Can You Use Liquid to Unclog a Toilet?


Everyone that owns a toilet has dealt with a clog or two. That is if you are one of the lucky ones – some toilets have a tendency to clog frequently.

There are many ways to address this issue by using the good old toilet plunger, a toilet snake, even a wire hanger.

Some toilet owners prefer to throw liquids at the problem and trust them to unclog their toilets. Let’s discuss some of them.

Hot water on its own or mixed with dishwashing liquid can sometimes remove a toilet clog. The other options are to use a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Liquid unclogging products containing bacteria and enzymes are also safe to use, as long as they don’t contain sodium hydroxide.

There are various methods to unclog a toilet.

This article will discuss effective methods that do not require much effort – pouring some liquid into the toilet bowl and still producing the desired result.

Can You Use Liquid To Unclog A Toilet?

Yes, you can use liquids to unclog your toilet. While a plunger is usually the best way to unclog a toilet, there are household items that you can use in liquid form, as well as unclogging products on the market to get rid of a toilet clog. 

A quick note on clogged toilets – some toilets clog more than others, especially low-flow toilets, slow flushing toilets, and those with closed vent stacks.

However, regardless of the type of toilet you have, flushing materials that should not be flushed down a toilet often cause a clog in the toilet’s trap or drainpipe. Avoid flushing things like sanitary napkins, tampons, and paper towels which can all cause clogs.

white toilet with bin and toilet brush

Household Products That You Can Use To Unclog Your Toilet

So, the dreaded day has arrived. Your toilet is clogged, with no help on the way to save you.

Before you run off to buy a chemical product, you may want to first try some of the following home remedies. With some luck, they will save the day. 

Hot Water

To make sure before we start, have you flushed your toilet a few times? Normal flushing can sometimes unclog your toilet.

However, make sure to watch how high the water level rises and wait until it’s drained to a level that won’t cause an overflow before you attempt to flush again.

If the clog is hanging on for dear life, boil a kettle of water, letting it cool down for a few minutes until nice and hot.

Wear some protective gloves as you pour some hot water into the toilet drain. After a while, flush the toilet, and repeat the process.

Be careful not to pour boiling water into the toilet’s drain as it can damage your toilet’s pipes, especially if they are made from PVC.

Dishwashing Liquid And Hot Water

Plan A did not work, but now is the time to stay strong.

Fetch your dishwashing liquid (degreaser) and squirt a cup or two of it into the toilet bowl. Add some of the boiled (hot) water and flush the toilet. 

Since the soap is very slippery and a degreaser by nature, it should do the job and make the clog slide down to the pipe.

Try this a couple of times to give yourself the best chance of sorting out your toilet’s issue.

Baking Soda, Salt, And Vinegar

If plan B didn’t work, don’t worry. Luckily, we have a plan C.

It’s time for the volcano, for those who remember grade-school science.

For this experiment, pour 1-2 cups of baking soda and 1-2 cups of white vinegar into the toilet bowl. Let the volcanic process do its thing for an hour or so before flushing.

Plan D is similar to plan C, except you substitute the vinegar for salt, following the same process.

Do yourself a favor and try plan B a few times before waving the white flag. If that fails, the time has come to call in the chemicals.

Chemical Products That You Can Safely Use To Unclog Your Toilet

When using chemicals to unclog your toilet, it’s wise to look at the product’s actual ingredients.

The less hazardous the make-up of the chemicals, look out for a combination of bacteria and digestive enzymes, the better your pipes, and drainage system will be protected.

Green Gobbler 

Green Gobbler has many products on the market that helps with toilet maintenance and unclogging.

The revolutionary formula used in their products offers superior performance over the more traditional drain openers like sodium hydroxide. 

The high-density formula is heavier than water, so it sinks and clings to the blockage, working immediately.

Using the most powerful bacteria and enzymes available, Green Gobbler products digest paper, oils, grease, fats, and organic matter, keeping your sewer lines clean and working.

Drain Scrub

Recommended by plumbers,  DrainScrub contains environmentally friendly microbes, and compared to other similar products, contains twice the number of enzymes and natural bacteria.

Roebic K-97 Main Line

Roebic K-97 Main Line and contains millions of biodegradable waste degrading bacteria which effectively digests accumulated sewage buildup.

It is safe to use on all sewer pipes and ideal if you have a low-flow toilet.

What To Do When The Liquid Treatment Does Not Work?

When you have tried all the suggestions above, and the clog is still present in your toilet system, you may need to call in the local plumber.

Plumbers have more specialized tools to do the job, and maybe there is a more serious underlying issue.

As I mentioned before, the plunger is the first line of attack.

I understand it may feel a bit icky using a plunger, but if you’ve tried the liquid recommendations above and they’re not working, I recommend giving the plunger a try and if that still fails, it’s time to call a plumber.


You can use liquids to unclog your toilet. Often, all it takes is hot water and some dishwashing soap.

Some clogs require to be attacked by specialized bacteria and enzymes to break them up effectively. If all else fails, phone the plumber, knowing that you gave it your best shot.

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