How to Unclog a Toilet with Saran Wrap

A saran wrap, also called a cling film, plastic film, cling wrap, or glad wrap is a thin plastic film that adheres to any surface to keep away air and other unwanted objects.

Using the saran wrap to unclog the toilet works on light clogs. All you need is to wrap the toilet bowl tightly with the cling film to ensure no air gets into or out of the toilet, press on the wrap then flush to initiate gravitational force which plunges the toilet, hence, dislodging the clog.

This method will not work for heavy and hard clogs deep inside your toilet. Following are the steps on how to use this DIY toilet unclogging method.

Steps

Before you begin, gather your supplies;

  • A roll of saran wrap – get a good quality kind that doesn’t tear easily as adheres better.
  • A pair of scissors
Saran Wrap
Saran Wrap

Method

  1. Lift the lid to the toilet and let it stay up.
  2. Wrap the plastic wrap around the toilet creating an airtight seal. You can wrap it in any direction as long as there’s no air going into or out of the toilet bowl. Make sure the toilet seat is clean and dry enough to apply the cling wrap and to get a good seal.
  3. Try to push on the plastic wrap allowing the air trapped underneath the wrap to push down against the water.
  4. If that doesn’t seem to work, give the toilet a good flush. Exert a bit more pressure to fill the bowl with pressure.
  5. You should see the wrap rising or bulging showing pressure in the bowl.
  6. Repeat pushing on the plastic wrap. This will exert pressure to water underneath to pass the P-trap, dislodging the clog.
  7. Once the clog is dislodged, remove the wrap and flush the toilet again.

It is important to note that using a usual plastic bag is the same as using saran wrap.

The plastic bag doesn’t adhere to surfaces as the cling film would. However, it’s not impossible and you can use tape to secure the ends of the bag against the toilet seat.

Tip! Use dishwashing liquid first before you put the saran wrap on the bowl. This little trick to makes the process fast and more effective.

Why Does This Work

The plastic film creates a seal or a vacuum inside the toilet. Therefore, when you press on the wrap, the pressure pushes against the opening of the trap way; the only outlet the air and wastewater can pass. You can use slow strokes or rapid ones to copy what you would do with a plunger.

Why Isn’t Mine Working?

There could be many reasons yours isn’t working. Check on these crucial details.

  • The toilet is heavily clogged or there is a blockage elsewhere within your plumbing system
  • The wrap is of bad quality
  • Incorrect use of the wrap. A good example is covering the seat all the way to the back and front for elongated toilet seats.
  • You are using a single layer; you could add more layers to add more leverage.
  • There isn’t enough pressure or water level in the toilet. Low water levels can’t be vacuumed easily.

Using the saran wrap to unclog the toilet offers a similar effect to a plunger. It will seal the drain opening and by pushing up and down the wrap, you’re exerting force on the walls of the drain causing it to dislodge.

Unfortunately, the force of compression and suction isn’t as strong as a plunger and the clogs should only be very small or there would be no effect.

If the clog is too much, the wrap may not work. The clog will either remain in the bowl or move further down the drain which means, you will have to look for another option to dislodge. 

Further Reading on Unclogging Toilets

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