubber bathmat, waterproof tape, and a plastic medicine cup. All these methods are simple to do and efficient in blocking water from draining if you use them correctly.

All the materials for these methods are readily available. In this post, I illustrate all these methods in detail to help you save water for the bathtub. Please, continue reading to know them and find the best idea to keep water contained in a bathtub without any plug or stopper.

Methods of Keeping Water in the Bathtub Without a Stopper

I have already named some methods that do not require any bathtub stopper. Now, let us know how you can implement them easily:

Method – 1: Empty Coffee Pod (Single-Serve)

An empty coffee pod can be an excellent DIY bathtub stopper. Yes, it works great!

If you have these pods at home, use them to stop the water from draining. You can use Keurig cups, too, as their size will be perfect to fit in the drain hole.

Take an empty pod and firmly place it in the bathtub drain hole. You may insert the bottom end in the hole first. Then, fill the tub with bathing water and check if it can contain water properly. Though the seal will not be sufficiently tight, it can last long enough for a soaking session.

For a smaller cup, take some rubber bands and wrap them around the cup. Alternatively, you can use some plumber’s putty or a rope.

Plastic cups (like medicine cups) can be another solution if you do not have coffee cups at home. Follow the same steps to use these cups as a bathtub stopper.

Method – 2: Plastic Bag Trick

Another temporary yet effective idea to keep water in the tub is the washcloth and plastic bag trick. For this, you need a small plastic bag and a washcloth. You can also use a small sponge or towel instead of the washcloth.

Now, take the washcloth and insert it into the bag. Then, you need to press out the air inside the bag. You can easily do it using your hands. Without removing the air, the idea will flop as the air will keep the bag floating. As a result, you cannot get the perfect seal for the bathtub drain hole.

Next, you should zip the bag with a rubber band at the top and bottom ends. Then, roll or fold the stuff into the drain hole to fit securely into the opening. Take a daily bucket and pour water into it.

Consequently, hold the plastic bag in the right place to create sufficient pressure that prevents it from dilapidation. Alternatively, you can already pour some water into the bag (partially), close and lay it over the bathtub drain.

Method – 3: Plumber’s Putty

When you find both above solutions Ineffective, you can try this method, especially if you have bathtub plugs with a failed gasket. But you should remember this method may work once only. You will need to redo the task after draining the tub.

Okay! So, you have putty in your hand now, right? Roll it in your hands and make its shape as a long snake. It could be long enough to fit in the bathtub drain. Then, raise the stopper and place the snake to fill the drain hole. Lastly, close your bathtub stopper over the putty you have put into getting a watertight seal.

Fortunately, plumber’s putty is available in most homes to cure leakages. If you do not have any, you can order them from a nearby hardware store for only $7-$8.

Method – 4: Toilet Plunger

It can be an emergency solution to the problem you are facing now. Moreover, a toilet plunger is a handy tool to keep the toilet clean, which you can use as an alternative to a bathtub stopper. Again, you can consider it a temporary fix for the bathtub drain.

Wash the rubber end of the plunger first using water and soap. Then, place it over the tub’s drain hole. Press it down firmly to create a tight seal, and bring the plunger handle out unless you have not inserted it into the hole through the rubber end.

Alternatively, you can leave the handle as it stands. But trust me, it will attract your eyes while you are having a deep soaking session in the tub.

Method – 5: Jar Lid

A jar lid is an easy and quick fix to keep water in the tub without a plug. You can apply this method if you don’t have a coffee pod at home.

Look at the kitchen and find any plastic lids (like jam jar’s) blocking the tub drain hole. However, the lid should match the size of the hole perimeter. Cover the hole with that lid and use tape to seal it. You can place the lid’s top so it levels with the tub bottom.

Secure the lid by filling the tub with water. You may also get better results if you dampen the lid bottom before securely closing it. Hence, the lid will remain in its proper place for the weight of the water and suction created under it.

Method – 6: Waterproof Tape

Have you any waterproof duct tape near your hands? If you have, it can be a great way to block water from draining from bathtubs. Mostly, Gorilla All-Weather is the ideal choice to apply this method.

The selected tape should be double-sided. After having the tape, seal the hole properly with it. Make sure it can resist the water pressure throughout the time for the bath.

Though it is an effective solution, you may find it hard to remove the tape when draining of water is needed.

Method – 7: Marine Drain Twist Plug

People who usually go on fishing may have this twist stopper at home. They use this plug to drain excess water from any ballast tank or live fish wells. After all, this plug is designed for fishing purposes.

You can use the marine drain twist plug very easily. Take a plug and twist it into the drain hole using its T-shaped handle made of brass—all you need to apply is a little pull-up on the handle and twist it counterclockwise.

One significant thing you should know is that the plug will work only when its size matches the bathtub drain hole.

Method – 8: Bathtub Toys

Many bathtub toys are available to keep water in the tub securely. These toys can deflate by squeezing them. Also, they can re-inflate when you fill them with water. Thus, it cannot be as effective as other methods I have already explained.

Take a toy of a circular shape for a better result. Now, squeeze it with your hand and insert it into the drain. It fills with water and temporarily creates a makeshift stopper for your bathtub.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some common questions regarding this blog topic are:

·         How Does a Bath Plug Function?

·         Bath plugs are inserted into a bathtub drain to prevent water from flowing.

·         What causes a bathtub drain failure?

·         A bathtub without a stopper can have the drain clogged with hair or soap.

·         How can I remove a pop-up bathtub stopper?

·         To remove a pop-up bathtub plug, you must first find the linkage connected to the stopper. The linkage is usually located under the sink. Once you find the linkage, you need to push down on the top part of the linkage while you pull up on the stopper.

·         How to plug a bathtub drain with holes?

·         There are a few ways to plug a bathtub drain with holes. For instance, you can use a rubber stopper, washcloth, or sponge to block the holes.

·         Why does the bathtub drain when you take a bath?

·         Either the tub’s drain is clogged, or your tub’s overflow drain is not functioning correctly.


Still, do you want to learn how to keep water in a bathtub without a stopper? I hope I have made a clear concept in this blog. Let me recap all things.

Some effective methods include using a coffee pod, plastic bag, or plumber’s putty. Others include using a toilet plunger or jar lid. All these methods are simple and can effectively block water from draining.

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