How to Plug a Bathtub Without a Stopper

Plugging a bathtub without a stopper might sound silly, but if you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a bath and realized that you don’t have a stopper, you’ll know that it’s not as easy as it seems.

How To Plug a Bathtub Without a Stopper

This article will teach you how to plug a bathtub without a stopper using some everyday household items. So whether you’re on vacation and forgot your stopper or just had your break, read on for the solution!

It cannot be easy to plug a bathtub without a stopper, but some effective methods will give you the necessary results. Most bathtubs have holes at the bottom of them where you can insert your stopper. To plug your tub without a stopper, you’ll need to find something that fits right over the top of these holes tightly.

A Detailed Guide on How to Plug a Bathtub Without a Stopper

Way 1: Plumbers Putty Fix

If you have a drain plug or stopper currently attached to your tub, you can try using plumbers putty as a temporary solution.

Take the rubber stopper and measure it with a Ruler. Find an appropriate-sized drill bit, making sure that the diameter is just slightly more significant than the width of the lip of the rubber stopper.

Usually, this will be about half an inch wide (example here). If there are any sharp edges on your drain plug, use sandpaper to smooth them out before proceeding. Lubricate both surfaces with dish soap/shampoo/lotion/etc. Place one end of the rubber stopper into the hole in your bathtub and press down firmly.

Apply pressure to keep pushing down while pulling up on the rubber piece. You can use your body weight or lean against a counter for more leverage Use pliers to help you pull up if necessary (try facing away from the bathtub and pulling up with both hands on either side of the drain)

Way 2: Coffee Pods

Another option is to try using a package of single-serve coffee pods. How many you need will depend on how big your bathtub is and what brand/type of “pod” you use. The more flexible the plastic, the better, as it will conform to the shape of your drain more quickly.

Measure around your drain with a tape measure or ruler, then cut that amount off each of the pod’s four sides You’ll have two long rectangles and two smaller squares Fold up one of the small squares into a cone, Grab some cooking oil (or another lubricant) and apply it generously to all surfaces Insert this end into the drain first Make sure it’s sticking straight out from the drain Pipe cleaners are very bendable–so if it doesn’t want to stay put, try bending some of the edges outward until you achieve a snug fit. Repeat with the other pod(s)

Measure Around Your Drain With a Tape

There is one more way to plug your bathtub effectively for those who don’t have a drain plug or stopper.

Way 3: Use an Air Mattress and Waterproof Tape

First, find a small air mattress (or pool toy) that will fit inside your bathtub. Measure your tub’s circumference and purchase an appropriately-sized inflatable tube. Fill up the tub halfway, then insert the cylindrical object into the center of the tub.

Use waterproof tape such as Gorilla Tape or Duck Brand Duct Tape to wrap around the “plug” until tightly secured. Make sure you cover all sides of the cylinder so that water cannot seep through. As with the coffee pods, the sturdier your material is, the less likely it will have trouble staying in place.

If you are using an air mattress that comes with its pump, be sure to turn it off while blocking your drain. Use a spoon, ladle, or something else that will allow you to scoop out excess water from the tub quickly.

Way 4: Toilet Plunger

If you have a toilet plunger in your home, chances are it will fit inside most bathtubs.

Measure the circumference of your bathtub and find a cylindrical object with an appropriate radius. Use waterproof tape to attach this object to the base of the plunger (look for the raised rings on the rubber part).

Ensure that there aren’t any areas where water can still seep through. Insert into your full tub and apply pressure. Move back and forth quickly. Pull plunger up slowly, then watch as you’ve just unplugged your drain!

Water Can Still Seep

Way 5: Washcloth in a Bag

This is a quick fix that will only work for minor clogs.

Find your most enormous bag. Grab your washcloth Roll up the washcloth to fit inside the bag. Squeeze out any excess air slightly. Fold over the top of the bag until it forms a seal Place into the bathtub and presses down.

Use gloved hands to begin pulling up on the cloth. Keep doing this until the drain releases water Use gloves to pull up the remaining cloth, then remove it from the tub.

Way 6: Plastic Bag Filled With Water

For this method, you will need a large plastic bag.

Measure the circumference of your bathtub and cut out a strip of thick plastic. Cut off any areas with writing or pictures. Place the strip diagonally in your tub, so one side lays flat against the wall while the other is near where you are standing.

Fill with water until it forms a dome over the top of the drain. Apply pressure to create seal Move back and forth quickly Pull up slowly to release clog Repeat if necessary. This is a crucial step in how to plug a bathtub without a stopper.

Way 7: Drain Auger (Hair Catcher)

If you have a clog that won’t budge, it may be time to call in the big guns.

Purchase drain auger (also referred to as a “hose,” “snake,” or “hair catcher”) Insert the tip of the snake into your bathtub Use crank on the other end to guide root through.

As you draw out an item, make sure it points away from you and not toward (severed fingers are no fun!) Once an object has been removed, flush with water until clear Congratulations! You’ve conquered your clog.

You Can Check It Out to Measure Bathtub Size

Way 8: Get a Plumber

If you’ve tried the above methods and still don’t have results, it may be time to call in a professional.

Time To Call In a Professional

Plumbing services can range from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple thousand, depending on the nature of your clog and how much work needs to be done. Just remember that while there are some home remedies for unplugging a bathtub drain, they may not always work.

So you should only try them as temporary solutions at best–an hour or two before you’ve scheduled an appointment with a pro.

These ways will help in how to plug a bathtub without a stopper.

What Is the Best Way to Plug a Bathtub Without a Stopper?

When you’re hosting a party, one of the worst things to have to happen is for your guests to go to use the bathroom and discover that there’s no way to stop the drain because your stopper has somehow disappeared.

The bathtub can be draining slowly, or you may not have ensured that it could even drain at all, which makes this a pretty significant problem.

Though most people would want to panic when they see no stoppers in their bathrooms, there are several ways that you can still plug up the bathtub without having a real stopper handy. If none of these options work out well enough for you, then it may be time for you to look into buying a new stopper.

If you have a bucket nearby, this can be an easy trick to try that involves simply filling the tub up with water enough to cover whatever is clogging up the drain.

Of course, doing this won’t guarantee success because the water will not always go down after being moved around, but it should give you some time to figure out what to do next if nothing else works.

This method also has the benefit of making sure that any hair or other material caught in the sink has been pushed down into the drain so that it’s gone for good since you’ll need to remove whatever is leftover inside of your pipes another way.

If this isn’t something you’re able to do because you’re afraid it will break your pipes or you can’t bring yourself to put anything into the drain, then this is not the best option for you.

Don’t Put Anything Into the Drain


Don’t panic if you find yourself in a plugged bathtub without a stopper! We’ve compiled this article on how to plug a bathtub without a stopper. And remember that if the water is coming from your shower or kitchen sink, it might be worth looking into those sources before dealing with the tub.

Let us know what worked for you in the comments below and share any other ideas we may not have covered here. Happy bathing!

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