How to Unclog a Toilet With Baking Soda and Vinegar? – 6 Steps

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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how to unclog a toilet with baking soda and vinegar

We know how useful vinegar and baking soda can be in everyday household tasks. This combination is versatile at best, from cooking and baking to cleaning and disinfecting.

With this, it would not be surprising to see their extended use in the bathroom and beyond. Aside from cleaning, you can also use baking soda and vinegar to unclog toilet.

The vinegar-baking soda combination is a readily available, more cost-effective, and less harsh alternative to commercial chemical products used for dissolving toilet blockages.

Here is an easy-to-follow guide on how to unclog a toilet with baking soda and vinegar to dissolve that blockage slowly but surely.

What to Prepare


When nothing works, not even the trusty plunger and toilet auger, the vinegar-baking soda combination shines as the go-to chemicals to unclog a toilet.

This method to naturally unclog toilets is preferred by many homeowners, given the availability of materials and the risks of using chemical drain cleaners instead.

Here’re what you need to prepare for cleaning:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Measuring cups
  • Hot water (not boiling)
  • Plunger (optional)

Step-by-Step to Unclog a Toilet With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Step 1: Adjust level of toilet water


The vinegar and baking soda will react and fizz up in the toilet. So, first, make sure that your toilet bowl is filled only halfway up to avoid spilling toilet water and making a stinky mess.

Scoop out some excess toilet water if necessary. Or if the water level is too low, you may add hot water halfway through or slightly less.

Step 2: Pour baking soda first


Determine your preferred amount of chemicals based on how severe the issu is. For large ones, start with only one-fourth cup of vinegar and baking soda.

Pour baking soda first directly into the bowl. This ensures that you have better control of the fizzy reaction when adding the vinegar.

If you’re confident you will not make a mess even with bigger reactions, unblock a badly blocked toilet using about 1 cup of baking soda to be followed by equal amounts of acid.

Step 3: Add equal parts vinegar


Right after putting the baking soda into the toilet, carefully pour the measured vinegar. Do not dump the acid all at once to avoid excessive reaction and risk of spilling.

If the fizzing gets out of control and the contents of the toilet will overflow, pour the vinegar more slowly or stop pouring completely.

Step 4: Let it fizz and sit


Wait for the fizzing to subside and let it sit for around 20 minutes. You can also leave the vinegar and baking soda in toilet overnight for more severe clogs.

Step 5: Pour hot water and plunge, if necessary

Now that the blockage has been lifted, you can pour hot water into the toilet bowl to finish the job.

It must be made clear never to use boiling water as this can break the porcelain material of your toilet. Carefully pour hot water directly into the opening to minimize contact with the porcelain seat.

The pressure and amount of water and the heat from the hot water should be enough to disintegrate that nasty blockage in your pipes.

If the clog is extra stubborn and immovable, you can plunge your toilet after pouring hot water to give additional pressure and unclog a toilet faster.

Step 6: Test


Ideally, the hot water would have flushed the clog down and brought down the toilet’s water level. Confirm this by flushing it a few times and observing if it drains normally.

If this is the case, then the obstruction has already been dislodged by using vinegar and baking soda to unclog toilet.

But if you have observed that the water level rises alarmingly again, turn off the water shut-off valve and start again from the first step.

What you have down your pipes may need some extra work to dislodge.



How much baking soda and vinegar do you use to unclog a toilet?

When your toilet bowl is stuck, baking soda and vinegar in equal parts should be the ideal ratio. If the clog seems severe, use only half or even one-fourth cup of both items to avoid overflow.

Larger amounts of both chemicals mean a larger chemical reaction. When poured into a severely clogged toilet, this will only result in out-of-control bubbling and fizzing action.

Prevent the spilling of toilet water on your bathroom floor by pouring smaller amounts of the chemicals in increments.

For minor clogs, you can use larger amounts of vinegar and baking soda without worrying about outflow.

Will baking soda and vinegar dissolve toilet paper?

Yes, the reaction produced when combining baking soda and vinegar unclogs toilet effectively. Both pressure and heat produced contribute to dissolving any clog – even toilet paper.

Alongside grease and fat residue, hair, as well as sanitary products, toilet papers are one of the most common items that accumulate in your toilet drain pipes.

Ideally, if the clog is not that severe, any method should be enough to dislodge the accumulation of toilet paper – including the baking soda and vinegar method.

What other household items can unclog the toilet?

Even without baking soda and vinegar, there are still a handful of home-found items that can be used for clogged toilet like dish soap, salt, aspirin, and even Coca Cola.

One of the most common alternatives is the use of dish soaps to loosen the clogs and let it slip and slide easily through the pipes.

You can also unclog toilet with baking soda and salt. Similar to using vinegar, this combination helps in breaking down that stubborn blockage alongside hot water.


To put baking soda in the toilet tank is something you do to disinfect and clean the toilet bowl. But as we have seen, the use of baking soda and vinegar goes beyond expectations.

Unclogging a toilet with baking soda is a more affordable and safer, but still effective, alternative to often disliked commercial drain cleaners given the latter’s risks.

Knowing how to unclog a toilet with baking soda and vinegar lets you fix your clogged toilet in as fast as 30 minutes without the possibility of damaging your pipes.

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