How To Keep Water In A Bathtub When The Stopper Doesn’t Work

Do you know how to keep water in a bathtub when the stopper doesn’t work? Or how to close bathtub drain without stopper? The stopper in your bathtub is designed to play an incredibly important …

How To Keep Water In A Bathtub When The Stopper Doesn't Work

Do you know how to keep water in a bathtub when the stopper doesn’t work? Or how to close bathtub drain without stopper? The stopper in your bathtub is designed to play an incredibly important role.

When you fill up the water in your bathtub, you usually do it through a faucet that’s installed at the top on one side. There is a small drain at the bottom of the tub that is designed to prevent the water from escaping.

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It creates a vacuum seal on the drain, thus making sure that the water is not allowed to escape at all. However, what happens if your stopper stops working? Obviously, you won’t be able to use the bathtub.

The bathtub stopper will need to be repaired or replaced as a result. There are several quick fixes that you can implement.

For starters, just get an inexpensive plastic stopper from your local home improvement store and apply it. The only issue here is that you will have to find a stopper that best fits your needs.

What if you are unable to get to the store and need to take a bath? Thankfully, there are several temporary fixes that you can implement to plug up your bathroom drain.

In fact, you can even create a bathroom stopper all by yourself from the items that you have available to you. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss a few solutions that you can use to plug in the bathtub drain.

How To Close Bathtub Drain Without Stopper

Using Putty

Plumber’s putty is an excellent choice for people who don’t know how to plug in their bathtub. If the gasket no longer works and doesn’t prevent the water from escaping the bathtub, you may want to consider using this material.

Plumbers generally make use of this material to cover up leakages and prevent problems in the drain pipes. It’s incredibly easy to apply, and the best thing is that you don’t have to worry about it being gushed out.

You need to start by rolling putty in your hands, just like children do. Create a long snakelike shape that you can cover around the drain. Then, just lift up the drain and keep the putty on the gasket.

Keep in mind that this is not a permanent solution. The putty is going to prevent the water from escaping the tub, but what will you do when you have to drain it out yourself? The only option available will be to remove the putty.

As you can imagine, this is a temporary solution. You can’t possibly continue to add and remove putty every time you have to take a bath. It’s only suitable once or twice, after which you may want to consider replacing the drain stopper altogether.

Using Coffee Pods

Coffee pods, especially the single-serve ones, are an excellent choice for use as a makeshift drain stopper. These coffee pods can be placed in the drain to prevent water from escaping.

You have to keep the cup properly aligned with the opening of the drains. Make sure that it faces downward so that the hole can be properly plugged.

You may experience a bit of a leakage as creating a perfect seal is quite difficult. However, the leakage is not as much as the water flowing through the faucet. As a result, you can take a bath at least.


Using a washcloth as a bath plug may seem a bit counterintuitive, but it works. You have to first keep a washcloth in a Ziploc bag, and then suck out all of the air. Then, just fold the washcloth inside and shove it in the drain in your bathtub.

Just make sure that a significant amount of the washcloth is hanging out on one end, otherwise there’s a potential risk of the whole thing falling down the drain pipes and causing a serious blockage.

You really don’t want that. If the water falls directly on the washcloth and the bag, there is a risk that it might be pushed inside the drain.

To prevent that from happening, it’s recommended that you hold the washcloth in place while the water fills up to a certain level before you decide to let go of the bag.

Marine Drain Plug

Another fantastic option available to you is the use of a marine drain twist plug. If you like to fish, you may want to check your fishing bag or kit. These plugs are designed to fit into ballast tanks or in aquariums or fish wells.

As you can imagine, their primary purpose is to prevent the water from leaving these containers. You just have to twist the stopper and then fix it in place. Once it’s in location, just twist it the other way around to remove it, and you are good to go.

However, you have to understand the limitations of this solution. It will only work if the marine stopper is of the same size as the main drain pipe.

A Toilet Plunger

This may seem like the most obvious solution out of all, but the rubber end of a toilet plunger can be used for the bathtub as well.

This is obviously not something that you would want, and even if you are going to use this method, make sure you clean the plunger with lots of water and add copious amounts of soap into the mix.

Moreover, if you have a new spare plunger, just use that. You can also remove the handle from the plunger once a vacuum has been created on the rubber end. Otherwise, you will just have to deal with the wooden handle in your bathtub.

Get in Touch with a Plumber

If you are not sure about which step to take and are confused, it might be a wise idea to just call your plumber. The plumber will bring a range of different stoppers and fix the right one in your bathtub.

It’s a simple and effective method that’s going to resolve all your drain stopper worries in one go. Otherwise, the above methods on how to keep water in a bathtub when the stopper doesn’t work are still easy for anyone to use.

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