What Can I Pour in a Stopped up Toilet?

Steven Symes

A stopped-up toilet provides a messy obstacle you must overcome to continue using the toilet in the future. While some clogs will come free just from time or a flush or two, others require more effort. Various liquids will provide enough of a push to dislodge the clog and get the toilet flowing again.

Some toilet clogs come free with a flush while others come loose after pouring liquid into the toilet.


You should first try pouring a bucket of water rapidly into the toilet bowl in an attempt to dislodge the clog in the drainpipe. For the bucket of water to work correctly, you must pour it as quickly as possible without spilling the water out of the bowl. Using hot water to clear the clog may result in the toilet’s porcelain cracking, so proceed with caution if you opt not to use cold water.


Like the old volcano science experiment, using a combination of vinegar and baking soda in the toilet will free some clogs. You must first pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl, then follow up by pouring the same amount of vinegar into the bowl. This method will not work as well if the bowl is mostly full of water, which will dilute the mixture and make the reaction less potent.

Dish Detergent

According to PlanetGreen.com, pouring 1/2 cup of dish detergent and letting it sit in the toilet will help dislodge a clog. The detergent will settle into the toilet and though the pipe, reaching the clog and helping to lubricate the stuck material. PlanetGreen.com also recommends boiling a pot of water and pouring it rapidly into the bowl after you have let the dish detergent sit, which will then finish what the detergent started. Again, take care with hot water in the toilet since it could damage the porcelain.

No Drain Clog Products

Products such as Drano should not be poured into a stopped-up toilet. Because of the “S” curve in the toilet’s drain pipe, the liquid clog solution would not make its way down the drain pipe as it would in a bathtub or sink, meaning it would not reach the clog. Any other efforts to clear the drain could result in the product splashing onto someone’s skin or face, possibly leading to serious injury. According to SC Johnson, the maker of Drano, liquid clog removers are not made to dissolve the types of waste materials that normally cause toilets to clog, meaning the product would be ineffective if it did reach the clog.