How to Unclog a Toilet With Dish Soap

How to Unclog a Toilet With Dish Soap

The inconvenience of a clogged toilet is a situation every homeowner encounters at some point. While the first instinct is often to reach for a plunger, there’s a surprising household hero that can help: dish soap. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore two detailed outlines for unclogging a toilet using dish soap, offering both a basic and an extended method. With a few common household items and a systematic approach, you can tackle this unpleasant issue with ease.

Outline 1: Basic Dish Soap Method

II. Gather Supplies:

Before diving into the unclogging process, ensure you have the necessary supplies ready. These include dish soap, hot water, a plunger (optional but helpful), and a bucket (optional).

III. Preparing the Toilet:

Start by assessing the water level in the toilet bowl. If it’s too high, use a bucket to remove excess water, preventing potential overflow during the unclogging process.

IV. Adding Dish Soap:

Squirt a few tablespoons of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit for a brief period, typically 5-10 minutes, allowing the soap to penetrate and break down the clog.

V. Pouring Hot Water:

Boil a pot of hot water. Carefully pour the hot water into the toilet bowl, aiming for the soap-coated areas. Let the combination of hot water and dish soap work on breaking down the clog.

VI. Plunging (if necessary):

If the clog persists, use a plunger in a firm downward motion. Repeat the plunging process until the obstruction is sufficiently broken up.

VII. Flushing:

Once the clog is cleared, flush the toilet to ensure proper drainage. If needed, repeat the entire process until the toilet is functioning normally.

Outline 2: Extended Dish Soap Method

II. Gather Supplies:

For the extended method, gather dish soap, hot water, a plunger, baking soda (optional), and vinegar (optional).

III. Preliminary Actions:

Before applying the dish soap, remove excess water from the toilet bowl. Optionally, add a cup of baking soda to enhance the unclogging process.

IV. Applying Dish Soap:

Squeeze a generous amount of dish soap into the toilet bowl, ensuring it coats the bowl’s edges and surface.

V. Letting it Sit:

Allow the dish soap to sit for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. If baking soda is added, let it sit as well, allowing both to penetrate and break down the clog effectively.

VI. Pouring Hot Water:

Boil a pot of hot water and carefully pour it into the toilet bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for an additional 10-15 minutes, ensuring the clog is thoroughly addressed.

VII. Plunging:

Use a plunger in a firm and consistent motion. Repeat the plunging process until the clog breaks up, facilitating the drainage.

VIII. Additional Steps (if needed):

For stubborn clogs, add a cup of vinegar to the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Repeat hot water and plunging as necessary until the toilet functions properly.

IX. Flushing:

After successfully addressing the clog, flush the toilet to ensure smooth drainage. Repeat the entire process if needed.


Q1: Can any dish soap be used?

A1: Yes, any standard dish soap will work for this method. Choose one that you commonly use in your kitchen.

Q2: How hot should the water be?

A2: Use hot water but avoid boiling water, as it can potentially damage the toilet bowl. Hot water is effective without causing harm.

Q3: Is it safe to mix vinegar with dish soap?

A3: Yes, it’s safe. Combining vinegar with dish soap can enhance the cleaning process, providing additional unclogging power.


Unclogging a toilet doesn’t always necessitate a call to the professionals. With a simple household item like dish soap, coupled with a systematic approach outlined in this guide, you can efficiently tackle this common household issue. Whether you opt for the basic or extended method, following these step-by-step instructions will have your toilet flowing freely again in no time. Remember to exercise caution, and when in doubt, seek professional help for more complex plumbing issues.


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