How to Unclog a Toilet Using Dawn

Karren Doll Tolliver

Everyone dreads the frustration of a clogged toilet. You can spend a lot of money buying commercial drain cleaners that may or may not work. You can also spend much more than that calling a plumber. However, there is a simple method you can use to unclog a toilet drain using regular Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent.

It takes less than an hour, requires no caustic drain cleaners or hardware such as a drain snake and no unusual physical strength is needed.


This method has been successful for people using liquid laundry detergent or liquid dishwasher detergent as well.


If the toilet has been in an extremely cold room for a long period of time, be careful about pouring in the boiling water. The shock of temperature extremes may crack the porcelain. Let the water cool a little before pouring it in.

  1. Remove all the excess water possible from the clogged toilet.

  2. Pour in the dishwashing detergent.

  3. Boil about a half-gallon of water. Pour it into the toilet.

  4. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

  5. Plunge the clogged toilet several times until the clog is dislodged and the toilet flushes. If it does not dislodge within about 10 plunges, boil more water and pour in another half-gallon, wait 15 more minutes and try again. You may have to do this three or four times for stubborn clogs.