How to Use Baking Soda to Unclog a Toilet

Amanda Hermes

We’ve all struggled with a clogged toilet before. Plunging is messy and unpleasant, and chemicals can have harsh fumes and toxins that shouldn’t be flushed into our environment. Surprisingly, a combination of baking soda and vinegar is a greener way to unclog any type of drain safely and easily.

Unfortunately, this will work only if the toilet is not already full of water, which will dilute the mixture so much that it won’t work.

  1. Better Homes and Gardens recommends the following steps: First, slowly pour 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl.

  2. Slowly add 1 cup of white vinegar. The mixture should bubble and fizz. This is because the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda to create carbonic acid. The bubbles you see come from the carbon dioxide leaving the solution that is left.

  3. Cover the bottom of the bowl with a plunger or just close the toilet lid, and let the mixture fizz for five minutes.

  4. If your toilet doesn’t have too much water in it already, add a gallon of hot, but not boiling, water.

  5. Flush everything down the toilet and watch the mixture work its magic. Your toilet should be free of the clog now. If not, it might be because there is a large object lodged inside, and you’ll need to remove it manually with your hands (wearing rubber gloves, of course) or a plumber’s snake, according to Eric Leach from Planet Green.