Is there anything more inconvenient than releasing poop in a toilet that refuses to take it down the drain? We’ve all been there, and we can freely say that a clogged toilet is every homeowner’s nightmare.
You can only hope that things will get back to normal, but will they? Will a toilet eventually unclog itself?
It depends on what clogs the toilet. If water-soluble matter such as feces and toilet paper block the toilet, they should dissolve quickly. But if you throw non-degradable items in the toilet, they probably won’t unclog before you take action.
So will your toilet unclog itself or should you do something about it?
Keep reading to find out. If you have to deal with a clogged toilet, I will also show you how to unclog it.
What Clogs a Toilet?
If you expect a toilet to unclog itself, you need to know what blocks it in the first place. Typically, two types of clogs can occur in your toilet and outlet pipes:
Clogs Made of Degradable Waste
Sometimes the usual toilet waste such as feces and toilet paper can block the bathroom throne. However, this mainly occurs when your toilet is partially filled with build-up from hard water, hair, and other deposits.
When you use too much toilet paper in a single flush, it can clog the bowl. Feces may also accumulate when the water level is low, but the most important thing is that toilet paper and poop dissolve quickly.
In other words, these types of clogs can clear on their own after some time, so we recommend waiting. But if you’re not in the waiting mood, you can also unclog your toilet with poop still in it.
Non-degradable materials can cause serious clogs that require professional treatment. They don’t belong in your toilet, so you better stop throwing them into the bowl.
In that case, you can hardly expect a clogged toilet to clean on its own, so we recommend one of these two options:
- Unclog the toilet on your own
- Call a plumber
You can also check our tips on how to remove a foreign object from the toilet trap.
How Can You Unclog a Toilet on Your Own?
A clogged drain line is not the most challenging bathroom issue, so you might want to repair it alone. Before beginning this DIY project, remember to use rubber gloves, eye protection, and a waterproof apron to protect your face and body.
The first thing to do is turn off the water supply. The water shut-off valve is typically behind or next to the toilet — you can use a pair of pliers to turn it clockwise until the water stops flowing.
Secondly, remember not to flush your toilet. It’s the only way to stop water – and everything else you got in there — from spilling out of the bowl. After that, you can try one of these solutions.
Solution 1: Use a Plunger
Using a plunger is the primary method of unclogging the toilet. It creates pressure in the bowl so that water and waste can go down the drains.
Start by pushing it inside the bowl until you form a seal. After that, keep pulling the plunger up and down the toilet until you hear a gurgling sound. The point is to create enough pressure to break the clog and then force it down the drainage holes.
You may need to repeat it a few times before water starts going down. The only problem with this method is that plungers sometimes fail to break clogs, pushing them deep inside the outlet pipes.
Solution 2: Use a Toilet Auger
A toilet auger is a special tool that can break down solid clogs. It has the same structure as a plunger, but it’s flexible enough to reach narrow drainage holes inside the bowl.
The first step is inserting the tip of the toilet auger into your toilet drain. Then work it through the pipes until you reach the blockage.
A snake has a rotating handle that helps drill the hole once you reach the clog. Its sharp end will cut through the block and allow waste to come out of your toilet, but be careful not to push it too hard – the tool may scratch or break the pipes.
If you don’t have a toilet snake at home, we recommend coat hangers as an excellent alternative. They are long and flexible enough to reach the clog from inside the bowl.
Grab the coat hanger and twist it to straighten the wire – it will serve as a nice replacement for the toilet auger.
Solution 3: Pour a Mix of Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you have enough room in the bowl to avoid overflowing, you might also use baking soda and vinegar. This combination works well if you need a chemical that breaks sturdy clogs.
Pour the mix (one-third of baking soda and two-thirds of vinegar) into your bowl and wait for 20 minutes while the chemical reaction begins breaking the clog. When you notice the water flowing out of the bowl, you can give it the extra push using a coat hanger or a toilet brush.
Solution 4: Pour a Toilet Cleaner
If you don’t like the previous solutions, you can try pouring toilet cleaner into your bowl. The purpose of these products is to deal with clogs in toilets, which makes them highly efficient.
For example, a drain cleaner dissolves non-organic sources of clogs such as oil, soap scum, conditioners, and similar. It also doesn’t contain complex chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about the condition of the drains and pipes.
Pour the cleaner into your toilet bowl until it covers the waste inside. Let the chemicals work for 15 minutes until you notice that water drains slowly out of your toilet. Some toilet cleaners may work differently, so make sure to read product guidelines first.
Once the waste flows out, you can flush the toilet and use a brush to clean it thoroughly.
Solution 5: Pour Hot Water
Sometimes the solution is as simple as pouring hot tap water into the toilet bowl. This works if you’re facing a partial clog that allows water to pass through.
Pour the water slowly to check whether it’s running or building up to create an overflow. If it goes down, the solution works. If not, stop pouring to prevent leakages.
Another important detail is to avoid boiling water – it’s too hot and might as well break the porcelain.
Solution 6: Use Liquid Soap
Do you know that liquid soaps are strong enough to dissolve organic debris? It’s a standard household product that you can use to break toilet clogs when no other tools are available.
Any liquid soap will do, but we suggest using a liquid dish soap. It’s a multifunctional product that smells beautifully, which is important when you’re facing that awful toilet odor.
All it takes is to pour the liquid soap into your toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes before flushing. If necessary, wait longer because you don’t want soap bubbles and toilet waste to exit the bowl when you pull the flush handle.
How Long to Wait for a Toilet to Unclog Itself?
If you think that organic waste in the toilet bowl will dissolve on its own, you are free to wait for it to happen. However, the question remains: How long should you wait for a toilet to unclog itself?
Our advice is to wait for no more than 60 minutes. It’s good to be patient, but it’s not good to have clogs in your toilet for too long. Here’s why:
- You might accidentally flush the toilet and cause an overflow
- You can’t use your toilet for a long time
- The toilet will smell terribly
- Organic waste will start rotting and creating bacteria and germs
How to Prevent Toilet Overflowing?
A clogged toilet may lead to overflowing, especially if you don’t pay attention to the water level in the bowl. You can prevent it right away by closing the shut-off valve — turn the knob clockwise and the water will stop flowing into the tank.
If you haven’t turned the valve in a while, it may become a little stiff and rusty. In that case, use penetrating oil or hot water to loosen the shut-off valve. After that, twisting it with an adjustable wrench should be easy.
The alternative is even simpler — tell everyone in your family to avoid using the toilet and pressing the flush handle. That way, the water from the tank will never enter the toilet bowl and cause overflowing.
Why Does Your Toilet Clog Frequently?
If your toilet clogs now and then, perhaps you should identify what’s causing this issue. You can find the list of the most common reasons below:
Manufacturers create toilets that properly drain organic waste. However, they do not expect people to throw non-degradable items into their toilets.
Examples of non-degradable materials include paper towels, plastic wrappers, coffee grounds, wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and similar. It doesn’t matter if these objects are large or small – your toilet will hardly break non-degradable waste once it forms a clog.
A Low-Flow Toilet
Sometimes the problem might come from the water pressure. If you replace an old-fashioned toilet with a low-flow model, it will struggle to flush waste through its openings.
Organic waste accumulates over time and forms clogs that low-flow toilets can’t deal with. The only long-term solution is to convert your low-flow toilet into a high-flow model.
Long-Term Debris Accumulation
The problem may also come from the long-term accumulation of debris. Keep in mind that toilets digest everything from hair to limes and hard water deposits. In such circumstances, the only solution is to use toilet cleaners preventively.
You don’t need to do it too often — once every six months is enough to keep the toilet outlets and the pipes free from residual waste and debris.
Sewer Line Issues
Lastly, the problem may occur due to the malfunctioning sewer line in your neighborhood. You alone can’t do anything about it, so the only solution is to consult with a plumber or call your utility provider.
The Bottom Line
Whenever you notice the toilet clogging, the most important task is to determine the cause.
If water-soluble materials such as human waste and toilet paper block the bowl, the toilet will unclog itself quickly. But if you throw non-degradable items in the toilet, they probably won’t unclog before you take action.
Bear our tips in mind and make sure to read more of our post – you will find lots of practical bathroom remodeling ideas!
Will poop eventually dissolve in a clogged toilet?
Yes, poop will almost always dissolve in your toilet. Feces are water-soluble, so they break on their own over time. On average, you’ll have to wait about an hour before the clog dissolves on its own.
Is it wrong to let a clogged toilet sit?
It’s not if the clog consists of organic waste. In this case, you can let it sit and dissolve on its own. However, non-degradable materials require external intervention, and you don’t want to leave such clogs sitting.
How do you unclog a toilet when the water is high?
If the water is too high, you can use a plunger. Make sure to cover the opening of the toilet bowl with a dark-colored rubber – this will create an air cushion that enhances plunging efficiency.
After that, push the plunger up and down until the pressure is high enough to break the clog.