How to unclog a toilet with dish soap

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap
Dish soap
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When it comes to unclogging a blocked toilet, you need to know all the tools in your disposal. For a fact, even the most touted unclogging technique might not yield the desired result.

What worked for one person may not work for another. You might have to apply more than one technique before you get that annoying guy in your toilet out of your way.

No emotions involved! We’re gathering every tool we know about to attack our common enemy: blocked toilet.

Here is yet another method to do so: applying dish soap and warm water.

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap

Below are steps you should follow if you have a toilet blockage

Step 1

Heat up water to 40°C – 60°C: it is important that you do not get to bowling point as hot can cause your toilet bowl crack. Even when cracks are not visible, you just might be laying the ground work for a future crack

Step 2

Get a dish soap from the kitchen: Apply a generous amount of dish soap into the toilet bowl. 

Step 3

Pour the heated water into the bowl: You can apply steps 2 before 3 or vice versa. This is not a hard and fast rule. The idea is to get the two into the toilet bowl as quickly as possible.

Step 4

Allow the bowl to sit for 3 -4 hours: This will enable the clog to soak and loosen. The soap will help to lubricate the drain wall, while the hot water helps to increase the rate at which the soap dissolves. Of course, it also increases the extent at which the clog soaks.

How this technique works

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap

The whole idea of this technique is:

  1. Water is a natural solvent. Items dissolve or loosen when left in water for a long period of time.
  2. Hot water is more effective at soaking items than cold water
  3. Soap is a natural lubricant. Stuck materials are easily flushed if you can loosen their grip on the toilet or drain surface.
  4. The longer stuck materials stay in water, the more water they soakup, and the more easily they disintergrate or breakup.

How effective is dish soap at unclogging toilet

Applying dish soaps to a clog toilet can help to unclog the toilet. However it is only has an average success rate. Stubborn clogs will still persist  even after applying dish soaps.

How effective this technique will be depends on the materials causing the clogs. For example, clogs caused by excessive tissue and strong excrement will readily dislodge after applying this technique. But you will not see the same result when the clogs is caused by human hair, children’s toys and other objects flushed down the toilet.

Advantages of using dish soap

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap
  1. Dish soaps is a common household material. You often do not need to purchase one simply for flushing your toilet.
  2. It is easy to use: just pour, wait, and then flush.
  3. Dish soap do not react with porcelain or plastic. So it is will not cause damage to your toilet or drain.
  4. It works well at declogging items in the toilet’s drain..

Disadvantages of using dish soap

  1. It is not cost effect. You will need a large amount of soap to unclog the toilet. Even at this, success is not guaranteed.
  2. It is less effective at dislodging synthetic materials or other none human wastes.
  3. Works only when the clog is in the trap. Farther down the drain and you loose its effectiveness.


The dish soap is versatile. Not only can it be use to wash clothes, but it also can be used to dislodge the toilet.

A word of caution though is. Using dish soap is not a holy grail to dislogding toilet clogs. So do not rely entirely on it. Like other methods that have been discussed in this unclogging series, it has it’s down sides. 

Using a plunger and toilet snake are still your best DIY methods to dislodge blocked toilet drain. So if you have any of these at home, you’re better of using them, than applying your precious dish soap.

But of course when what is desired is not available, then you should readily use any available item to get the job done. In this case, it might just be that the first item that comes to your mind is your kitchen dish soap.

By all means use it. And return to the comment section below to tell how effective it was. Or maybe it didn’t do you any good.

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