How to unclog a toilet with too much paper

How to unclog a toilet with too much paper
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Many persons would rather use toilet paper when going to the gens that use water to cleanup. For ladies, its a different ball game, they use it not just when passing waste but for every other thing. From poo to wee to lady care. Toilet paper is indispensable.

This vital asset though can also be a cause of worry: can using too much toilet paper clog a toilet? How do you unclog a toilet with too much paper? 

Let’s find out!

Can using too much toilet paper clog a toilet

The modern toilet is meant to cater to human urine, excrement and a modest toilet paper. But how much tissue should you use? Just enough to clean your underside. 

Although toilet paper is soft and fragile and can easily dissolve in water,  when used to the extreme, you create a pill of hard paper that is difficult to flush.

Let’s do an experiment. Roll a pile of toilet paper and soak them in water. The water should be enough to soak the entire paper, but not enough to wash it off.

Leave it for a minute or two. What will you see? A tissue paste, that can when struck against a wall.

This is what happens when you use a lot of tissue paper in the toilet.

It can form a sticky paste that is hard to flush. This paste settles in the WC’s trap and blog excrement from flowing. Add a pile of human waste to the stick paste in the narrow toilet trap, and you’ll have a full fledge toilet clog to deal with.

Toilet clog is a bad experience. You’re better reading it alone, than experiencing it… even briefly.

How to unclog a toilet with too much paper

How to unclog a toilet with too much paper

So we’re stuck with a toilet clogging issue. What should you do to resolve it. Here’s a step by step guide:

Technique 1

Pack out stuck tissue with bare hands.


  1. Determine what caused the clog: if you’ve flushed a large pile of tissue paper, then that’s likely the cause of the blockage.
  2. Determine whether there is excrement among the clog: This is very important as it will determine what your next line of action will be.
  3. Try to access how far deep the clogging occurs: Most clogging occurs at the p or s trap region. If this is your case, then your problem is half solved.
  4. If there’s no excrement and the clog is at the trap, your best option is to get a pair of latex handglove and solve your problem manually: Dip your hands into the toilet and pack out the stuck tissue. Your hands will probably not reach every tissue, but you should be able to pack the vast majority out
  5. After packing, remnant tissue can be flushed down the pipe.

Technique  2

Soak the paper clog in water


  1. Determine if it is a total clog: Pour ⅓ of a bucket of water in the toilet, and see if it sips dry. If it does, then do not apply this method. If it holds the water in place (often times it does), you’re dealing with a total clog. You can proceed to the next step
  2. Pour a bucket of water: The water should be high enough to totally submerge the clog.
  3. Let the clog sit for 3-4 hours: Tissue paper are soluble in water. Letting it sit for many hours will breakup the paper, and eventually freeup the clog. Even if it doesn’t flush at first, this should weaken the clog and cause it to break loose when water is flushed down.
  4. Flush it: Most paper clog will free up when soaked in water. It is a safe practice to watch out for floating clog debris. If you wait for 4 hours and are seeing floating tissue paper pieces, then it is a good sign of clog breakage. You can attempt a flush at this point. Do not rush through this step. If unsure whether the clog is loosened, then wait a couple more hours. It’s better to wait too much, than not to wait long enough.

Technique  3

Use a copper wire


  1. Have you tried techniques 1 and 2?: Getting a copper wire is not always easy, so it is good to only use this option after techniques 1 and 2 have failed.
  2. Determine the how far deep the clog is: This will work better in a shallow clog. You can try this when the clog is slightly farther and out of the reach of your bare hands, but not too far in.
  3. Locate a 6-10mm copper cable (this is the cable’s thickness): The lenght should range from 3 to 5 feet. Your goal should be to clear the clog by breaking it apart.
  4. Now insert the cable, and push in-and-out: This should break apart the clog and freeup water to pass through. If the water gradually reduces, or releases bubbles, then the techniques is working. Continue it for some time then attempt a flush.
  5. Flush: Fill the tank to the brim and flush.

Technique  4

Use a metal cloth hanger


  1. Verify the clog’s debt: Just as when using a copper wire, ensure that the depth is not far deep. This will work best if the clog occured in the trap.
  2. Locate a metal hanger: Reach for one of your cloth hangers. Make up your mind to sacrifice the hanger, as you can’t reuse it to hang clothes after this operation.
  3. Unwind and straighten the hanger: Find a plier or any similar tool and unwind the hanger. You want it as straight as a rod.
  4.  Insert the straightened hanger, and push it in an in-and-out motion: just repeat the motion as descrbed in techinique 3, point 4
  5. Attempt a flush: Now that the clog is loosened, it’s time you attempt to flush it again.

Technique 5

Use a toilet snake

 This is usually needed when the clog is severe and deep in the trap. Often you do not need an auger or toilet to free up toilet clog, caused by toilet paper.

But if it come to this, don’t fail to use it. As a word of caution, if you’re not experienced at using a toilet snake, it’s better to call a plumber.

For detailed discussion on how to use an auger or, as it is commonly called, a toilet snake, see this article

What will break down toilet paper?

How to unclog a toilet with too much paper

The best solution to break down toilet paper is water. Ordinary water. There are suggestions on using hot water. On what to consider when using hot water, see this article

But as a general rule, stick to normal or warm water. With a little patience, stucked paper clogging your toilet will eventually breakdown and freeup.

Will clogged toilet paper eventually dissolve?

This depends on the circumstances. Toilet paper soaked in water will eventually dissolve after a few hours. The denser the toilet paper roll, the longer it will take to dissolve. Also single ply  tissue paper will dissolve faster than double ply. 

But will they eventually dissolve in water? Yes. 

However, if the clog is not submerged in water. The tissue paper will dry up and harden. This will create a hard clog and be more difficult to flush even with other methods.

Toilet clogged with toilet paper and poop

The mere thought of this is nauseating. If a toilet clog is caused by toilet paper and poop, then do not attempt to unclog it by hands. 

You can choose to use the soaking technique, the copper wire, the cloth hanger techniques and the toilet snake. For an explanation of these techniques, see the subheadings above.

How long does it take for a lot of toilet paper to dissolve

Does hot water break down toilet paper

Water breakdown toilet paper. Hot water will increase the effectiveness. But the practicality of using hot water is debatable. There is a thin line between hot water and very hot water.

For one thing, you risk cracking your wc. Porcelain is not elastic or expandable. Pouring hot water might cause it to crack. 

It is better to deal with a clogged toilet, than to replace a cracked toilet bowl.

Will boiling water break down toilet paper?

How to unclog a toilet with too much paper

Yes it will. It will not only breakdown your toilet paper, but it will also crack your toilet bowl. Using hot water does not guarantee that you will unclog a toilet filled with toilet paper. But you are almost guaranteed that pouring hot water will damage or crack a toilet (now or eventually) and will weaken your plastic toilet pipe. 

What is more, after pouring hot water in a WC, the water in it can reduce the temperature in the boiling water, creating a temporary inconvenience, without having the needed effect: breaking down the paper and freeing up the clog.


Toilet paper is not the only thing that can block your toilet. But it’s a very common cause of toilet blockage. Therefore, try to familiarize yourself with how to resolve it when it happens.

Remember: do not panic. Sometimes all you have to do is let the blockage sit for some hours and attempt to flush it again. Many times it works. But if you need more help unclogging the tissue papers, you should follow the suggestions in this article, contact this publisher, or call a local plumber. 

This is just one in a series of toilet clogging article. To see other articles in this series, kindly locate the category here.

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