How to Unclog Toilet With Baking Soda & Vinegar

Clogged toilets can be a nightmare especially when you have no idea on how to deal with them or you cannot access a professional plumber. Baking soda and vinegar are natural cleaning chemicals but when combined create a chemical reaction that is useful in unblocking your toilet.

All you need is to mix the ingredients and pour into the blocked drain, let it sit and flush. This method, works especially if the clog is soft such as toilet paper or stool.

Following is a detailed discussion on steps to follow when using this DIY method plus tips and precautions.


Following are the tools/solutions you will need

  • Hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • A fan(optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask

Following are the steps

  1. Put on your protective gear; rubber gloves and a face mask before starting the task.
  2. Ensure the toilet is properly ventilated by opening the door, window or by using a fan.
  3. Begin with inspecting the water level in the bowl. The water level needs to be half full. If the water level is too low, add some. In case the water level is too high, scoop some of it out, to avoid spillage.
  4. Leave the bowl with enough water that can cover a plunger.
  5. Assess the clog severity before applying any chemicals.
  6. For minor clogs pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl then leave it for around five minutes. For severe clogs, begin with small amounts of baking soda followed by several increments. Ensure you measure the ingredients carefully to prevent overflowing.
  7. Pour a cup of vinegar into the bowl, ensure you do this slowly. Pouring it hastily would result in a mild reaction which would create a mess in your bathroom.
  8. Let the composition fizz for around twenty minutes.
  9. Find out if your toilet has been unblocked. If the clog has broken down, the water level goes down automatically. You will see bubbles as pressure changes. When you spot such signs, simply flush the toilet to further confirm.
  10. If the clog is not cleared, repeat the process until it clears. In case the problem persists, that could be an indication of plumbing problems such as pressure issues and mineral build-up. You can seek professional assistance.

Alternatively, you can also add hot water or add salt.

Hot water

  1. Begin with combining two cups of white vinegar with two cups of hot water.
  2. Pour a cup of baking soda in the toilet then pour the white vinegar-hot water mixture.
  3. Allow the volcano to do its job then check after 30 minutes. Repeat if drain is not unclogged

With salt

Begin by mixing 2 cups of baking soda with a quarter cup of Epsom salt and two cups of vinegar. This creates a bathroom bomb.

Gently pour the combination on the muffin liners and allow it to dry and harden for around 12 hours. Later, add around four cups of water to drain the composition away..

How does Vinegar & Baking Soda Unclog?

The reaction from vinegar and baking soda create bubbles that loosen the clog. Adding water further helps remove the loosened matter from the pipes thus clearing up the drains. Let us look at the science behind the reaction:


Vinegar consists of water and acetic acid while baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate.  Upon combining these elements, a chemical reaction takes place creating carbon dioxide and water. This creates the bubbles that you see through the clog after pouring the chemicals.

Pressure and Gravity

Drains employ gravity to channel water away but drainage pipes are never pressurized.  By pouring hot water, the pressure is exerted and along with gravity, removes the debris from the clogged pipes.


This comes as an additional benefit considering that the carbon dioxide created lowers the pH in the water. This makes vinegar a weaker acid that can work on weak clogs but in cases where there is heavier clogging, concentrated acid may be necessary.

How to unclog toilet with baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda & vinegar

Benefits of using Baking Soda and Vinegar for unclogging

  • The two products are home-based, cheap, and can easily be used by anyone. They eliminate the use of plungers, expensive plumbers and harsh chemicals.
  • Baking soda and vinegar are excellent deodorants. They leave the toilet smelling fresh.
  • They are both cleaning agents, therefore, they would achieve double work. They clean and unclog your toilet at the same time.
  • They are a proven combination that helps keep your drains running smoothly.

Further Reading on Unclogging Toilets

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