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Using Dish Soap to Unclog a Toilet

Category Plumbing
If you have trouble getting your toilet to flush even after plunging, check out the technique described here to clear the flow. This is a guide about using dish soap to unclog toilet.
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By 2 found this helpful
January 14, 2011

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

Answers

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 amazed...it 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.

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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 $$$ for a mainline drain snake by a plumber. New houses have cleanouts for access but on older homes the plumber has to go onto the roof and go in through the vents. $$$

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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.

TIPS

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.

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

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By 0 found this helpful
July 14, 2011

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

By RAM

Answers

July 15, 20110 found this helpful

howtounclogatoilet.net/.../
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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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Skhbears from Blacksburg, VA

Answers:

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

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 amazed. It works! (10/11/2010)

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By janet

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

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! (12/08/2010)

By mel

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October 11, 20100 found this helpful

I have a stopped up toilet, actually two. I want to try the Dawn detergent solution. My problem, one toilet backed up so I turned off the water to the toilet, then the second toilet backed up and I turned off that water (they both overflowed).

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Until I could get the plumber out my kids used both toilets, one of them extensively. How do I get clear the bowls before adding the detergent? Do I need to bail them out and then add the Dawn? When do I turn on the water, before this or after?

The plumber is coming tomorrow to check for roots because this has been an ongoing problem with #1 toilet. I'm embarrassed about the full bowl in the second toilet. Please help.

By AWB from Memphis, TN

Answers:

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

Plumbers have seen worse. For heavens sake, don't stress over what will be gone in 90 seconds! What you are embarrassed about is a normal bodily function. (02/15/2010)

By norma carlyon

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

Get a plunger, forget the plumber until you try to unclog the thing. The best plungers I've found are the ones with the 'accordion type thing' at the base. They are very easy to use, don't require a lot of strength to do it and work great. A few quick plunges and your problem may be solved! And NEVER ever pour warm or hot water into your toilet. It melts the wax seal that is under the toilet base. (Experience talking here.) ;/ (02/15/2010)

By Lois Ann Zendarski

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

Fill a bucket with water. Squirt about 3 teaspoons of Dish soap into the toilet, leave it to sit for a few minutes, then pour in the water. The mess should start going down right away. Don't keep pouring if it looks like it might overflow, of course.

Dish soap really works, better than anything I've ever tried. Just pour it right in with whatever's in there, it will sink to the bottom.

I think that using a bucket for this first flush is a great idea because if your kids (or roots) have it totally clogged, this way you won't overflow like you might if you turned on the water and flushed it in the regular way. (02/16/2010)

By Jeneene

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

This is unbelievable! We were ready to call Roto Rooter and spend at least $600 (their estimate). We tried this instead and it worked like a charm. Thanks so very much from me and my wallet! (05/10/2010)

By Cathy

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

This is beyond amazing. Last night my sister and I began to work on unclogging the toilet. It had become clogged with paper towels used for doggy toilet paper. We were up through the night plunging, using a rotor rooter, calling plumbers and anyone with advice on the matter.

My sister suggested that we search the Internet for toilet and paper towels. We did and immediately this site was the 1st to come up. We read the post on dish soap and hot water. We boiled a tea kettle and a large pot of water. We decided to remove as much water as we could into the toilet in another bathroom. We put 1/2 a cup of Palmolive scrub buster beads (we used what we had) in the toilet. 5 minutes later we poured in the boiled water, about a gallon. We waited exactly 30min. My sister plunged 3-5x and hallelujah the water began to flow.

The bathroom smells wonderful because of all the soap. We were beyond excited and did a happy dance. I immediately joined this website and look forward to the many thrifty ways to save. (06/11/2010)

By Venus

Dish Soap for Toilet Clogs

Seriously, this is the greatest, greatest tip ever. I live in my boss's home so having to confess to having a plugged toilet would have been mortifying! I've never been so happy to see a clear watered toilet. (06/14/2010)

By maria

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February 12, 20100 found this helpful

How do you unclog a toilet using dish detergent?

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June 1, 20090 found this helpful

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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