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:
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.
The Benefits of Using Baking Soda to Fix your Clogged Toilet
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.
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.
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
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.