We all know one of the best ways to end a tiring day is to take a nice bath. For the best possible experience, the water level is key. To achieve this, you need to prevent the draining of the water. However, you may not always have a bath plug handy. This doesn’t have to be a problem because you can make a temporary plug with items you likely have at home. In this article, we will go over some solutions to temporarily use that will serve as a bath plug.

Functions of Bath Plugs

The main purpose of a bath plug is to keep the water in the bath and prevent it from draining. It blocks the drain hole above the bathtub, creating a tight seal that prevents water from leaking through the opening. Plugs come in different forms and sizes, as well as different materials, but serve the same purpose. Most bath plugs are long-lasting and can be used for years. If you notice any major wear on it, it’s best to replace it. However, if you are in an emergency and need to use the bath as soon as possible and your bath plug isn’t working, there are some things you can try out.

Method 1: Empty Coffee Pod

A single-serve coffee cup or a little plastic medicine cup can be used to block a bathtub drain. Here’s how:

  1. Place the Bottom of the Cup in the Drain Hole: Position the bottom of the coffee pod or plastic cup in the drain hole.
  2. Test the Seal: Open the tap to see if the cup holds the water. If the cup doesn’t keep the water well enough, wrap a rubber band around the cup’s body to make the seal firm.

This method is quick and utilizes common household items. However, it might not create a perfect seal, so it’s essential to test it before filling the tub completely.

Method 2: Use a Lid

If the coffee cup doesn’t work or you happen not to have any on hand, you can use a flat jar lid or a large plastic lid. Here’s how:

  1. Place the Lid on the Drain Hole: Place the lid upside down on the drain hole.
  2. Create a Seal: As you begin to fill the tub, press the lid down to create a better seal. The weight of the water should eventually hold the cover in place.

Using a lid can be very effective, especially if it is the right size to cover the drain completely. Make sure to press down on the lid to ensure it creates a tight seal.

Method 3: Plastic Bag with Washcloth or Sponge

Another effective method is to use a plastic bag with a washcloth or sponge. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare the Washcloth or Sponge: Dampen a washcloth or sponge and roll it to the appropriate size to fit the drain.
  2. Place in a Plastic Bag: Put the sponge or washcloth in a plastic bag. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag to prevent it from floating.
  3. Insert into the Drain: Place the bag down the drain. The cloth or sponge will expand to fill the drain hole, creating a seal.

This method is particularly useful as the washcloth or sponge will conform to the shape of the drain, creating a tight seal. Ensure the bag is securely closed to prevent water from seeping in.

Replacing Your Plug

While these DIY solutions can work in a pinch, they are short-term fixes. For a long-term solution, you will need a proper bath plug. Here’s why and how you should replace your bath plug:

  • Long-Term Durability: Bath plugs are designed to be durable and provide a consistent seal. Regularly replacing worn-out plugs ensures a reliable seal every time you take a bath.
  • Preventing Leaks: A proper bath plug will prevent leaks more effectively than makeshift solutions, ensuring you can enjoy a relaxing bath without constantly checking the water level.
  • Ease of Use: Bath plugs are easy to use and store, making them a convenient addition to your bathroom supplies.

If your bathtub is problematic and you are having trouble plugging it, it is best to call the expert plumbers of Cyclone Plumbing Inc. We offer professional drain stopper installation and can assist with any other drain-related problems you might have, such as drain cleaning. Contact us today for expert plumbing solutions tailored to your needs.

Additional Tips and Considerations

Checking the Drain for Blockages

Before using any of the methods mentioned above, ensure that the drain is clear of any blockages. A blocked drain can prevent even the best plug from working effectively. Here’s how to check:

  • Remove Debris: Remove any visible debris from the drain. Hair, soap scum, and other materials can build up and cause blockages.
  • Use a Drain Cleaner: Consider using a drain cleaner to clear any stubborn blockages. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging your plumbing.

Ensuring a Tight Seal

For any of the temporary plugs to work effectively, it’s crucial to ensure they create a tight seal. Here are some tips:

  • Test Before Filling: Always test the seal by running a small amount of water before filling the tub. This will help you identify any leaks early.
  • Adjust as Needed: If you notice water leaking, adjust the temporary plug until a tighter seal is achieved. Sometimes, a slight repositioning can make a significant difference.

Alternatives to Traditional Plugs

If you find yourself frequently without a bath plug, consider investing in alternative solutions:

  • Universal Plugs: These plugs are designed to fit various drain sizes and shapes. They are made of flexible materials that create a tight seal.
  • Drain Covers: Silicone drain covers can be placed over the drain to prevent water from escaping. They are easy to use and can be stored conveniently.


A relaxing bath can be a perfect way to unwind after a long day, but not having a bath plug can put a damper on the experience. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to block your bathtub drain without a plug. Whether using an empty coffee pod, a jar lid, or a plastic bag with a washcloth, you can find a solution that works for you.

However, for a long-term fix, investing in a proper bath plug is the best option. If you have any plumbing issues or need professional help with drain stopper installation, Cyclone Plumbing Inc. is here to assist. Our skilled team specializes in providing expert plumbing solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Contact us today to ensure your plumbing systems function seamlessly and enjoy peace of mind with our reliable services.


  1. How can I quickly block a bathtub drain without a plug? You can use household items like an empty coffee pod, a jar lid, or a plastic bag with a washcloth to create a temporary seal and block the drain.
  2. Are these temporary solutions safe to use? Yes, these temporary solutions are safe to use in the short term. However, for long-term use, it’s best to invest in a proper bath plug.
  3. How do I ensure a tight seal with a makeshift plug? Test the seal by running a small amount of water before filling the tub. Adjust the temporary plug as needed to prevent leaks.
  4. What should I do if my drain is blocked? Remove any visible debris and consider using a drain cleaner to clear stubborn blockages. For persistent issues, contact a professional plumber.
  5. Why is it important to replace a worn-out bath plug? A worn-out bath plug may not create a tight seal, leading to water leakage. Replacing it ensures a reliable seal and prevents water waste.