How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda and Vinegar
After you’ve given it your all with a plunger, and before you call a professional plumber, try this great trick: Check your pantry for some baking soda and vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar), and get ready to unclog your toilet with a little chemistry.
- Check and, if necessary, adjust the water level in the bowl. You’ll want the bowl to be about halfway full before you begin the unclogging process. If the water is too low, add hot or boiling water until the bowl is half, or a little more, full. If the water level is too high, then you’ll have to scoop some out to prevent spillage. Sorry! The next part of this experiment will be more fun.
- Pour one cup of baking soda into the bowl.
- Slowly pour one cup of vinegar into the bowl. If you pour too quickly, the reaction could make a mess on your bathroom floor. Use your instincts; if it looks like one cup is going to cause too much fizz, use less or pour more slowly.
- Allow the fizz to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- See if it worked.
Once the clog is broken up, the water level should go down. You may also see bubbles as the pressure changes. If you see these signs, it’s safe to flush the toilet to check your work. (In case you judged incorrectly, be ready to turn the water shut-off valve behind the toilet.)
If the clog still seems to be intact, start over at step 1 and repeat the process a couple of times. For extra-stubborn clogs, you can let the fizz mixture sit overnight or combine this method with plunging.
If your toilet remains clogged or continues to get clogged, this may be an indication of plumbing problems such as mineral buildup or pressure issues. Ask your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing to assess and repair your plumbing system. We have the experience and technology to get the job done right, and we’re happy to help.
If you were happy with this safe and natural method for unclogging your toilet, try these other green cleaning tips from our sister company Molly Maid. (You’ll see baking soda and vinegar are common ingredients.) Molly Maid is a part of our Neighborly network of home service companies and, in addition to giving great cleaning advice, provides professional cleaning services to fit varying schedules and budgets.