Very Simple Way To Unclog Toilet with Shop Vac!

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When you notice that your toilet got clogged, often you just can’t call the plumber at the right moment before the situation gets worse.

At that time, you need to take a quick initiative to solve this problem. The most known equipment for unclogging toilets is a plunger. But if you do not have any, what should you do?

Will you be startled if we tell you to use a Shop Vac in this situation? Buckle up because we are going to tell you everything about how you can unclog toilet with Shop Vac.

So that you don’t have to wait for the plumber and let your washroom get all dirty in the meantime.

Why Use a Shop Vac?

It is indeed an emergency situation for you if the toilet of your washroom gets clogged. Sometimes, it goes so bad that the toilet overflows. Even thinking of such a situation might get you a panic attack.

Without a plunger, you can try different home remedies to unclog a toilet, but they might increase your hassle rather than lowering the heat of the situation.

Often people suggest that wire hangers can do pretty well to tackle this mess. But they are rigid material, and there is a chance of getting scratches on the porcelain of your toilet. 

A Shop Vac is a type of vacuum cleaner that can help you to clean up spills and wet debris. Clogged toilet is definitely a nightmare for anyone, and this situation needs immediate action in which you can definitely rely on a Shop Vac to get yourself out of this mess.

Things to Do in Advance!

Before you start the process of unclogging, you should take care of a few things that can ease the procedure and prevent unnecessary hassle.

  • If you can manage, get yourself rubber hand gloves, rubber shoes, and an apron because that can help you stay well and tidy if things get messy
  • Keep a bucket and a mop ready with you in case of water spills so that you can clean up easily without wasting time looking for those
  • You can get a fan or a dehumidifier so that things dry up quickly while you unclog the toilet

Getting Started

unclog toilet with shop vac


Using a Shop Vac to unclog a toilet might be a new task for you. But don’t get yourself stressed, as we are here to help you out to make things easier for you. Here you will know about the step-by-step procedure of unclogging a toilet with the help of a Shop Vac.

Unclog Toilet with Shop Vac

Step 1 – Turning off the Water Supply

The first thing you should do is to ensure that there is no water flow inside the toilet. You need to turn off the water supply with the water shutoff valve. It is attached to the pipe behind the toilet.

Turning off the Water Supply

Step 2 – Removing the Air Filter

Before you start using the Shop Vac, remove the air filter attached to the starting point of the vac. This will enable you to vacuum the water easily and prevent wastage from getting stuck in the filter.

Step 3 – Sucking out the Water

Remove all the water from the toilet bowl with the Shop Vac. If the storage bag fills, dump that water and repeat the process again until the toilet bowl is empty.

Step 4 – Getting All Debris Out with the Tube

Now that you have an empty toilet bowl, it’s time to clean the debris that caused the clogged toilet. Enter the tube of the vac into the toilet drain, and try to fit it tightly so that it can create a nice suction.

Turn on the vac, and after a few seconds, you will see all the debris and waste coming out of the drain.

Step 5 – Flushing Thoroughly

After removing the debris from the toilet drain, turn off the vac and remove the tube. Now turn on the water supply and flush water for better cleaning. If you want to ensure complete cleaning, you can flush for a few times repeatedly as this could clear the remaining waste that might have been left out while using the vac.

Step 6 – Cleaning Up

Finally, take care of the wastewater spills around your toilet and turn on the fan or dehumidifier for a quick dry. Now, the toilet will be as new as before the clog. Take the Shop Vac outside to clean the debris inside the tank and then attach back the air filler to it.

Do’s and Don’ts

In the whole process of unclogging your toilet, you need to follow some do’s and don’ts so that you might not worsen the situation instead of finding a solution.

  • Never use the vac in the toilet along with the filter. Shop Vac is basically a vacuum cleaner that cleans every type of debris, including waste, water, and other liquid spills, and much more.

If you don’t remove the filter, chunks of waste materials inside the toilet drain could get stuck there, causing damage to the filter.

  • After the shop vac has completed cleaning the toilet, make sure to clean it properly and use disinfectant.

Because the Vac has to deal with a huge amount of germs and bacteria and a really bad odor, if you do not clean it properly, the odor might remain inside the vac and create a really disgusting environment around it when you use it again.

  • When you are trying to unclog the toilet with the tube, a single try might not be enough. Because often the debris just clings to the drain too hard. So, don’t just stop the process and go for several attempts. 


Q1: Can I use a shop vac to unclog my toilet?

Yes, you can use a shop vac to unclog a toilet. It’s an effective method for removing blockages caused by solid materials.

Q2: What type of shop vac should I use for unclogging a toilet?

It’s best to use a wet/dry shop vac that can handle both liquid and solid waste.

Q3: Do I need any special attachments or accessories for this task?

You may want to use a crevice tool or a rubber adapter to create a better seal in the toilet drain.

Q4: How do I use a shop vac to unclog a toilet?

  1. Ensure the shop vac is clean and empty.
  2. Set it to the wet mode if it has multiple settings.
  3. If necessary, attach a crevice tool or a rubber adapter to the hose.
  4. Place the hose into the toilet bowl, creating a seal.
  5. Turn on the shop vac and let it suck out the clog.
  6. Repeat if needed until the toilet drains properly.

Q5: Is there a risk of damaging the toilet or the shop vac?

If done correctly, there’s minimal risk of damage. Just avoid forcing the hose into the drain too aggressively.

Q6: What safety precautions should I take?

Wear gloves and eye protection, as toilet water can be unsanitary. Ensure the shop vac is plugged into a GFCI outlet to prevent electrical hazards.

Q7: What if the clog doesn’t clear after a few attempts?

If the blockage persists, you may need to use a toilet auger or contact a professional plumber.

Q8: Can I use a shop vac for any type of toilet clog?

Shop vacs work best for clogs caused by solid objects or paper products. They may not be as effective for clogs caused by tree roots or deeper plumbing issues.

Q9: Are there any maintenance tips for my shop vac after using it for unclogging a toilet?

After use, empty and clean the shop vac to prevent odors and bacteria buildup. Disinfect the hose and attachments as well.

Q10: Can I use this method in a septic system?

While you can use a shop vac to unclog a toilet in a septic system, it’s important to be cautious and avoid introducing any foreign objects that could harm the septic system.

Always exercise care and safety when attempting to unclog a toilet with a shop vac. If you are uncertain or the clog persists, it’s advisable to seek professional plumbing assistance.

Final Words

Refrain yourself from throwing things inside the toilet to prevent unwanted situations like having a clogged toilet. But yet if you have to face this nightmare, then use all the methods discussed in this article to unclog toilet with Shop Vac. Hope this helps!

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