You’ve had a very long hard day at work and come home to take a long hot bath, only to find out the plug isn’t working. But there’s no need to curse your bad luck since the problem is easy to fix. You can repurpose many everyday objects to build a DIY bath plug.

You can use a variety of objects to create a makeshift bath plug. A flat lid, plastic bags filled with air or wet cloth, coffee pods, a plumber’s putty, a tall glass, a sink plunger, a boat drain plug, and waterproof duct tape are among your many options to fix your problem temporarily.

Keep reading to see how to use these everyday objects to make a bathtub plug or stopper so that you don’t miss the chance to relax in the hot bath! 

1. A Flat Jar Lid

Jar lids, especially jam jars, are perfect sealing options for bathtubs. That’s because their size perfectly fits the drain. 

Find a flat cap that’s large enough to fit the drain. Turn it upside down and put it on the drain. If you want to make sure it sticks firmly around the lid, dampen it a little, and press tightly. Now, turn on the water to create an airtight seal between the drain and the top.

When the bathtub is full of water, you can feel a suction under the drain, which combines with the water’s weight to press the lid against the drain firmly.

If you don’t have a flat jar lid, a butter or yogurt dish’s cover should do the trick. Clean the cover, dampen it a little, and press it against the drain. It’ll give you enough seal to hold the water in the tub when you don’t have a stopper.

If the plastic lid isn’t flat, cut off the rim around the cover. This way, you’ll have a flat lid that perfectly fits holes of any size.

2. A Tall Glass

Do you have a tall glass that is large enough to act as a drain stopper? You can place it inside the drain whichever way it fits better. If the glass is too small for the hole, wrap a rubber band or some bubble wrap around it as a quick fix.

When you want to remove the glass, be careful not to exert too much pressure, or you’ll end up breaking the glass in your hand. Move it gently and pour some water around it, so it gets out more efficiently and smoothly.

3. Plastic Bags

Fill a plastic bag with water and seal it to serve as a makeshift bathtub plug. Any bag will do as long as it’s the right size to snug into the drain, like a sandwich bag or a storage bag. If the bag isn’t large enough, it’ll get stuck in the drain. If the bag doesn’t seal tight, tie a rubber band around it. Put it over the drain and use it as a quick drain stopper by stuffing it inside the hole.

If you want to make sure it’s tight enough, place a wet washcloth or a sponge in the plastic bag. After getting the air out of the bag, tie the end or wrap a rubber band or rope around it. This method is more effective than just a plastic bag filled with water. Just remember to squeeze the air out of the bag, or it will float in the tub after you fill it with water.

4. Coffee Pod

Empty single-serve coffee pods are also good ideas to stop bathtub drains. Before putting the coffee pod in the drain, check the sizes to make sure the pod fits. If the pod is the right size, you can easily put it inside the drain hole. If it’s smaller than the drain hole, you can wrap a rubber band around it to make it fit. The top should be facing down to give you a closed seal. If it leaks a little, don’t worry because you’ll have enough time to take a bath.

You can use any cup that’s the right size and goes into the drain hole. A standard Keurig cup, a small medicine cup, or anything with the shape of a cup can help you build the makeshift drain plug.

5. Waterproof Duct Tape

Waterproof duct tape is another effective way to cover the tub’s drain hole. Place a few layers of duct tape over the hole and press it down firmly to make sure it won’t come off while you’re taking a bath. 

Don’t attach the tape to the tub when it’s wet. Thoroughly dry the tub and wait about an hour to ensure the moisture doesn’t ruin the tape’s adhesive ability. 

6. Plumbing Putty

You can use plumber’s putty to replace a faulty gasket on the pop-up drain. Although this is a temporary fix, it prevents leakage from the drain and seals the drain to keep the water in the tub.

But you can’t use it alone to block the drain. It’s perfect for sealing a drain stopper that doesn’t fit properly.

Take a small piece of plumbing putty, roll it in your hands, and make a long piece like a worm. It should be long enough to cover the circumference of the drain. Take out the pop-up drain and replace the defective gasket with the putty. Then, close the drain and press it tightly. When you’re finished bathing and empty the tub, you should take the putty out. So it’s just a one-time solution.  

Plumbing putty comes in handy in other home repair situations, and it doesn’t cost much. So, make sure you have some at home, just in case!

7. Sink Plunger

If you have a toilet or sink plunger lying around, you can use it to block the bathtub drain. Wash its rubber end with soap and place it over the tub’s drain hole. Push it down tightly to seal it. 

You could leave the wooden handle there or remove it. The handle helps you remove the plunger when you’re done and ready to drain the tub. If you see a hole inside the rubber part after removing the wooden handle, you’ll need to keep the handle as it can’t form a seal.

8. Boat Drain Plug

Anglers usually have this piece at home. Boat twist plugs come in different sizes, so look for one that’s the same size as your bathtub drain. Press it down so it fits tightly into the hole. When it’s secure inside the drain, twist it clockwise to ensure the water won’t leak. When you want to remove the plug and drain the bath, simply turn it in the opposite direction.

If you feel having a boat drain twist might come in handy in the future, you can get it online or from boat equipment shops. But if you want to use it as a bathtub block, you’d be better off buying a bathtub plug instead!

9. Medicine Container Lids

All of us have plenty of medicine containers with tops that fit the size of the tub drain. Gather all your medicine containers and look for a top that you can insert inside the hole. Put it upside-down inside the drain and press firmly. 

Some of these tops have pop-up lids. You can use them as a drain for the stopper. This way, you don’t need to take out the makeshift stopper to drain the tub. Simply open the pop-up lid to let the water out!

DIY Bath Plug Is a Temporary Solution

The solutions in this article are all temporary fixes. You could use them anytime you want to take a bath, but it’s better to look for a permanent solution if you want complete peace of mind.

If you take a quick trip to the local store, you’ll find good replacement options for your bathtub plug. Take the exact measurements of the plug so you can find the best replacement. These plugs will last longer than temporary DIY solutions and won’t cost you much.

One option is to get a rubber stopper or plug from a local store. However, this is also not a permanent solution since the rubber is subject to wear and tear and makes the bathtub leak again.

Alternatively, if you can’t find the exact-size replacement, call a professional to help you get a more permanent fix. Although asking for professional help can cost you a bit of money, it’s a safer choice since you can be sure that you’re fixing the problem for good. 


Finding a quick fix to a faulty bathtub drain plug can be a lifesaver if you’re in real need of a hot bath after a tough day. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of DIY solutions to this problem.

The best thing you can try is to put a flat lid over the plughole after dampening it to stick firmly. Alternatively, you could use a drain plunger, a coffee pod, a plumbing putty, a plastic bag stuffed with a cloth or sponge, and waterproof duct tape. These items are all viable solutions to temporarily block the bathtub plug.

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