Using Dish Soap to Unclog a Toilet

January 14, 2011

Hand in a rubber glove holding pink dish soap.I've had toilet clogs where I've plunged a few times and everything would go down.

The problem now is that when I flush, it won't go down so you'd assume there's a clog. The water comes all the way up, but doesn't overflow and just sits, like a clog.


I left if overnight and this morning, all the water had drained out of the toilet. So I figured the clog was gone and I flushed, but the same thing happened again.

Will the soap and hot water trick work for this?

By Maureen from Staten Island, NY


October 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have tried this and it really works. If there is standing water in the toilet, remove most of it by scooping it out into a bucket (wear rubber gloves please). Once this is done, pour a good squirt of dish soap into the toilet and let stand for a few minutes. Take your plunger and plunge one or two times. You will be works!

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December 8, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Simply amazing! After scooping out the dirty water and plunging and flushing numerous times, and even trying to use a snake, I still had a clogged toilet. So, I decided to look online for another solution and came upon this. It totally works! first I squeezed a substantial amount of Dawn dish liquid, waited for my pot of water to come to a boil, and then waited for the soap and water to settle down.


I followed all the tips such as turn water off and don't flush till suds are down. After the water went down, I boiled another pot of water, poured it into the toilet, and it flushed right away. Thank you so much.

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March 8, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Just saved $200+ using the Dawn trick to unclog a toilet.

I've been a landlord for years and have spent $$$ on drain service. I know basic unclogging with a plunger or auger. But this toilet was stuck down the line. If I waited a half hour the line would empty of water and I'd get two or three flushes in before the water backed up.


That means the clog is down the line and will cost $$$ for a mainline drain snake by a plumber. New houses have cleanouts for access but on older homes the plumber has to go onto the roof and go in through the vents. $$$

After some Googling I found the Dawn trick and figured I had nothing to lose. I put about 10 oz of Dawn down the toilet, added a few glasses of hot water to move it down the line and waited over night.

The next morning a few more flushes cleared out the line. Let's be logical - Dawn is great at cutting grease and grime and it is slippery stuff. If paper or waste is stuck in the pipe there's a good chance of it working. Obviously if a kid threw a toy down there you're out of luck.


1. If you have cast iron pipes be careful to use soluble toilet paper. Do not use the thick, soft stuff. That will hang up on the pipes more easily. Old cast pipes get rough on the inside.


2. Check your flapper. Our flapper was designed to conserve water. That means the flush only released part of the water needed to flush the waste, especially with that heavy toilet paper. Be sure you are doing a full flush or two for solid waste, especially in older homes.

3. Try the Dawn trick. Cheap and easy to try and saved me a couple hundred bucks.

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5 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 14, 2011

I read somewhere about unplugging a toilet with dish soap. I'm not sure what to do.



Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 15, 20110 found this helpful
I found a ton of info on Google. I would think that perhaps the glycerine has something to do with it. I imagine it works pretty good to have so many sites.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 14, 2011

How do you unstop a toilet with dish detergent and hot water?

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October 11, 2010

I have a stopped up toilet, actually two. I want to try the Dawn detergent solution.

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February 12, 2010

How do you unclog a toilet using dish detergent?

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June 1, 2009

Quick Tip for Toilet Clogs. If your toilet is clogged and you can't find a plunger or a plumber; just squirt in some liquid dish detergent. . .

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