How To Keep Water In A Bathtub Without A Plug Or Stopper

When your bathtub stopper simply doesn’t seem to work anymore, or you just moved and forgot to pick one up because your bathtub drain doesn’t have one, you still need to find a way to stop the water from draining down the drain hole.

You can use these awesome DIY bathtub stopper ideas as a temporary or permanent solution to help you learn how to keep water in a bathtub without a plug or stopper.

Stuff The Drain Hole With A Washcloth

This is a classic DIY bathtub stopper idea. Simply stuff the drain hole with a washcloth. Push it in as far as you can so that it is packed tightly in the bathtub drain. This will be enough to keep most of the water from draining.

However, some tubs will still drain a little bit at a time. If you experience this, put your washcloth in a Ziploc bag. Push as much air as you can out of the bag. Then, close the bag.

Another great idea is to wrap a rubber band around the baggie to form a seal. Then, shove the bag into the drain hole. This will help prevent any water from draining.

A Jar Lid Is A Great Temporary Solution

Jar lids actually make great bathtub drain stoppers. If you happen to have a jar lid that is the same size as your tub drain, turn it upside down and put it inside the tub drain. The water trying to drain and suction from the drain will keep the jar lid in place.

Use A Coffee Pod

Those little coffee pods are the same size as some water drains. If your tub drain stopper simply isn’t working, see if your coffee pod will fit. Make sure that you’re using an empty one, and simply turn it upside down in your drain hole.

This works exceptionally well if you go through plenty of coffee pods, and it’s going to be a while before you get the drain fixed.

Grab Your Plunger

If you happen to have a brand new plunger, that’s the best idea. If you don’t and don’t have anything else that will work, make sure that you disinfect your plunger first.

Then, suction your plunger on top of the drain. This works well if you do not have the type of tub drain that makes an indention in your bathtub for you to stuff a washcloth in.

Plastic And Tape

Another great idea for homeowners that have the types of bathtub drain that don’t have an indention is to use plastic and tape. Simply cut a square of plastic, and use waterproof duct tape to secure it over the drain hole.

My overflow drain wasn’t hooked up properly, and every time water splashed that high, or a child accidentally filled the tub too high, it would leak into my kitchen. I used this tip until the landlord could stop by to fix my overflow drain.

Waterproof Tape

Waterproof tape is another great idea! Simply put a layer of tape over your drain. Then, put a second layer over your drain to make sure that it will work. Remove it after you’re done.

Keep in mind that you’ll wind up using more tape every time you take a bath, so this is not a great long-term option. If you need a long-term option, look into other methods like a washcloth or plunger for now.

Fill A Plastic Bag With Water

You can use a Ziploc bag, or simply secure a bag that doesn’t close with a rubber band. Fill the bag with water, and put it in the same spot that you would a tub drain stopper. These are a wonderful quick fix if you just found out that your drain stopper isn’t working!

Upside Down Coffee Cup

Keep in mind that this tends to work better with a plastic or paper single-serve coffee cup. I am not referring to glass coffee mugs. Plastic works well because it is more flexible. If you have one that is small enough, simply turn it upside down and put it inside your drain.

Plastic Medicine Cup

If you don’t have a cup that is small enough, see if a plastic medicine cup will work! These are the perfect size for small drain holes where regular-sized plastic cups simply aren’t going to fit. Make sure that you leave a bit of the medicine cup sticking out of the drain so you can get it back out!

Bathtub Toys

Parents that happen to have some bathtub toys that squirt water out of them might be in luck. These are the ones that deflate when you squeeze them, and then slowly re-inflate as they are filled with water.

To use one of these, make sure that you pick a circular one. Then, squeeze it and put it in the drain hole. When it re-inflates, it will create the perfect makeshift plug.


How to plug a bathtub drain with holes?

To plug a bathtub drain with holes, you can either remove the drain cover or put something over top of it. For a quick fix, get some waterproof duct tape. Put two layers of tape over the top of the drain hole. You can also tape a piece of plastic over the top of the drain or use a plunger.

What’s a quick fix if my bathtub won’t hold water?

Using plumbers putty around the seal of your drain can help. However, if you don’t want to DIY this project, contact a plumber. Until then, use a washcloth as a bath plug to keep water in the tub. You can also use a sponge or anything that will fit into the drain hole.

What can I use to hold water in the bathtub?

Shove a washcloth into the drain hole. Pick up a rubber bathtub stopper from the store. Other things you can use to hold water in your tub include plastic cups, bathtub toys, a jar lid, empty coffee pods, a sponge in a plastic bag, or even a Ziploc bag full of water!

In Conclusion

When your bathtub won’t hole water, it can be frustrating. If all you want is to relax in a hot bath at the end of the day, use these tips to enjoy your bath anyway. For more awesome home advice, check out the rest of our blog articles!