How To Unclog A Toilet With Dish Soap

The toilet is clogged, but the handy plunger that usually resides next to the toilet is nowhere to be found. Leaving the clogged toilet to sit without a solution isn’t an option, as nobody can use it. So, now what? Is it possible to unclog a toilet without a plunger?

Quick Look:

  • Dish soap and hot water are effective ways to tackle a clogged toilet without a plunger.
  • The process typically takes 10-15 minutes for the solution to soften the clog so that it can be flushed away.
  • If dish soap and hot water don’t work, there are other methods, such as using vinegar and baking soda, wire coat hangers, or plumbing augers which can unclog drains.

Lucky for you, removing that stubborn clog from your toilet is entirely doable, even without a plunger. Sometimes, it’s as simple as using dish soap and hot water. Here’s how to do it.

Is Dish Soap Good For A Clogged Toilet?

Dish soap is an excellent way to tackle a clogged toilet, especially if you don’t have a plunger on hand. While there are multiple alternatives, like using a wire coat hanger, vinegar, baking soda, or a plumbing auger, you might not have those materials on hand. So, grab the bottle of dish soap from your kitchen sink and head to the bathroom.

It’s important to note that the dish soap solution isn’t a suitable approach to scenarios involving a foreign object. For example, if your child flushed a toy down the toilet, you’ll need to remove the toy, especially if it’s big enough to cause a blockage. Although dish soap might move the toy slightly, it won’t remedy the problem, as it might push the toy further into the drain pipe.

That said, dish soap is a good option for typical toilet clogs. Adding dish soap and hot water to a toilet paper clog will help accelerate the dissolving process, ensuring the toilet paper doesn’t remain in the drain pipe.

How Long Does It Take For Dish Soap And Hot Water To Unclog A Toilet?

A splash of hot water and a half cup of dish detergent might do the trick for unclogging your toilet. While it might not work in every situation, it usually works rapidly when it does. On average, it takes about 10-15 minutes to work through and soften the clog enough to free the blockage.

Then, once you flush the toilet, the force of the flush can break through the residual pieces of the blockage, ensuring everything goes down smoothly.

How To Unclog A Toilet With Dish Soap

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup dish soap
  • Hot water (not boiling!)
  • Bowl

Once you gather your materials, follow these steps:

  1. If the toilet bowl is partially filled with water and you’re concerned it might overflow, start by turning the water to the toilet off. There should be a shut-off valve behind the toilet connected to the tube extending from the toilet. This tube usually extends up through the floor or the wall behind the toilet.
  2. Fill a bowl with hot water. Avoid using boiling water – stick with warm to hot water. The temperature shock could crack the toilet bowl, so opt for hot water. So, warm the water in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, or heat it slightly on the stovetop in a pot.
  3. Pour roughly half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes as you wait for the water to heat up. In some cases, the soap alone might do the trick. So, wait about ten minutes before adding hot water to the toilet bowl.
  4. Once the water is warm, bring it to the bathroom and carefully pour it into the toilet bowl. Pour the water in slowly, filling the toilet bowl. Leave at least an inch or two of space between the water’s surface and the top of the toilet bowl, as you don’t want the bowl to overflow when you flush the toilet.
  5. After you add enough water to fill the toilet bowl most of the way, wait for a while. Give the solution at least 10 minutes to work on the clog.
  6. After 10-15 minutes, flush the toilet. If the water swirls down the drain without an issue, you’re good to go! If the water swirls down slowly, there might be remnants of the clog, so repeat the process to dislodge the remaining blockage. If the water level doesn’t drop at all, avoid flushing the toilet again. Instead, use an alternative method to tackle the problem.

Alternative Methods For Unclogging A Toilet

Plumbing Plunger and Auger

Dish soap and hot water method didn’t work? There’s no need to worry, as you have plenty of solutions at your disposal. Here are a few more strategies to dislodge a stubborn clog in your toilet:

  1. Give it time: Typical toilet paper clogs will often dissolve themselves. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water, so eventually, it should dissolve in the water. Before you go overboard with unclogging methods, give it a few minutes to dissolve itself. Of course, waiting might not do the trick, so you might need to use the following methods.
  2. Use a plunger: A plunger is usually the easiest way to deal with a clogged toilet. Simply cover the hole at the bottom of the toilet with the plunger cup, ensuring suction forms. Plunge a few times firmly, then remove the plunger. If the water quickly swirls down the drain, the clog is gone!
  3. Use vinegar and baking soda: The reaction between vinegar and baking soda can be helpful when dealing with a stubborn clog. This method is non-toxic and safe for use on the toilet, so you don’t need to worry about damaging the toilet. Pour the vinegar in slowly, as pouring too fast could cause the reaction to bubble over or splash!
  4. Enlist the help of a plumbing snake: If you have a toilet snake on hand, you can use it to reach through the toilet and dislodge the pesky clog. This is a good option for clogs located further down in the toilet or drain tubes, but you’ll probably want to wear rubber gloves, as it can get messy. You’ll need to be careful with this method, as you could damage the toilet bowl and drain tubes.
  5. Call a plumber: In some cases, you’ll need the help of a plumber. This is usually the case when the blockage consists of foreign objects, including feminine products, toys, and other things.

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