How to Unclog a Toilet with Saran Wrap?

Toilet clogging is very common. Most homeowners utilize a toilet plunger or an auger to unclog the toilets. However, there are times when you don’t have a plunger. In that case, you can use non-conventional and homemade remedies to unclog the toilet. For instance, one of the ways to unclog a toilet is using Saran Wrap.

Unclogging a toilet with Saran wrap is very simple. Just cover the bowl tightly with Saran wrap, and apply some pressure on the wrap back and forth. This pressure forces the blockage to dislodge, and water gets drained.

You may have known saran wrap with some other names like cling film, plastic wrap, food wrap, or film. Saran wrap is a very thin sheet of plastic, which easily sticks to any surface to prevent air and other particles from penetrating. It is commonly used in our kitchens to wrap fruits or food items.

Further, in this article, we will take you through a step-wise guide to unclogging the toilet with saran wrap. Then, we will discuss some alternative methods of unclogging the toilets without a plunger.

Let’s get started.

Unclogging the toilet with Saran Wrap: 5 Simple Steps

In this method, you need a Saran wrap to cover the toilet, and a pair of scissors to cut the wrap. Just follow the mentioned steps, and hopefully, you will be able to clear the obstruction.

Step 1: Thoroughly clean the bowl

First, you need to make sure the toilet bowl is thoroughly clean. You can wipe off any water droplets or moisture surrounding the bowl with a towel or clothing.

Since we need to create an air-tight seal, this is only possible when the saran film adheres closely to the bowl. The cling wrap will not stick to a wet or dirty bowl.

Step 2: Cover the toilet

Now, once the toilet is dry and clean, it’s time to cover the toilet with swan wrap. Spread the cling wrap over the bowl and along its sides. Make sure there are no voids in between. If there are, make sure to cover them.

Add multiple layers of plastic film so that it can withstand pressure when you press it.

Step 3: Flush the toilet

Have a look at the water level. Is it low? If yes, you will need to flush the toilet. Flush it once or twice; not more than that. Because, if the bowl gets overfilled, it will overflow through the sides removing the plastic film.

Step 4: Press the Saran Film

Slightly press the saran film down. This forces the inside trapped air to push the water into the bowl. Keep pressing the saran film in small intervals, until the clog is cleared.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 to 4

Carefully listen to the voices from the toilet. Do you hear hissing noises? Does the water start to drain slowly?

If not, keep repeating steps 3 and 4 until the obstruction gets clear.

How does Saran Wrap open blockages?

Saran Wrap on toilet

If you have performed the above procedure, you will notice that the saran wrap’s working principle is similar to that of the plunger. First, you cover the bowl and seal it. Now, when you push the wrap, you are actually exerting force on the bowl water which dislodges the drain. The plunger is also pushed back and forth, right?

However, in this case, the compression and suction forces are not strong as the plunger. That is why, this method only works for soft clogs, when the poop gets stuck or when there is a soft tissue paper stuck inside. For hard clogs, this method doesn’t work at all.

Why isn’t the saran wrap method working for my toilet?

Indeed, this saran wrap is not always helpful. There are times when it fails to open the toilet clog. A saran doesn’t work when:

  • The toilet is heavily clogged, i.e. something hard like a toy or foreign object is stuck in the p-track.
  • The plumbing system is choked.
  • The wrap doesn’t cover the bowl properly; the sides are open which let the air in and out.
  • Poor quality saran wrap.
  • You have wrapped a single layer; covering it with 2 or 3 layers may work.

Alternates methods to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Saran wrap is one of the alternatives for unclogging the toilet without a toilet plunger. Some other alternate methods for clearing toilet obstructions include natural toilet cleaners and the use of a regular mop.

Use Natural Toilet Openers (Baking Soda, Vinegar, Salt)

The natural toilet cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, and salt can also help you unclog toilets.

Baking Soda & Vinegar:

vinegar and baking soda in two bottles

Baking Soda and Vinegar are two natural cleaners commonly used in our kitchens. Vinegar, being acidic (though weak), can dissolve many various substances. Baking Soda, being basic, can dissolve organic things and acidic minerals. So, the duo is great for unclogging toilets.  

Pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet. Add some hot water followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the solution stay there for a few hours. A soft clog will get cleared by this method.


The use of salt to clear and unclog a toilet drain is also quite effective. It is abrasive and can break down grease, allowing you to clean the sides of your drain. Additionally, it prevents tree roots from blocking your drainpipe by growing into it.

Most plumber suggests using rock salt solution, which can be prepared by dissolving a cup of salt into two gallons of hot water. In case you are using table salt, combine a half cup of table salt with a half cup of baking soda. Pour the salt solution into the bowl and stir it. Let it stay overnight. Like other methods, this method works on soft clogs.

With a Regular Mop

A regular mop can also be used as a plunger. Wrap the head of your toilet mop brush in a plastic grocery bag. This helps build a seal and protects the mop head from toilet water.

two pieces of mop

Now, it will act as a plunger. Simply make up-and-down motions as you would do with a plunger.

Once your cleaning operation is successful, take off the plastic. Your tool should be as clean as it was when you started.

Final Words

If you need an alternative to a toilet plunger, Saran Wrap is the tidiest option. Though there are various solutions, this keeps the mess confined and the Saran Wrap is readily disposable. It is a quick and easy solution to unclog toilets.

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