Can Baking Soda and Vinegar Unclog a Toilet?

Leave a Comment - 140


Steve Halley

Subject: Unclogging Toilet

I am not in favor of the kettle of hot water as in step 4.
Should the hot water melt your wax seal, sewer gas will escape into the house, and you will have to pull the toilet to repair it.
Thanks for listening.


Subject: unclogging a toilet

You may never have to call a plumber again for bad toilet clogs if you use a CLOSET AUGER. The cost starts at about $7 and doesn't make a mess like the wind up coil tool we had previously that plumbers used to use. It is a plumber's secret but check out how to use it on U Tube and see how quick and easily it works. We end up using it at least once each visit after the grandkids use too much toilet paper and toss Kleenex in the commode. It is faster and less trouble than my favorite baking soda and vinegar arsenal that I use for my kitchen sink to keep it draining smoothly.

hanna glassman

Subject: clogged toilet

Thank you, I went on line to see what I could do, and the baking soda and vinegar plus hot water and dawn, did the trick, on the second try. It really does work!!!!!! Just hope the neighbors don't have bubbles coming out of their hoppers since I live in a condo!!!!!

Rosemarie Averhoff, Broker Assoc, REALTOR

Subject: Clogged Toilets

I like to let new home owners know that the newer toilets all require often to hold the handle down to flush everything. If you don't you do end up with a clogged toilet so it can be prevented by doing this. Tell your guests too. Some of the newest toilets don't have that problem I found. Try it and see what happens.


Subject: amazing

I can't believe this worked and I can't believe I haven't been trying this my whole life. Thank you!


Subject: Plunging for days

I've been plunging for days and it never drained. Then I tried this after reading all the comments on how amazing it worked. It only to one round of baking soda, vinegar, hot water, and Ajax dish soap and a small amount of plunging before it worked. I waited about ten minutes between adding the baking soda and vinegar mix and the hot water and Ajax mix though. IM AMAZED!!!! I REALLY CANT BELIEVE THIS ACTUALLY WORKED. THANK YOU!!!


Subject: For real, this works

My sis clogged the toilet really bad. Super funny, but we tried uncloging it for about a half an hour. No luck. Decided to ask google... found this article and am so happy I did. It seriously works. Poured half a cup of baking soda in the bowl, followed by half a cup of vinegar, let it sit for 10 mins. Then I poured a mixture of boiling water with dawn dish soap in it. Plunged away and BOOM! It drained!! All natural is magic! See ya never, plumber.

Greatful Pam

Subject: Clogged toilet

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!!
I've had a clogged toilet that was hard to clear, the baking soda and vinegar with the hot water worked wonders!! It took a few tries but it came through!! So very thankful!! No plumber needed for my clogged toilet. So grateful for these awesome tips!!


Subject: Worked for Me

Had tried a plunger several times-no luck
baking soda + vinegar+ hot water and FLUSH!!!all fixxed


Subject: Clog toilet

Omg like a charm dish washing liquid and hot water then use the plunger unclog on the first try thank you everyone


Subject: Don't listen to him

I have a campground and we use the baking soda vinager trick to keep our lines clean and unclog all types of plumbing, so give it a try , you might have a serious clog and in that case you will need further action but what's it going to hurt to try that first before you call a plunber


Subject: Awesome!

I plunged and plunged and plunged - tried old tricks that have worked before and NOTHING. This worked on the second try. I did not do this independent of plunging - but I did the baking soda and vinegar again and when I began to plunge and realized all the water was being pushed down every time so I flushed and it was perfect! Thank you

james robinson

Subject: clogged toilet

I am a porter at a major supermarket and was totally stumped with this problem. Didn't want to call a plumber and use harsh chemicals. This was a safe, cheap and quick fix. Problem solved, Thank you kindly!


Subject: I was skeptical but soon

I was skeptical but soon found out that using baking soda and vinegar to unclog my commode really works and it worked in less than 30 minutes.

Rod matthews

Subject: Toilet unclog

Unbelievable, it really works. I placed quarter cup of soda then equal amount of white vinegar, then added hottest tap water I could get until the bowl was almost full. I could hear the water leaking through the blockage almost immediately. I added more hot water. Clog was gone Ina few minutes. Try it , it really works.


Subject: aarrgggg.. Sunday to Tuesday afternoon clogged toliet

plunged every 8 hours go ..went down once son flushed it to almost running over.. saw the posts here tried clorox and baking soda.. Clear !!! ..will boil water in an hour and pour down for good measure Flushed 4 times with no blockages but want to make sure. Thank you all for your at home fixes .. Worked perfectly, saved huge $$$s


Subject: unclogging the toilet

This baking soda and vinegar was WONDERFUL!!! I tried plunging and plunging without any luck. Then I tried the baking soda and vinegar. IT WORKED!!!!!

Karen S

Subject: YES! Vinegar and baking soda worked

We had a clogged toilet for almost 24 hours. Plunged it every 4-6 hours. Didnt want to call the plumber. Looked this info up online. Glad I did. I almost poured liquid plumber down the toilet! Bad all around. Tried the baking soda, vinegar, then hot water. Let it sit for about 15 mins. First attempt partially worked, second attempt did the trick! Thanks so much! Saved my hard earned money!


Subject: Clogged toulet.

At approximnnately 2:00 am, the toilet was clogged. It just kept happening. This time the plunger didn't work. I put some washing machine cleaner and no luck. I tried the baking soda and lemon juice trick. I didn't have but an 1/8 a cup of either and thought that it wouldn't be enough. After about 10 minutes I heard the toilet flush on its own. Unbelievable! Much cheaper than the alternatives too.


Subject: Dish soap...

Our master bathroom toilet clogged badly. The wife mentioned using dish soap. I thought yeah right, but after reading the entries here I thought I would try it. I let the water in the toilet drop low, then added half of a bottle of dish soap. I let it sit for about 30 minutes while I did some maintenance on the house. Came back filled the tub up with hot water since it was clogged as well, and then let it drain - no luck. I then scooped up hot water with a pitcher and poor it into the toilet and bam! the toilet unclogged - only temporarily though. Now the sink was clogged too. With hot water running in the sink and the tub still filled with hot water from the tap I fill the toilet one more time with hot water as well. I began to plunge and all of a sudden I could hear the tub sucking water down. I flushed the toilet and it was clear. So, yes it worked.


Subject: Clog toilet

I used to much toilet paper and clogged my pipe. I have septic tank. I used Roto Rooter, forgot about the baking soda and vinegar. It says if you use something like Drano to not use the vinegar or baking soda. It has gone down but when I flush it , it might fill up again don't know yet. If it does and it has been 12 hours since I used Roto Rooter can I use the baking soda and vinegar after 12 hours. I have plastic lines.



My toilet is clogged from 1/30/16, I have used draino and the draino gell, but still my toilet is clogged. I just read your post and is amazed with peoples responds. Would I be able to use the baking soda and vinegar by 2/1/16 or should I call a plumber.


Subject: Unclog toilet...THIS WORKS!!

OK, so it's even my birthday today and I have been trying to unclog my toilet from every hh product I have read about on Google.... From baking soda, bleach, mountain dew, and later hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and plunging all day! Nothing worked! I only got a clean toilet!
1.Turn ON the faucet water.
2.let it run for 30 secs
3. (I turned on the bath water too)
4. Begin to plunge the toilet.
It should take you two minutes to break through a stubborn block. Good luck! :)


Subject: Wow! Unclogged On First Try!

Unbelievable! I am not a person who posts things, but this deserved props.

I just unclogged my toilet with this method. I do not own a toilet plunger, because I think they are disgusting. I was on my way to the store for a solution, when I remembered this post on Angie's list.

I started out with 1/4 cup baking soda, and slightly more than the called-for 1/4 cup vinegar (only because the acidity is 5%), waited 5 minutes, then poured a tea kettle's worth of boiling hot water and... PRESTO, no more clog! Truly brilliant!


Subject: Toilet clog

I had a clog and I called a plumber.I had tried the usual stuff like hot water,snake,soap,etc.He said I had roots in the line(via camera).They dug up my yard and snaked the pipes.There was a piece of rug in there and I was mystified how it got there.I had been in the house for over 20 years and never put carpet down the drain.The plumbing service put in a plastic sewer pipe and entry point at the lawn level.There were no roots in the line.This was very expensive to fix.I would still advocate calling a plumber if you have tried a snake,hot water,etc.You have to have your toilet and they do this work everyday.

Patti Young

Subject: Works!

Wow! This was so helpful!! I had plunged and snaked the toilet and it would temporarily unclog only to clog again and not flush properly. Used the baking soda and vinegar (fun to watch it fizz). Used about half a box of baking soda. Plunged it for about a minute while the water was on the stove to boil. It went right down! Awesome tip. Thank you!!!!


Subject: Cloogged Toilet

I used dish soap and buckets (3) of hot water from the shower. I did it three times and Yeah!! clog went away. Thank you so very much.

Florence Mokris

Subject: unblock toilet

I just used the dishwashing solution and a big pot of hot water. Then used the plunger only one time, and it became unblocked!


Subject: soap may really help

I've been reading this and thinking that my toilot rarely if ever gets clogged. Then after further thought I realized that every time I use it I spray in orange glow cleaner, which is really soap. Reason I was doing that is that I don't like these moth ballie smelling hanging gadgets inside the bowl. Orange glow, and the like, is natural and won't hurt anything but my toilot surely does keeps running with it's constant use. Could it maybe be the soap?


Subject: Septic Concerns

Thanks so much for all the helpful hints, everyone! Does anyone know if the baking soda/vinegar and/or dish soap cures for clogged toilets are safe with septic? With thanks in advance...


Subject: American Standard

I replaced 2 15 year old contractor toilets with American Standard low-flow toilets from Lowes. One was about $99 an one was $150 (I needed the 2nd one to be under a certain height and that was the cheapest one that fit the bill). I've had the $99 one for a couple of years now and the other one for about 6 months... nether has ever clogged and they have both seen plenty of TP and wet wipes. Unbelievable how well these work. From prior experience, if you do need a plunger, buy a good one. The hollow plastic accordion style one will clear just about anything, but just a big one with the extra lip should be sufficient. You just have to be able to make a good seal.. the ones without an extra lip don't seal and just fold up on themselves.


Subject: Wet Wipes

If you continue to put wet wipes or anything down a toilet other than TP or Kleenex, you will eventually have a very expensive plumber visit. It may take awhile before visit but from personal experience and talking to numerous plumbers, they will totally block your lines. These items are Not biodegrade able as stated on package. Buyer beware.,


Subject: Vinegar & baking soda toilet clear

If you use vinegar and banking soda once a week as a maintence role, it saves hundreds in plumbing & chemicals fees!
Important! Always use a 50/50 solution of White Vinegar & Baking soda ,followed by a kettle of hot water.
Works every time!


Subject: T O T O TOILETS

Sorry, but we have a TOTO toilet and it has clogged MORE than once!!!! I was shocked and dismayed. We paid more for this great name and found disappointment in more than one way!! The Sani Gloss coating is a scam too.

Marie Carden

Subject: Toto Toilets

Thank you!!! Had a plumber suggest I get a TOTO toilet if we ever replace ours. He said they cost more, but were worth the money. In his opinion these were the best. Since then, I haven't talked to anyone who owns one. Good to have some input on these. Thank you.


Subject: Clogged Toilets

Three words: Toto Drake Toilet

My Kohlers barely took two sheets of paper, much less what a teenage son and an elder on pain meds puts out. Sooooo done with clogs.

Installed the Drake three years ago and haven't had the plunger out a single time since. LOVE the Drake. Even better, added a Toto 350e bidet seat and cut back on tp use. Don't know how we lived without these essentials.

Mary Roy

Subject: Toto

As much as is possible to love a toilet, I love our Toto! Never clogged!


Subject: Toilets, sakrete man and dish soap

Loved the Sakrete man story.

I had a workman use the jon as soon as he arrived at the house. He stopped it up. When plunging didn't work; I googled the problem and learned about dish soap (it said use dawn) and the plunger. I called my handyman and he had just about given up, but when he tried the soap with the plunger, it worked. Cleaned the jon as well. (Won't use that workman any more though….)


Subject: How to unclog a toilet

The best solution is to replace your toilet with a Toto toilet. Don't get the cheapest models, you need to buy one with a 2 inch throat rather than the standard 1.5 inch throat. Since we replaced our toilets we have never had a clogged toilet.


Subject: Brand Preference

There are some Toto fixtures that perform admirably, however, other manufacturers have produced water closets that stubbornly refuse to clog... though nothing is fool-proof, Kohler and American Standard have some "Best Buy" quality models available.

Linda D

Subject: Clog toilet

Yeah. Thanks everyone
Hot water and dish soap
After three days
Used plunger, baking soda and vinager - nothing worked!!!
Wasn't going to call plumber!!'
Too expensive !! Yes! Couldn't stand it anymore, afraid if toxic
Chemicals ; so got on line for search
Worked!!! Yes!!
Dish soap and hot water worked!


Subject: dish soap, hot water, a good plunger

I had a clogged toilet that my plunger wasn't releasing. After reading the comments here, I poured 1/4 bottle of dish soap into the full toilet bowl, (kept the water valve turned on), left the house for two hours and came back to a nearly empty bowl. Plunged it a bit, then poured 1/2 bucket of hot water from the bath tap in. Voila! Fixed.

On another note- don't buy the cheapest plunger you see. Pay the $8 for a real toilet plunger- the kind with the flap (you can tuck that in for use in a sink). Makes a huge difference when your plunger doesn't flip inside out at every try.


Subject: Clogged Toilet

Always use the dish liquid soap before you flush.....always works, always.

Cheryl Goroshko

Subject: Plugged Toilet

As a land lord I have had two things that could not be cleared by a plunger or a snake. First was a begonia plant leaf. Moved in and placed the plant on back of tank, leaf fell off and acted as valve. With a flush the volume of water would gradually go down. Plunger only acted as a temporary suction or pressure on the leaf. The snake just pierced the leaf but did not removed it. Had to pull the bowl. Very angry husband and new home for his mother's plant.
2nd was a tenant moving out that was too lazy to take his refrigerator stuff to the can so he flushed 3 large meatballs, that acted as ball valves. Ended up pulling bowl, shook out 2 meat balls placed bowl back on. Flushed and backed up again. Had to pull bowl again, this time manually checking for obstruction and found the 3rd meatball. Very, very angry husband.

Found that things labeled flushable can cause problems too. Tampons are the worst.


Subject: Tried it. Works like a charm.

Tried it and it works. For those of who are arguing that it won't because the Vinegar and Baking Soda neutralize eachother, the resulting reaction creates carbonic acid. This unstable product breaks down into CO2 bubbles and water. This is why you add the baking soda first as it needs to get to the clog before the reaction begins as the bubbles help break down the clogs.. It's not necessarily the acidity that's doing to work. In fact, it would take much, much longer to dissolve the clog in an acid alone, and you'd probably need something much stronger than vinegar!

For those who can't seem to get this to work. make sure you add the the two reactants when there isn't much water in your toilet bowl as the solution becomes less effective when dilute.

louis samborski

Subject: clogged toilet

when toilet is clogged just fill the toilet all the way to top be careful not to over fill. the weight of the water will unclog it within 15min. to 24 hours. I use cold water but remember fill it to the top.


Subject: Unclog dog n human hair from shower

Guaranty it's in a bottle n in a plastic bag I usually live it over night n in the morning baking soda w white vinegar n then hot water even dog hair n my wife n daughters have long hair


Subject: IT WORKS! unclog toilet with vinegar & baking soda

Wow. Can't believe all the nay sayers. It works. I'm disabled & am physically unable to use a plunger. I live in an older home & despite every precaution, toilet gets clogged several times a year. I now keep a supply of vinegar & baking soda. If that doesn't work, I do the dishwashing liquid & WARM water method. In the 5 years I've been using these methods, they've never failed.

ed thomas

Subject: vinegar, etc.

Come on! You got 2 gallons of water in the bowl. If you pour in a cup if baking soda, and a cup of vinegar, are you even going to get fizz? Seems like a pretty weak solution, to me. Seems to me, where your clog is (and what it is), says a lot about what you have to do to clear it.

It doesn't matter....

Subject: Vinegar & baking soda toilet clear

To "come on...that would be too weak ie: EdThomas"
I've had house full of my teens friends: teenage boys !! Ackkk
Invariably, one of them ALWAYS clogs one of my 3 toilets! I've used bakingsoda/vinegar/kettle hot water(NOT still boiling)but extremely hot!)...for over 25 yrs thanx to my construction/repair/remodeling/builder/electrician/plumber BROTHER!!
(Thanx Dave! :-) xoxo)
He says the Only reason a plumber will tell you NOT to use this simple inexpensive home remedy is it would cut down on their business!! Some dishonest plumbers have even rused the "root or broken tile" story, where they dig up your yard and voila! ..find not a root but a piece of cloth or carpet,etc, they magically pull from no where! Bye bye,$10,000 to 15,000.....
Try the solution!

idig yourwife

Subject: better than baking and vinegar

Insert 4 packs of mentos , wait 5 minutes.bring one liter of coca cola or pepsi (your choice).pour coca cola or pepsi inside the toilet. Watch the chemical reaction work, done.


Subject: Unclogging septic lines

Most toilet clogs are in the toilet. Depending on "amount" and how much TP was used, the toilet will be clogged at the drain exit or in the trap. A plunger works best. However, try to find one that isn't made in China and is flexible after sitting around for years, especially if you live in a dry climate. Good luck with that. Since we live in usually dry Colorado, I keep mine wrapped in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out so bad that it looses its flexibility. MAYBE the accordion types will work better long term. Regardless, soap and hot water softens "things" up allowing the plunger to work better.

Past the toilet, the clog is now in the line and I doubt anything that makes it through the toilet will clog the line unless it hits other obstructions that have been building up. That's when the line will back up and gross stuff starts coming out your laundry room floor drain or up into your bathtub or shower. The where depends on lowest height but it will always happens when company is over or at Thanksgiving dinner.

What was not mentioned is how tree roots invade a sewer line, especially the older ones. After spending some notable $$$ to have my line de-rooted a few years ago, I now flush down 2lbs of Root Kill in early spring and late summer. It is actually just copper sulfate. You can buy it in bulk for much less. Google it.

I also pour down a gallon of main line cleaner twice a year and then follow that up after a day or two by filling up every bathtub and sink, the washing machine and then draining them while simultaneously tuning on all the faucets and flushing all the toilets. lThe main line cleaner dissolves and softens stuff up and all the water then flushes it down the line into the sewer.

In theory anyway. I haven't had my line scoped (they send a TV camera down the line) since the de-rooting where I did have before and after pictures.


Subject: Clearing toilet clogs

Stools are sealed to the cast iron drain pipe with wax rings so plunging can break this seal and start leakage under the stool. Smelly at best and potential floor rotting at worst.


Subject: Mainline it

Use Main Line Cleaner. Buy two bottles from local hardware retailer. Use according to directions. For twenty bucks, you've saved a plumber's bill. Works great.

Neill Peterson

Subject: Unclogging a toilet

The simplest fix is water pressure. Empty the bathroom wastebasket (should be plastic water-holding bucket) while the water level in the bowl is going down, fill the bucket at the bathtub. When the water is near the normal level, hold bucket at shoulder level, pour in heavy stream into exit hole of bowl. Repeat. If that doesn't work, I use plunger with snout. Have to tip it to fill it with water first. Need strength to push down aggressively, repeatedly. Has never failed.


Subject: I spent several hour plunging

I spent several hour plunging the toilet and was unable to dislodge the clog. The toilet wasn't completely clogged, but was really slow. I tried baking soda and vinegar followed by warm water with no success. I did this several times. I finally read your suggestion about dumping hot water from a large bucket into the toilet bowl from shoulder height. I wasn't convinced that it would work, but was willing to try it rather than make an emergency call to a plumber on Thanksgiving weekend. SUCCESS!!!!! Thanks for the great tip.


Subject: Medical issue and clogged drains

I am on medication that causes very know. Although I've so far been successful with clogs, I'd like to find a way to also clear the "pipes" as this is an ongoing issue that has been going on about a year. I've been unable to find any products for this type of issue and would really like try to do myself if possible. Thanks.


Subject: Medication and toilet clogs

It would be good to take care of the physical issue then you will not have a toilet issue. Miralax is wonderful. Try it. You will feel much better.


Subject: Toilet Drain

For you, with the medical problem, and for saying it's ongoing, I suggest you be proactive rather than reactive. I never have a clogged toilet bowl because I purchase cheap bottles of dish liquid for the bathroom. And each time I "go", I pour dish liquid in before I flush. Works every time.....keeps the bowl flowing. If I am out of that I use some of my shampoo. However I do have slow draining bathroom sink and I will be trying the soda a vinegar immediately.


Subject: Stool softener fd4

Get two stool softeners to try. I use 50mg stool softener pills (colace) and 8mg pills of sennosides, I have needed them for years and you need to try something. Always start with a couple and take more as needed.


Subject: Unclogging toilet

Fill up a small plastic trash bucket with warm water from your shower, then pour it slowly into the toilet bowl. Sometimes it works right away and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 buckets to loosen the clog. Use a plunger very gently after the 2nd failed attempt, and oftentimes that additional pressure is enough to unclog. No chemicals, hot water or snakes...just water and a lot of care to do it slowly and very gently.


Subject: clogged toilet

Went outside and punched hole in sewer pipe. Ran hose 30 to 50 feet to a clog. removed hedge and roots never had another sewer clog.


Subject: Fizzy Toilet

The baking soda and vinegar trick will not unclog a toilet. Baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) combine to produce CO2. That is the "fizzy" gas. It is nothing more than bubbles that will go straight up and out of your toilet as the baking so "neutralizes" the acidic vinegar. What is really unclogging the toilet is the hot water. Not to sound gross, but the hot water will help dissolve the poo a little faster. The vinegar could help a little because it is a weak acid, but probably not much. Save yourself the trouble, cost and additional stink of vinegar. Pour in the hot water, let it soak in and it should take care of it. The baking soda and vinegar just looks like it is doing something, but it really isn't.


Subject: Clogged toilet

All comments below advocate applying pressure from above AGAINST the clog. This can make the problem worse. Instead, use your plunger to seal the drain, then keeping it in place, flush. When the bowl has most of the new water in it, briefly lift the plunger to let some water in, reseal the drain pushing all the way in and SUDDENLY, pull the plunger straight UP. This "pulls" the plug and often will free the drain in one or two pulls.





Subject: Clogged Toilets

First step - If you father was anything like mine, you knew that you tried to convince him to use the bathroom at the mexican restaurant before heading home after "family taco night". The man at age 60 was a human Sakrete dispenser. A family legend that lives on today through the stories.
Anyway - we always kept one of those "accordian" type plungers by the head and it always solved the problem. I do like the dish washing detergent idea however as it would lubricate the sides of the bowl and the exit drain to the sewer or septic tank

Carroll Barber

Subject: Clogged Toilets

@ Scott: Your comment was both entertaining and educational. In my mind, I can see your family gathered around the camp fire to keep the family legend alive. Making sure the children are paying attention. This is the story, of Sakrete Man....... in perpetuity. :)

Leon Morgan

Subject: ?clog in toilet

Had cloged toilet tried plunger still only slow drainage. Called plummer did snake still slow drainag. Pulled toilet found a new bar of soap in the box had gotten into the toilet, not sure which one did it. Had to turn toilet over in yard, a little snake work and a lot of water spraying before enough opf the soap loosened and the came out; the soap had soffened some in the water and become trapped in the trap top of the toilet and fused to the top of the trap. Probably took a while of use before all the soap was gone. Now try to keep soap boxes out of reach.

Betty Lee McLendon

Subject: Good idea to check the precautions

I have used the vinegar and baking soda many times in my bathroom sink and it worked fine but I have not used it in the toilet. I would be considernced about cracking the toilet with the hot water BUT one person said use water as hot as tea water NOT boiling. That might be the answer BUT use caution. It could cost a bunch if it does crack it.


Subject: releasing a clog in toilet

I have run across toilets that due to their design are not sealable with a plunger. ( Hole is square or elongated). In this case, unless you are lucky enough to have a snake and know how to use it, chemicals may be your only choice. I like the dishsoap plan but I have found that you can clear most clogs by forcefuly dumping a bucket of water into the bowl. Make sure you don't exceed your bowl capacity and overflow. The hydraulic action of the water will normally break it loose with out hot water. You get a more forceful push by NOT flushing the tank and you can control the amount of water entering the bowl. This method works best if the bowl is near empty


Subject: Interesting comments

I am dealing with a clogged toilet and will give many of these suggestions a try. Will start with the dish washing liquid, if that doesn't work, will try the vinegar and baking soda. I guess I can take a toilet off and snake or pour the mainline cleaner down, hope I can handle the smell.

Ron Owens

Subject: Unclogging toilet bowls

There seems a lot of misinformation happening about how to unclog a toilet bowl. If you Google the question, you will not get the answers found here. First, the simplest and most often advice is to, yes, use a plunger. If that doesn't work, pour in a quarter to half cup of dish washing liquid. Then pour, from chest high, a kettle of hot water--not boiling which could crack the toilet, but about the temp of hot tea. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes and you will most likely see it unclog. This works. If you doubt it, go to the expert, Mr. Google.


Subject: Clogs

Use a plunger. I have one of those so-called uncloggable toilets. Yeah right. It took me quite a while with a plunger; after about 15-20 minutes of plunging; it finally worked its way loose. If that doesn't work; they also make these toilet augers, from any hardware store so you do not have to disconnect the bowl.

Jay Bee

Subject: Clogged drain

In the event one lives in a multi story apartment complex, the problem could be from another apartment. This happened to us once. The blockage was in the apartment below us, thus backing up our pipes.


Subject: sound like salad dressing to me

Years ago in San Francisco , We were leaving on the third floor , and the kitchen sink got clogged , the handyman used straight sulphuric acid it worked wonder even removed the 80 years old cast iron enamel ate thru the pipe and dump the sludge in the kitchen 3 floors below , she was on a trip , fun thing about one month later same situation , landlord finally got a professional , his equipment got tangle with an old "snake" broken in the drain , give or take 100 feet , it went fine for a while then clogged again , back to the roof and guess what he picked up another 100 feet of cable , we had given up on the lease ....

Home Efficiency

Subject: Let waste sit for few hours..then plunge

Most soft waste and toilet tissue will eventually go down ...let sit for 6 hours or so....plunging often.. let sit more hours...then the material will actually break down and go down. This vinegar baking soda makes for a sweeter smelling toilet but that's about it...and hot water in a Cold toilet bowel is like said chancy at best to break or cracking a can buy a snake plunger combo these days yourself...find on line or go to Home Depot etc.
or plumbing shop every home needs this tool no matter how much baking soda you have ....Plunging is about the only trick I know of...Buy a Plunger.


Subject: waiting time

if someone is going to wait 6 hours, it might pay to have a backup available. understanding neighbors would be helpful.

Parker West

Subject: Clear a stuck toilet with air

I have the infamous low flow type that gets stuck too easily. I keep a little device I bought at Lowes nearby, it hasn't failed me once. It's a $20 plastic tool with a variety of rubber stoppers you place on one end. You can use the device for sinks, tubs, also it has the stoppers to fit each. The other end has a pump, you extend push extend again until you have built up some serious air pressure in the middle portion we might call a chamber. Then you place the seal over the exit hole at the toilet bottom and release the air pressure. No chemicals and NO it won't blow out any gaskets. A $10 device that extends a small snake about 3 ft with a handle on the other end to give it a twisting motion works also. The plunger isn't going to clear a serious clog, but it may flood your home.



Stupid advice. Keep a bottle of dish soap in the bathroom. Squirt some in the bowl if you get a clog. Works like a champ about 90% of the time. If no luck with this, get the plunger.
If the bowl level is higher than normal, wait until the level recedes before you flush again. Many people panic and flush again when they see the bowl fill to near the top.All that does is add more water to the bowl and causes it to overflow.


Subject: toilet clog

we have used a squirt or two of dish detergent.. works in our house,, unless it's a toy, or an object...breaks down the paper......


Subject: A much better way to clear clogged toilets

I came across a much easier way to unclog they stopped up toilet: dishwashing liquid. I've used it successfully at least half a dozen times over the past 10 years or so. A couple of times I was on the verge of calling a plumber when I decided to search for a possible alternative and came across the dishwashing liquid fix.

It's gentle, does not involve using any dangerous chemicals and actually smells nice. Perhaps the only negative aspect of using it is that it creates a lot of suds. Simply try to plunge the toilet so that the existing water will run out. Then add several ounces, maybe three or four, of the dishwashing liquid and plunge it again. You may have to do it a couple of times but eventually you'll hear everything loosen up and it will run through and the clog will be gone!

The last time I used it was at least a year ago. Since the worst part of it is dealing with all of suds, there's really no reason not to try it. The worst that could happen is that you spend a few bucks on some dishwashing liquid only to find that didn't work, and then you can call the plumber.

While I'm on the subject of quick, cheap household fixes, I have a real good one for eliminating anthills: pour a large pot full of boiling water directly on the hill and within a day it will be gone…

Louis P

Subject: frozen toilets

for a plugged toilet
simple...grab some septic field cleaner...a small amount over-night...clog is GONE
that hot water into toilet is...a good try...but water in it will cool the hot water
use a hose from shower....directly down into the clog
turn on full tilt for < 10 seconds!!
hot water? into the out-house? maybe...

Tall Stacey

Subject: The moist useless thing in

The moist useless thing in most homes is the flat bottomed usually hard red rubber plunger, especially when it comes to toilets! Buy yourself a good force cup with an extended snout to fit down into the toilet neck and create a seal. Then learn how to use it! Fill the cup with as much water as you can when you insert it into the toilet (air compresses, water doesn't!) then force down hard - keep the seal and pull up to create a vacuum. then back down again. Work the captured water up and down until the clog either goes down, or comes back up! A force cup works by creating a moving column of liquid above the clog, acting like a battering ram to break the clog loose. If all you are doing is pushing air and blowing bubble you are wasting your time!


Subject: Hot water - Nope

Hot water in a toilet bowl... possible cracking ... bit, more likely melt or deform the wax seal between the toilet bowl and the floor... you will know when the odors start staying around.


Subject: hot water in a toilet ,

Don't tell them plumbers and contractor need to earn a leaving .......
The old saying if it does not kill you it might cure you has never been so true.


Subject: Clogged Toilet

R. Bowman is correct, using hot water will melt the wax "O" ring, than you'll need more than a plunger!!
But the proper plunger will do the job quickly with a few pumps.


Subject: The imbecility of the baking

The imbecility of the baking powder + vinegar method is that to see if it works you have to flush the toilet. If it did not clear the blockage, you will watch helplessly as water overflows everywhere. Bottom line: buy a plunger, keep it handy.



Subject: imbecility

To avoid watching helplessly as the water overflows, turn the water almost all the way off & try to catch it ahead of time or turn it all the way off.

V Mayerie

Subject: The snake is a surefire way

The snake is a surefire way to get your toilet flushing again. No chemicals. If your toilet still stinks using vinegar and/or baking soda and cleaning with a toilet scrubber will get rid of the smell.

Jo Ann

Subject: Vinegar & Baking Soda

We are cleaning out our home of cancer causing chemicals. There are plenty of recipes online to do this. We use equal parts of vinegar and baking soda to clean our toilets. Equal part of vinegar and water to clean our kitchen counters, door knobs, and windows. We are even making a laundry detergent from scratch, of all natural products.


Subject: Clogged anything!

Vinegar is an acid, Baking soda is a base. In reality, all it does is fizz, which does absolutely nothing to unplug anything!

nick bustamante

Subject: UnCloging sewer lines

I had a problem for over a year and spent about $1000.00 with different
Plumbing people and none were able to unclog...I finally went to Home
Depot and bought a gallon of Main Line Cleaner and it did the trick..Take
the tollet off first and pour the whole gallon into the pipe and next day pour
some boiling hot water in and bingo it will clear up. We had tried everything before. I even thought my sewer line was broken....


Subject: Get a plunger

If you don't have a plunger...go get a plunger. Five bucks at the hardware store. Save the McGyver tricks for your home movies.


Subject: This is so useless

I wonder who might be silly enough to try this? If your toilet is clogged, pouring some fizzies into the bowl will accomplish nothing. You need a plunger or a snake. Period.

The only POSSIBLE way this could work is if the baking soda actually somehow made it to the clog itself, which is probably on the other side of the trap. After a couple of months of 24/7 treatments and the fun of removing stinky, smelly water to make up for what you're pouring in, why, you might dislodge something.

This is an internet fantasy.

Scott Taylor

Subject: Clogged toilet

My experience has been to go with a good plunger first, then a small snake if the plunger doesn't work. They make an inexpensive snake especially for toilets that doesn't ruin the porcelain finish. A little dish can help loosen things a bit too.

Marlene Neiheisel

Subject: Unclogging a toilet using vinegar & baking soda

I use this formula on a regular basis since a plummer told me he would have to run a camera to see where the clog was & the charge for the procedure. He left with the idea he would be back on Monday...hello....??? This was Friday. I tried the vinegar & soda. It worked & that was last November.

James S.

Subject: unclogging a toilet

I couldn't agree more, with Wayne. The laws of physics alone tell us this won't work. The ONLY way this could work is if the toilet bowl itself could be made airtight as soon as the bubbling occurs. This fizzing and expanding air will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance, out the toilet bowl, NOT pushing the clog as they insinuate. Even any tiny amount of pressure towards the drain would probably be diffused by the trap. The clog is almost never in the trap.


Subject: B soda and vinegar

No way, I tried it and did not work...............and NEVER pour hot water into a cold toilet, it will crack. Just get the plunger out.


Subject: Toilet plugged

Also run water in sink and or tub-,it creates Suction to pull on the clog.

gc addicted

Subject: First things first

If the baking soda and vinegar doesn't work, before you start spending your children's inheritance on an expensive plumber, you might want to try using the plunger. Even if you don't have one, you can find them at every Wal-Mart in the land. If that doesn't work, you might want to view a youtube video on how to pull and reset a toilet, then after you pull the toilet have a look underneath inside the drain to see what your little one has decided to try flushing. You'll probably find that heavy winter coat you've been looking for.

Gene Gauggel

Subject: for stubborn cases

I have had a problem with drain blockages. I had the super come in with his snake and high potency products. We have done this process repeatedly. Now, the problem accurs only ocassionally, suggesting that the drain still has some block somewhere along the system of pipes. I have to keep a plunger by the toilet for those ocassional ocurrences.
What more can be done to clear the drain completely?

Gabriel Nunez

Subject: Clogged sinks

I just have a question what about the excess water?,for example I've has had a clogged sink ( kitchen ), and the water keeps backing up do I still pour the mixture of beacon soda and vinegar? If so will I get the same results?

Dennis Mulgannon

Subject: Never Use Chemicals in Clogged Toilet

Unless you have children in your household, all clogs will be of the human waste variety. These are easily cleared with gentile and repetitive pumping pushes with a plunger. With kids in the house, there is no way you will clear a stuck bar of soap, or "Hot-Wheels" out of the toilet with chemicals. If you suspect something other than waste and toilet paper, try using a metal coat hangar to clear the clog. Don't reach for that stuck toy unless the phone is within reach, because you might get you hand stuck. Remember, no chemicals to clear clogs in toilets. Very bad idea.

Susan Lew

Subject: sewer check valve success

What is your experience with sewer check valves and how often do they need replacing? Will they last for years, say 5 yrs? How successful are they.


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First - NOT full septic tank - if that was the case you would be getting backup of sewage into the lowest drains in the house, and possible very slow flushing or refusal to drain out of the bowl - the opposite of your case.

Second - I assume you are the owner. If a renter or on a lease, this type of problem may be the responsibility of your landlord, depending on the terms of your lease or rental agreement.

OK - two possible situations here - low water in BOWL, or low water in TANK. I am assuming your toilet flushes OK, with adequate water to clean out the bowl, and that it is a typical type toilet with a tank sitting on the back of the bowl. If this is not the case and it is a designer toilet or looks like those at public restrooms (no tank), then the BOWL answers still apply if it is initially refilling OK, but if not enough refill water coming in at all then call a plumber.

First, low water in the toilet BOWL case. If the water in the toilet BOWL is low after flushing, I see four likely causes, in order of most likelihood -

1) the fill valve is not putting enough water into the toilet bowl. If you take the top off the tank, you will see a small hose (typically black plastic) coming from the fill valve (a vertical mechanism, usually at left side of tank, that the incoming water tube or flex hose connects to the bottom of on the bottom side of the tank). While the tank is refilling after a flush, a steady but not large flow of water flows through this fill tube and down into a vertical pipe or tube (usually brass or plastic and about 3/4 inch diameter, which stands almost full height of tank). The small tube puts water into this pipe, from where it flows into and refills the toilet bowl. This is also the overflow tube, which keeps the tank from overflowing if the fill valve fails to shut off. If the fill valve has a problem or the fill tube has a blockage, it may not be letting enough water into the bowl. Also, check the tube is actually pointed down into the overflow tube - if the clip came loose, rusted away or broke, then it may just be filling the toilet tank rather than the bowl. Check that a steady flow (will not be a real foreceful jet) of water is flowing out of this tube into the overflow pipe while the toilet tank is refilling. You should also see the bowl filling up at this time. If it come in but does not fill high enough because it does not run long enough, some fill valves have an adjustment - check fill valve manufacturer website for instructions. Others just have to be replaced - doable if you are handy at home repairs (see web videos on how to do it), or call a plumber for probably about $150-200 to replace fill valve (have him replace the flapper valve at same time if you get this done).

2) there is something like a rag or string caught in the trap (the waste passage within the toilet body itself) which is slowly wicking the bowl water down the drain - would be solved by a good snaking. If this is the case, the bowl will fill fully after flushing, but then slowly (typically many minutes to hours) drain down to just filling the start of the oval or round drain passageway where the waste passage starts to curve up into the toilet body.

3) blocked sewer vent pipe (which vents sewer gas and lets air into the sewer system so when you flush the traps in drains and toilets and such do not get sucked dry by the vacumn caused by the exiting flow. If this is the problem, then several drains in your house may have the same problem, or drain slowly. When you flush, the water will drain totally down the pipe and almost all the water in the bowl and trap will go down the drain too, typically with a gurgling sound for a few seconds at the end as the air seal is broken in the trap, then a small amount of water will flow back from the trap into the bowl, leaving you with water in the entrance curve to the trap but nowhere near normal height in the bowl - maybe not even enough to fill the entrance of the drain passage.

4) a crack in the toilet, letting water gradually leak out of the bowl onto the floor or into the subfloor. If this has been going on for long at all you should see water on the floor, or water coming out in the ceiling downstairs, or in the basement or crawl space under the toilet.

Case 2 - the problem is low water in the toilet TANK - since this is a sudden problem, two likely causes:

1)  the float arm has corroded or the float setting has moved. Look in tank for any broken part. You may have a black ball on the end of a metal or plastic arm connected to the fill valve (which is the part, normally at the left side of the tank, that the flexible or copper tubing comes into at the bottom of the tank), or it may be a sliding cylindrical float that slides up and down on the fill valve (typically all plastic) - see if it is broken or loose or alll corroded up (for the arm type). When you flush, this float hangs down (if lever type) or slides down the fill valve (cylinder type), opening the fill valve so fresh water comes in to fill the tank and bowl. As the tank fills it lifts this float, till at the proper elevation the bouyancy of the float shuts off the fill valve. If the setting on this float has changed then it will either cause the toilet to "run" continually because it is trying to overfill the tank (float shuts off at too high a level, so water is continuously flowing down into the overflow tube and into the bowl); or it will shut off too soon, causing only a partial tank fill. There are adjustments to adjust the float shutoff setting - typically an adjustment xxxx on the arm-type, and a slider stop clip on a small rod for the sliding type. See web videos on how to adjust this, or call a plumber.

2) your flapper valve (in bottom of tank, the part a chain or cord or rod connects to the flush handle, which opens it when you flush the toilet, leaks. If it leaks AND the fill valve is working, the tank level drops till the fill valve opens, then the tank refills. This repeats at intervals, with the tank refilling periodically even though it has not been flushed. May need new flapper valve or just a good wiping of the sealing surface to remove grit that is causin it to leak. If this is the problem you will have a slight flow of water into the bowl continually, and will probably see a slight ripple in the toilet bowl.

3) water is leaking out of the fittings or bolt holes on the bottom of the tank. If this is happening enough to make you notice low takn water level, the tank will refill periodically the same as if the flapper valve is leaking, plus you will have water on the floor and dripping off the bottom of the tank.


Fill valve and flapper valves each cost around $15 if you do it yourself (you can buy just replacement flapper for less if that is the problem and the matching seal is good, but that is rarely the case). A plumber call to replace both probably $150-200, ASSUMING your water shutoff valve (at the wall, under the tank, with a flex or copper tube coming fromit up to the toilet tank) will work.. If it will not shut off the flow of water, then add another $50-150 to replace that, depending on how it is plumbed and whether he has to cut into the wall to replace it (rarely required). If you do go and have a plumber do it, have both the fill valve and flapper valve (and flush handle, if aluminum or brass and corroded) replaced at the same time, as all tend to go out with age - every 10 years or so. You don't want to have to call the plumber to replace another part in just a year or two.


From the sounds of it, you have a clog between the floor drain and the connection to the city sewer (unless you have a septic tank).  The lower flow rates of sinks / showers / dishwashers probable don't cause a backup like the washing machine does.  A couple of suggestions.

1.  Snake the drain line with a spade tip snake, twisting the snake as you advance it.  This should clear the partial blockage.

 2.  If feasable, have your washing machine discharge into a utility sink and put a strainer on the drain to catch the clothing fibre (fibres and grease from the sink probably made the clog in the first place not to mention a garbage disposal).

3.  Replace your floor drain with one that has a backflow preventer (looks like there is a ping pong ball in it).

 Good Luck

It is not uncommon for a plumber to have to go get the parts necessary to repair and complete the job.  It is very hard to determine what the problem is over the phone and it is not until the repair process begins that the parts needed to resolve the problem is discovered.  It may also depend on if the plumber is using hourly rates or per job rates.  I would hope the time to get the parts would be minimal and the charge would be as well!

You have not said how old your house is, what normal water line life in your area is, whether it is leaking under the foundation or under the yard, etc. Cost depends a great deal on length of run, depth to dig to get below frost line, whether excavation will be through trees or other obstructions or open area, whether ground along route is too steep for a backhoe to work on, etc.

The first thing you really need to figure out is whether this is a spot repair issue, or a total line replacement issue. Your plumber should be able to help with that determination.  Very general rule of thumb - very old line from before 80's, if galvanized pipe, could be at its practical life and be ready for total replacement. Copper line generally last about 50-70 years UNLESS in a corrosive soil environment or if it has groundwater flowing actively past it, then can be 20-30 years. Plastic lines from the 60's to 80's vary a lot - from as little as 10 years to 50 plus dependingon brand. Plastic lines (PVC, HDPE, PE) from the 80's and later are expected to last 50-100 years - most have not failed yet, so no good handle on how long they will last.

An above-ground or under the slab line a plumber will do. Buried line outside he generally subcontracts to an excavator to dig and backfill the line, or asks you to get the excavation done.


If section needing replacement is under your floor slab or foundation, then a full replacement can be many thousands of $ depending on how many linear feet, and if interior flooring will have to be replaced or if you are on a bare concrete slab or bringing the new line in above-ground once you get through the foundation. A simple one-spot buried pipe repair (based on acoustic locating and precisely measuring the location of the problem) can be as little as $400 but probably more often $1000 or so - more if poor access like under a slab underneath stairs.

If the runs to be replaced are exposed in a crawl space or basement than it can run as little as $20/LF (probably $400 minimum job cost) to replace.


Outside line to the street can run from as little as $10/LF in areas where the pipe is shallow (no annual frost penetration) and in easy digging soil, to $250/LF or more if deeply buried, have to excavate through trees and heavy roots or boulders, steep topography, other utility interferences etc. Generally not more than $50/LF. Commonly, instead of digging up the old line, they select a new semi-parallel route from a good connection point for you existing interior water lines at the foundation (maybe not where it currently comes in, depoending on access) to the street main shutoff valve (called a "key box", taking a route between them that is easiest to get a backhoe into and minimizes destruction of valuable plantings or trees. A number of $50/LF is commonly tossed around as "normal" for this type of job, if exceeding 100 feet or so and digging and access conditions are normal.

If your connection is in the middle of the street rather than along your side in the yard, that can easily add $2-5,000 to the job, as the water utility usually has to do that part, and repair the street afterwards. In a major throughway street, even more because of traffic control, multi-agency permits, etc.


As always, find 2-3 responsible, well-recommended (Anglie's List ?) contractors, and then get bids. The route I would go is first go with your regular plumber to locate the leak (probably acoustically, by listening for the leak) and determine the scope of work needed, then if major, go for multiple bids.