How to Unclog a Toilet with Dish Soap and Hot Water

If not fixed urgently, clogged bathrooms can cause huge inconveniences that will definitely ruin your day. Using dish soap is one of the easiest, cheapest, and readily-available DIY methods that can help you unblock your lavatory fast

Following is how to unclog your toilet using dish soap with hot water at home, the best dishwashing soaps plus tips to keep your bathroom free of clogs.


  • Liquid Dish Soap
  • A bucket, especially one with side handles
  • Plunger (Optional)
  • Hot water
  • Protective gear-rubber gloves, goggles, face mask, etc.


Begin by soaking the bowl

  • First, read the instructions on the dish soap to ensure correct use.
  • Put on protective gear, rubber gloves to protect your hands from germs and burns; goggles to prevent water splashes that may end up in your eyes.
  • Open your windows, door or turn on the fan to create ventilation. Unpleasant fumes may build up in the house, thus it is necessary to take caution.
  • Find the toilet flapper and restrict the flow of cold water from the tank to the bowl. Shut down the valve either using the attached chain or using your hands. You can also stop the water supply by turning it off.
  • Confirm the level of water in the bowl. Only add hot water if the level is low enough to accommodate more water. If the water level is too high, either get rid of it first or skip the next step.
  • Gently pour the hot water into the bowl, ensuring it is not too much to overflow. If there’s
  • Add a generous amount of dish soap to the bowl. The soap will get to the bottom of the bowl since it is heavier than water. Allow the soap to rest in the bowl for 10- 15 minutes. The water level should go down during this time.
  • Pour more hot water gently, without letting it overflow. Let it sit for a few minutes then flush at least twice to inspect whether the clog has cleared.
  • Repeat the process if the clog is not cleared.
  • By the first or second attempt, your toilet should be unblocked.
  • In case the toilet fails to unclog, let the dish soap rest overnight.
  • If nothing happens after a few attempts, try another method or seek the services of a pro plumber in your local area.

Why Dish Soap is good

  • The water and soap dish combination helps dissolve and break up all matter that causes clogging.
  • Dish soap always wipes out greasy residue, dirt and built-up food effectively
  • It leaves the toilet with fresh scent.
  • Most dish soaps have durable containers that contain pour spouts and a securing cap. This makes cleaning easier.
  • Dish soap kills bacteria, mold, and fungi that cause clogging in toilets.
  • It has an added advantage since it also leaves the toilet spotless. Dish soap will leave your toilet looking brighter and smelling fresh.

How long does dish soap take to unclog a toilet?

In most cases, 10-15 minutes is enough time for the soap to move down the drain and break light clogs. It more may take more time for heavy clogs.

Best Dish Soap to use

When looking for dish soap to unclog your toilet, there are some important factors you need to consider such as:

  • How effectively it cuts through grease and chunks of waste
  • How fast it cleans and rinses
  • Whether it leaves behind scents
  • The price
  • Whether it is ecofriendliness

Here are a few sample dish soaps that have been analyzed based on the above criteria:

1. Dawn Dish Soap

Marketed as s America’s number one dish soap, dawn is one of the top multipurpose cleaning liquid detergents. It is the detergent that most DIY enthusiasts recommend mainly because it is wildlife-friendly and biodegradable.

A combo of dawn soap and hot water will not only break the clog but also get rid of fat-based stains leaving your toilet squeaky clean.

Pour a bucket of hot water then add around 8 ounces of the soap into the toilet, relax and let it do its magic.


Biokleen Free & Clear Dish Liquid

This an Eco-Friendly, non-toxic, plant-based dish soap that comes with no artificial fragrance, colors or preservatives

BioKleen Dish washing liquid

Biokleen comes with;

  • exceptions grease-breaking capabilities
  • Rinses spot-free without residue
  • Super concentrated – no fillers or thickeners
  • Gentle on skin, Moisturizes, soothes, and protects skin
  • No negative effects on rivers, streams, plants or wildlife

GreenFist Dish Soap 

This is a mild, gentle, hand dishwashing detergent liquid that is specially made to help you clean fast while leaving your hands soft.

GreenFist Dish soap

GreenFist comes with an advanced free rinsing formula that emulsifies grease and dirt quickly.

It is commercial grade hand dish washing liquid that is enhanced with exclusive suds stabilizer.

This liquid dishwasher is phosphate free, biodegradable and anti-polluting.

Lemi Shine Natural Concentrated Liquid Dish Soap

This is an environmentally friendly natural dish soap. Lemi shine is non-toxic, free of dyes, phosphates, phthalates, and parabens.

Lemi Shine Dish Soap
Lemi Shine

Made with biodegradable surfactants, pH balanced, and septic system friendly. The ingredients are US EPA Safer Choice certified, providing a safer clean for you and your family.

Puracy Natural Dish Soap

The Puracy dish soap comes with nothing but superior cleaning power. It lifts grease from toilet surfaces along with a variety of debris that clogs your toilet.

Puracy Dish Soap

Advanced plant-based ingredients produce mounds of deep-cleaning; family safe, non-drying and non-irritating to your skin (no more dishwashing gloves needed)

It is naturally derived, hypoallergenic, vegan, gluten-free, biodegradable; Certified Cruelty-Free

Safety Precautions

Avoid extremely hot water especially if the clog is deep down the drain pipes. Deep clogs can trap the water in the pipe. The trapped water can melt PVC piping and pipe seals, causing serious damage.

Boiling water can also melt the wax ring around the toilet, or even crack the porcelain bowl, leading to costly repairs

In addition, boiling water can also burn your skin.

Ensure you are using the right dish soap.

Some dish soaps can ruin rubber seals in your septic system. Be wary of using products that aren’t designed to go into a toilet system

Further Reading on Unclogging Toilets

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