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Temporary DIY Solutions to Block Bathtub Drains

Block Bathtub Drains, Taking a relaxing hot bath in the bathtub is one way to unwind after a hectic day at work. However, the outcome depends on the bathwater staying instead of escaping down the drain. Unfortunately, if the latter happens, your bathtub may not have a working stopper or plug.

How then will you block the bathtub drain without a plug? There are some quick household options you can use to secure the drain before you get to replace the stopper. In this particular write-down, we shall detail each method, which may work well in a sink without a plug.

How Do Bathtub Plugs Function?

Block Bathtub Drains

A bathtub plug is a device that seals water in the bathtub and prevents it from draining; they work by covering the hole above the bathtub drain, creating a seal hence controlling water from leaking away down the drain.

They have functioned quite well for several years. However, as they get overused, they may become clogged or fail to perform well, unlike when they are new. 

Bathtubs come in various shapes, made of different materials and sizes. Nonetheless, they all achieve the same purpose in the end. They all come with a chain or handle that can pull when you want the water to escape away.

Most bath stoppers, including the rubber variants, are long-lasting and can serve many years. Nevertheless, they will slowly start to malfunction. Therefore, if the primary problem is wear and tear, your bath stopper needs some replacement.

How To Block A Bathtub Drain Without A Plug: The Methods

In case of emergency, you would want a quick fix or be tired of buying and losing your bath plugs; you would like to use only temporary methods whenever you get to the bath. Whatever your reasons, here are various methods you can explore.

An Empty Coffee Pod

An empty pod or a 15ml medicine cup may be the perfect size to block a bathtub drain effectively. Steadily place the plastic pod or cup into the drain with the bottom and start filling the tub to check how well it seals. If it is slightly small, wrap a few thick rubber bands around it to improve the seal.

If you don’t have pods, any object with a cup shape fits like a pack of supplement pills in the drain hole.

Use a Jar Lid

Another option you can implore is a flat jam or a lid that is big enough to cover the drain hole. Lay the lid upside down on the bottom of the bathtub and form a more robust seal by dampening the lid’s underside and firmly pressing it as you start filling the tub.

The suction action inside the drain and the water’s weight should help keep the lid in place and prevent water from leaking.

A Washcloth Stuffed Inside a Plastic Bag

This option is suitable for blocking large drains. Form a makeshift drain stopper using a washcloth or a small sponge inserted into a small plastic bag. Twist a damp washcloth or roll a sponge to fit the drain. Next, place it inside a plastic sandwich bag. Squeeze the air out as much as possible to avoid it from floating, then zip it closed or use a rubber band to hold it in place.

Stuff the bag into the drain because the material is likely to expand to seal the hole, and a water-resistant plastic bag will prevent water from leaking away.

Alternatively, fill a sturdy plastic bag with water, seal it and place it over the drain opening. Push it until it submerges fully and waits for the bathtub to fill up. And when you are through, empty the zipper into the toilet.

Use a Toilet Plunger

If the toilet plunger is available, thoroughly clean the rubber end with soap and water to serve as a makeshift plug. Set it over the drain hole in the tub, press it down, then either remove or leave the wooden handle to easily remove the plunger when draining the water.

Tape the Drain Hole

Use waterproof duct tape to cover your bathtub drain hole, and make a double layer on top of the hole to make it hold water long enough to enable you to complete the bath. Ensure the tape is binding to the tub tightly and do this when the tub is dry for best results.

Marine Drain Twist Plug

Block Bathtub Drains is convenient for anglers because they will likely have the device at home. Find a drain twist plug that is of the same size as the drain hole and cover the hole with it. Push the twist plug down to ensure it perfectly fits.

Twist the plug clockwise while it is inside the drain to block the water from escaping, and twist it counter-clockwise to remove it and drain the bath

Plumber’s putty

This method is a temporal fix for blocking the drain. The plumber’s putty works best when you combine it with hardware. For instance, it can work well if you have a bath plug that doesn’t fit perfectly within reach.

You must roll some putty into a wormlike shape and line them around the drain before closing the plug.

You can acquire the plumber’s putty at your nearby store or online at an affordable price, and it comes in handy anytime. It is temporary that you’ll have to remove the fix when draining the tub.

6 Types of Bathtub Stoppers

Block Bathtub Drains

Bathtub stoppers are in six variants that determine how they function, their efficiency in stopping the water flow, and their durability over time. Therefore, choosing the most convenient stopper for your bathtub is best.

Lift and Turn

Block Bathtub Drains has a small knob on the cap of the drain, which allows you to twist the plug open and closed effortlessly. Its installation is easy as well.

Push and Pull are similar in appearance to a lift and turn stopper and share identical installation procedures. The only difference being it requires a push down to stop water from leaking and a pull to open it up again. It is easy to install, maintain and replace.


A lever operates a connecting rod tied to an overflowing plate which, when lifted, the overflow plate is either raised or lowered, allowing water to pass through.

Touch Toe

To open and close this plug, push down on it with your toe and it will open and close. It is easy to maintain and clean, although the spring replacement is from time to time which is the only con to this design.

Flip It

This type of stopper does not need any tools to be installed. It is sealed above your drain and features a toggle lever above or to the side of the plug. The O-rings seal it in place, creating a watertight seal when the lever I toggled and you flip it to enable water through. Its installation and use are simple, as well as its cleaning and maintenance. 

Trip lever

Block Bathtub Drains functions as a pop-up, a plunger connected to the lever, preventing your tub’s drain pipe. When the trip lever is down, the plunger lifts, opening the drain to allow water to flow through. To use it is simple and requires less force with the drawback of maintenance and cleaning.

To block a bathtub drain without a stopper can be done by anyone. You only require suitable materials that cover the drainage hole entirely and won’t float away once the bathtub fills with water.

Remember the required DIY methods discussed above whenever you face an emergency. For a durable solution, you must buy a bathtub plug from the variants listed herein. If you go with the DIY options, you should take the one you can use less time to fix whenever you take a bath.