How to Dissolve Paper Towel in Toilet? – 6 Simple Ways

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to dissolve paper towel in toilet

We put paper towels in the bathroom to wipe our hands, dry our faces, or clean ourselves after using the toilet, although not everyone throws them into the trash can where they belong.

The result? A toilet clogged with paper towel.

But don’t worry—this article contains methods on how to dissolve paper towel in toilet, with items mostly found at home. We also included other information, such as why a paper towel shouldn’t be flushed in the bowl and what products not to use to solve the clogs.

Why Paper Towels Clog the Toilet

We use paper towels to wipe and absorb liquid. They contain cellulose fibers which are also found in cotton, and these fibers are insoluble in water unless we use other chemical or acidic solutions.

Toilets can only handle our waste and toilet tissue, which is why paper towels will cause clogs in a sewer line.

Now that we are aware that this material shouldn’t be flushed down the drain, we will teach you how to deal with the blockage if you accidentally flushed a paper towel down the toilet.

6 Different Ways to Dissolve Toilet Paper Clog

It is said that to unclog a toilet with toilet paper, we just need to let it sit in the bowl and wait until the water eventually breaks it down.

But if you only have one toilet in your home and can’t afford to wait until the blockage goes away on its own, you can try any of these methods.

</p> <h3>Method 1: Use a Flange Toilet Plunger</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • cleaning gloves
  • cup (don’t pick one you use for cooking)
  • flange plunger

Taking out your flange plunger is a good step when your toilet paper clogged toilet. We recommend the flange since it suctions to the drain better than the cup. Because of this, the flange plunger can push the clog with more pressure.

Here are the steps for this method.

  1. Take out the water from the toilet with a scoop or cup. If you removed too much water, add more in until the bowl’s half full. Without this step, plunging might not resolve the clog.
  2. While wearing your gloves, take the plunger and stick its cup on the drain, creating a seal.
  3. While holding the plunger vertically, push it down. With adequate force, pull it up. Remember to apply only the right amount of force to avoid splashing water around.
  4. After a few pushes and pulls, flush the toilet.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary to fully unclog paper towels in toilet.

On another note, you can use the cup plunger to try and get toilet paper out of sink drain or the showers.

</p> <h3>Method 2: Use a Toilet Auger</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • cleaning gloves
  • toilet or closet auger

A closet or toilet auger is for more difficult clogs that usually can’t be solved solely by a plunger. It has a rotating handle for control, and its other end is a flexible metal cable inside a tube covered with rubber.

To get paper towels out of toilet using an auger, follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the water valve to the toilet.
  2. Insert the auger until the curved end reaches the drain.
  3. Crank the cable clockwise until you feel resistance or the paper towel clog. If it gets difficult, rotate the cable counterclockwise for a bit, then crank it again clockwise.
  4. Once the cable reaches its end, extract the auger by cranking counterclockwise and pulling it out.
  5. Turn on the shut-off valve and flush the toilet more than once to ensure that the clog is gone. Repeat the process if necessary.
</p> <h3>Method 3: Add Epsom Salt</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • at least 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • a bucket of hot water

If you want to unclog paper towel in toilet without a plunger or auger, try the Epsom salt method. This salt is made of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur, giving it the capability to dissolve blockages.

  1. Pour a cup of Epsom salt into the toilet bowl.
  2. The mixture will fizz as a reaction, so leave it there for about 20 minutes.
  3. After waiting, pour a bucket of hot water into the bowl. This should dissolve the paper towel clog.

We may repeat the process if it doesn’t work on the first try, or we can check other unclogging methods.

</p> <h3>Method 4: Apply Dishwashing Liquid and Hot Water</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • at least ½ cup of dishwashing liquid
  • a kettle of hot water

To unclog a toilet clogged with toilet paper, all we need is the liquid dish detergent in our kitchen. To use it with hot water, follow the steps below.

  1. Pour ½ cup of the dish wash into the bowl and wait for about 30 minutes.
  2. After waiting, pour the hot water into the bowl.
  3. Flush the toilet once and see if the water flows without a problem. If it does, then the clog is gone.

We can repeat the process until the blockage goes away, or we can also try other methods listed in this article.

</p> <h3>Method 5. Pour White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Hot Water</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • a cup of baking soda
  • a cup of white vinegar
  • a kettle of hot water

Of course, the powerful vinegar and baking soda mixture can also dissolve paper towels in pipes. To begin the process, follow the procedure below.

  1. Manually take out the bowl’s excess water, if any. The toilet should be 50% full for you to pour hot liquid in later without risk of an overflow.
  2. Pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl and wait for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in a cup of white vinegar.
  4. The mixture will cause a fizzing reaction, so we have to wait for about 30 minutes to let it sit; we are also maximizing its dissolving capability if we leave it for quite a long period.
  5. After waiting, pour the kettle with hot water into the bowl.
  6. Flush the toilet to see if the blockage is removed. If not, repeat the steps.
</p> <h3>Method 6. Mix Borax and Hot Water</h3> <p>


What to prepare:

  • at least ½ cup of borax powder
  • at least 2 cups of hot water

Borax or sodium tetraborate has many purposes; aside from cleaning, it can also unclog toilet without plunger paper towel being pushed in and worsening the block. This method is also safe, so you can follow it without worries.

  1. Take out the toilet’s excess water and leave an amount that’s substantially below the rim.
  2. Pour ½ cup of borax powder into the bowl and leave it for 15 minutes.
  3. Once the borax has had time to work, add 2 cups of hot water to the bowl.
  4. Flush the toilet to check if the method worked. We may repeat the steps as necessary.

Other Tips – What Not to Use When Unclogging the Toilet


Now that we have listed the things we can use to dissolve a toilet paper clog, we will briefly cover the materials that we cannot use as they may harm the commode.

  • Boiling hot water – See how we only say “hot” water? Because boiling hot liquid can crack the porcelain, especially if we pour it in often.
  • Drano Clog Removers – This causes continuous heat while reacting with the clog, damaging the porcelain and the pipes.

If the methods in the previous section don’t work and the toilet’s still clogged, it’s best to ask for the help of a professional and licensed plumber to solve the problem safely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Will Paper Towels Eventually Dissolve in the Toilet?

Eventually, paper towels will dissolve in the toilet because of water. However, it can take a while before it happens because the material is made to absorb water while withstanding disintegration.

Not everyone has an extra bathroom to leave the paper towel clog to solve itself, so waiting may cause a problem.

Read more: Why does my toilet keep clogging?

How Long Does It Take for Paper Towels to Dissolve?

Paper towels will need 2 to 4 weeks to disintegrate. That is why we should be responsible to throw them properly in the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet.

Tips to Avoid Toilet Paper Clogs

The best and only action that can eliminate toilet paper clogs is to stop flushing them into the bowl.

Placing a small trash can beside the toilet may help stop the habit and make us mindful of what we flush into the commode, especially if we are connected to the municipality’s sewer.


Throwing a paper towel in the commode is a big no. But if you accidentally flushed paper towel down toilet and it caused a clog, there are solutions.

The answer to how to dissolve paper towel in toilet is to use a plunger and auger as the first approaches. We can also rely on other items at home such as Epsom salt, dishwashing liquid, white vinegar, baking soda, and borax.

All we need to do is create the correct mixture, and our paper towel clog will be gone.

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