How to Unclog a Toilet With Dish Soap in 8 Easy Steps

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to unclog a toilet with dish soap

The bubbles in your toilet can be a sign of clogging. If you just ignore this issue, it will get worse. In some cases, the toilet won’t unclog even though you use a plunger. You should try other methods like unclogging with dish soap and hot water. How to unclog a toilet with dish soap?

You use dish soap like how you put toilet cleaner into your toilet bowl. The difference is that it works wonders in unclogging your toilet. A half-cup of dish soap eliminates clogging just like how it works with the food particles clinging to dishes. For more details, read on!

Steps of Unclogging a Toilet With Dish Soap

As you read, you’ll find out that the best way to unclog a toilet is with dish soap. It will miraculously get rid of minor clogs as it can break down and lubricate things that got stuck. Since it’s heavier than water, it will go to the bottom of the toilet. The hot water will soften the clog and put pressure to push it down as the dish soap does the lubricating.

You don’t have to check out comments on Reddit on how to use dish soap for a clogged toilet as it’s time-consuming. Here are the steps and some tips to guide you.

  • Pouring dish soap into the toilet
  • Heating water
  • Pouring hot water
  • Repeating the previous steps
  • Using a plunger
  • Some tips and reminders
  • Another method for working on the clogged toilet without a plunger is when to know that you need a plumber

You have to prepare these things for unclogging a toilet:

  • Dish soap (liquid)
  • Plunger
  • Pot with handles
  • Squirt gun, wire hanger, or empty plastic bottle (optional)

Step 1: Pouring dish soap into the toilet


Pour half a cup of Dawn dish soap in the toilet or you may use other liquid dish soap like Mrs. Meyer’s and Palmolive. Let it stay for minutes.

Step 2: Heating water

While letting the dish soap work its wonders, heat a gallon or 16 cups of water. It doesn’t have to reach the boiling point as it can crack or damage the bowl. Remove the water from the fire or heat once it’s hot.

Step 3: Pouring hot water

You can pour the hot water into the bowl after 30 minutes. Do it slowly and carefully.

Step 4: Repeat the previous steps

If there’s no progress after 30 minutes of using dish soap for a clogged toilet, you have to repeat the previous steps. There’s no exact amount of dish soap that you can use so add a quarter or even another half a cup of dish soap. You may need to heat the water again.

Step 5: Using a plunger


After your attempt of unclogging the toilet with dish soap and hot water and the clog remains, you have to use the plunger. If there’s no progress after half an hour, it’s time to call the plumber.

Step 6: Some tips and reminders

Since you have to handle hot water, be careful with it as it can scald your skin. While you’re trying to eliminate the clogs, the toilet bowl may be filled with water as flushing is not possible.

So, you have to empty the bowl or the tank first before pouring the dish soap. If it can’t be avoided, use a squirt gun to suck the water and prevent a toilet from overflowing.

Step 7: Other methods of working on the clogged toilet without a plunger

As mentioned, a squirt gun can help you to prevent your toilet from overflowing while getting rid of the clog. It can also be used to unblock a badly blocked toilet. If it’s just a minor clogging issue, dish soap and hot water will have no problem breaking the cause. However, it needs more work when it’s a serious case.

You can have a wire hanger as a makeshift tool to resolve the clogging issue on a toilet. Unravel and straighten this hanger then push one end into the clogged section. Keep poking the debris until it’s released from getting stuck.

Apart from a hanger, you can use an empty plastic bottle but it can get messy. But you can minimize it by taking out water from the bowl as much as you can.

Fill the empty bottle with warm water then cover it with your thumb. You need to wear gloves for this part as you need to fit the bottle’s end to the bottom of the toilet. \Uncover the bottle or remove your thumb and squeeze the bottle so the pressure from it gets into the pipe. The effect is pushing down the thing that causes the clogging.

Step 8: When to know that you need a plumber

If you have tried all of the previous steps, you may think about putting dish soap in the toilet overnight. However, it’s not a nice move as it’s not good for a septic tank.

Using dish soap is an immediate solution for clogged toilets. If it doesn’t work within the recommended time frame and with other tools, you have to let a plumber solve the issue for you.

The Takeaway for Using Dish Soap on a Clogged Toilet

Aside from following the steps on how to unclog a toilet with dish soap, other tools can help you achieve the result. You can use a plunger, squirt gun, wire hanger, and empty plastic bottle to resolve the issue.

This method typically gets rid of minor clogs, but when it’s worse, a plumber is your last resort. Be reminded that you shouldn’t let dish soap stay in your toilet for a long time.

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