How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda

We often overlook everyday things in our lives that might surprise us. There's a lot of uses that many items we take for granted have and we're not even aware of it.

There's a lot to be said about the usefulness of baking soda. Let me list just a couple of potential applications that you would probably have never even thought of:

  • It can make your breath fresher and even clean your teeth. Like a homemade toothpaste, but with a lot more kick to it.
  • It can be mixed into your bath or made into a paste with water, to both relieve the ache of bites and any skin problems. It's very good for your skin in general.
  • It can be used in house maintenance of all kinds. From scrubbing ovens, tubs, and faucets all the way to cleaning floors, if added to the water.
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    You can even use it sometimes as a substitute for shampoo. In fact, if it comes to it, you can use it to relieve your baby's diaper rash.
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    It can even be used to soften and completely remove all sorts of odors.

With this in mind, let's come to why you're actually reading this. You want to know how you can use this product alone to help with your unpleasant situation.

Unfortunately, more often than not, we've all been there. A clogged toilet is something you really don't want to discuss or deal with but when it rears its head you have to.

I've witnessed a clogged toilet in a restaurant. It was a horrifying sight to walk in on and the fact they hadn't yet fixed it soured me on the restaurant, you can bet on it.

Now, this will give you both a good idea of what to do, why to do it and why it might be the best option for you. Let's get right into it.

How-to-Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda

The Benefits of Using Baking Soda to Fix your Clogged Toilet

  • It's always readily available. Considering it's readily available and can be bought cheaply in bulk, there's no real downside or loss, for using this method.
  • It's an extremely safe method. You can't really make the situation worse, considering how inoffensive the product itself is.
  • The process itself is fairly simple and shouldn't take much time. In today's busy world, that's definitely an upside, considering the time crunch we all experience.
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    It can be a good indicator of whether the obstruction is a large and challenging one. If the method fails, then you at least know to prepare for a longer battle.
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    Even if you do it wrong, the worst you'll get as a result is some wasted effort. Again, it won't corrode pipes or cause any lasting damage.
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    The application of baking soda is bound to combat the stink wafting up from the toilet. Any time it clogs, there's bound to be a stink and as stated before that's going to be negated.
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    The ease of use and simplicity of this method will certainly be easier to pull off than some sort of chemistry or maneuvering of wires and snakes. You're bound to find it less headache inducing than using toxic drain cleaners and the like.

How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda: 3 Easy Steps

1. Prepare everything you'll need

Get some clothes you can afford to waste. The possible mess that will result in dealing with a clogged toilet, in general, is always good to prepare for.

Make sure you move everything away from the splash zone. You don't want to get anything in the bathroom dirty if you don't have to.

Remove the bath mats and anything else nearby that could be splashed on and replace it with absorbent materials. Old, thick newspapers are ideal, maybe even magazines of the same type but even a bunch of good quality paper towels will do.

Make sure to shut off the water valve and prevent any and all water leakage but only after you make sure you have enough water to fill the pots. It could make the problem worse if you let it go on.

There's a small drain-like floater at the bottom of your water tank, above the toilet bowl itself. Make sure to also plug that, just to be sure or to have insurance in case you didn't manage to shut off the water supply.

baking soda

Grab some baking soda, any type you have lying around the house will do. The trick is to make sure you can measure it out, even in just rough approximations.

Grab a couple of pots, one smaller and one larger and for ease of use, try to find ones with handles you can grab with both hands. Ideally, the smaller one is up to a quarter gallon (1 liter) and the larger one is no larger than twice that.

Make sure you can heat them up, ideally on a stove that will allow you to use both at once. Starting with lukewarm water might save you time, but even ice cold is fine at the start.

Grab a measuring cup, so as to not pour in too much baking soda all at once, wasting it and negating some of the effects.

Grab a toilet brush you have lying around. Even if you have none, don't worry, you can always make do with something similar, that's disposable but don't stick anything sharp into your toilet bowl and the piping, it can cause a rupture.

Besides your old clothes, put on some gloves if you can. It's always safer to make sure your hands are covered if working with something potentially nasty.

Clear out any excess water from the clogged toilet, using whatever vessel is handy and dispensable.

2. Apply the method

First, set the smaller pot to boil, while you check on the clog itself. That's where the brush comes in (or the substitute you found for it).

Then use the brush to slowly nudge against the clog itself. Don't worry about being too gentle or too forceful; just try to be consistent with your pressure.

If it looks like the clog itself is very solid and large, don't push any further. If there appears to just be a clog caused by small tidbits of debris then try to push against them some more, to move them all back and into one position.

Warning: Avoid letting the water be boiling hot in both scenarios, as that can crack and damage the porcelain. When pouring, always pour directly from above.

Put the brush aside and check on the water being heated. If it's close to boiling, grab the measuring cup and put about 12 ounces (330 or so grams) of baking soda into it.

If the block seemed very solid and large, pour the measured out baking soda into the water, hopefully creating a sort of paste, as it boils.

Then, set the other, larger pot to heat while you make your paste. Then slowly pour this paste into the toilet and nudge it with the brush into the blockage.

After this, once the water you left heating previously is heated, but not close to boiling, pour it in after the paste, and add some more baking soda, but not much. A couple of ounces, at the most.

This should help soften the blockage nicely if it hasn't been cleared already, so now you just need to use the brush to nudge it either out of the bowl or down the pipes.

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If the clog seemed less centralized and smaller, simply pour 6 ounces of baking soda directly into the clogged toilet. After that, pour water that's close to boiling, but not quite, after it.

This creates a sort of rippling, boiling effect, which will help break through the smaller blocks. After doing this, prepare the larger pot of water, mildly heated, and a bit more baking soda, up to 8 ounces.

Pour the baking soda into the pot and mix them. This water is then going to be used to, ideally, clear your clog completely.

Pour the water from above, as stated previously. Check with the brush if you still have a clog.

3. Check and decide

  • Did this fix your problem? Is your problem better or unchanged?
  • Using the brush for this will help immensely, since how it handles now that you're checking with it again, like at the start, will determine what you do next.
  • If the problem is fixed your troubles are over. If it's not, check how severe it still is. If the method seems to be helping, then it might need repetition.
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    If it's not, then you might have a far too large obstruction or it's something baking soda cannot affect (like a plastic toy, hairpin or even the cardboard tube from toilet paper).
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    In this case, decide if you want to try a different method like using a strong toilet cleaner or even call a plumber. You just have to be decisive, in case the problem ends up growing force over time.

Conclusion: On Unclogging a Toilet with Baking Soda

Hope this helped you with your unpleasant issue. I also hope you now see the nearly limitless potential of baking soda. This is just one way to unclog a toilet without a plunger or snake. For other ways, see this article we wrote here.

Keep in mind that the method itself can be changed, depending on your needs. Don't hesitate to experiment, since baking soda is one of the most forgiving methods of clearing a toilet that allows you to do just that.