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What would you do if your toilet got clogged on a Saturday evening when the shops are closed and you are about to host a curry and beer party?

This instructable will show you a simple method for unclogging a toilet using hot water and shampoo. While there are other methods of clearing a toilet drain, this is a great option for unclogging a toilet because you don’t have to touch the water.

You will need:

  • 1 clogged toilet (works best when someone has been overzealous with the toilet paper)
  • A generous amount of surfactant (i.e., Dawn Dishwashing liquid, shampoo, liquid soap, or any other cleaner that gets sudsy)
  • Hot (but not boiling) water
  • A bucket or a basin to transport water to toilet

This will only work with a toilet that is not overflowing and has some room to hold extra water.

(For squeamish people: The picture of the blocked toilet was not created with actual bodily excretions.)

Step 1: Add Shampoo and Hot Water.

Get your bottle of shampoo/ soap and squirt a generous amount into the bowl.

Follow that with a bucket of very hot water from the hot tap (not boiling).
Fill the toilet full but not overflowing.

The reason you should not use boiling is because it has been said that boiling water can cause the toilet bowl to crack (I have not personally tested this assertion though as I do not have the money to buy a new toilet).
Then go have a cup of tea and let the blockage 'marinate'.

I love you! You genius!<br><br>I was scared this wouldn't work...I flushed...it started filling again...it plunged for a few seconds...and it's finally gone!!<br><br><br>You are so awesome!
I had to try it twice...didn't use enough soap (used Dial liquid Hand soap), and the water wasn't hot enough..and I had to plunge it a few times, but it wasn't a toilet paper clog, my husband has really big poops! I'm so happy it worked! I hate calling our Landlord!
It works! Can't believe it
Fabulous! I was sure it would not work-but it did immediately!! I plunged for 24 hrs; waiting in between for about two hrs for the level to go down. I put in 1/2 c of tresemm&eacute; and it immediately emptied the bowl. I then poured in the hot water and it works perfectly!
<p>Holy cow, add me to the list of people who really didn't think this would work, got desperate enough to try, and then created an account here just to come and agree it amazingly works! Many thanks!<br><br>I put in washing up liquid and hot water, waited a while... then added more hot water when it went down. Was a bit worried that if I flushed I'd have bubbles overflowing, so I tried using the loo brush as a plunger again and that got it. But only after the hot water and washing up liquid.</p>
<p>Good idea. Thank you for posting! I tried it and it definitely works! My toilet was blocked for 4 days. I plunged and plunged, nothing happen.. </p>
<p>Downy Fabric Softener and two plunges (no hot water) worked instantly. This was after I had been plunging every few minutes for several hours to no avail.</p>
<p>Briliant. Worked like a charm. Quarter bottle of Treseme much cheaper than a plumber, thanks for the tip :)</p>
My plugs typically have some flow and the plug probably is not under water when the toilet bowl drains out. I have had great success just continually filling the toilet bowl with hot water and keeping the water level high as much as possible to maintain maximum flow. It has always worked. I have a bucket handy for this.
<p>I'm here to also acclaim this method. I used maybe a half-cup of some Dawn Ultra, filled the rest of the bowl with HOT water and waited about 45 minutes. Suddenly a flush went down with no effort. Thanks!</p>
<p>&quot;acclaim&quot;... really... and &quot;half-cup&quot; where are the men around here!?! Enough with the half measures already!</p>
<p>Signed up to confirm that this does work. A good few squirts of shampoo, half a bucket of water, 10 minutes and 2 flushes later = blockage cleared.</p><p>Great stuff thanks</p>
<p>Oh cmon, a &quot;few squirts&quot; and &quot;half a bucket&quot;... be a man! Fill that sucker up!</p>
<p>Mmmmmm Marinated Poop!</p>
<p>This helped! But with perseverance. This blockage was the mother of all blockages; I'm usually adept with a plunger and auger, but nothing was working on this one. First I tried dish soap, then shampoo with the hot water. The blockage didn't clear on its own. I still had to use the hand-held auger snake to get through the blockage, but I believe the soap/water combo helped soften things up! Thanks!</p>
<p>Yet another successfuly unblocked bog.</p><p>I dropped a &quot;finish platinum&quot; tab in the dirty full pan and left it an hour or so before pouring a tub of tap hot water down it. Cleared strait away.</p><p>Thanks so much. </p>
<p>Even though I had a small plunger, the block wouldn't clear..within an hour, with three buckets of hot water and half a bottle of bubble bath it worked! Thank you!</p>
it worked!!!!!!
Created an account just to say thank you so much! This worked wonders! I didn't even have to wait ten minutes for it to dissolve, it worked almost immediately with shampoo and hot water. Thank you again!
<p>Just created an account to say thank you, this is incredible! Hours <br>wasted trial and error.. Couple of minutes after adding soap, shampoo, <br>hot water and some oil (for good measure lol) the clog was gone. Thanks!<br> :--)</p>
<p>I live in an apartment and I had one of those poos that you stand up and realize you arne't done. After several of these and a butt that hurt from wiping my toilet clogged and flooded my bathroom and leaked to the downstairs, crappy apartment that didn't silicone the bowdlerizes of the floor pf the bathroom. i used this with lots of hand soap and the water and it flushed fulling right away. I thought it was done and flushed but no such luck. I added the soap I had left and more water and now I sit here hoping it will still work.</p>
Easy breezy and worked like magic!! Got minty shampoo from dollar store for this and the bathroom smells fresh. You are blessed for sharing the knowledge. Thank you.
<p>I just registered to say &quot;Thank you so much sir&quot;... Half quarter of hand soap and a 5 gallon bucket of hot water did the miracle...</p>
<p>Wow, tried all day to clear the bowl. Did this and it worked!</p>
<p>OK by &quot;very generous&quot; how much exactly? I'm afraid the toilet will bubble over LOL</p>
It really works!!! Our toilet had been clogged for a week. NOTHING worked. This worked in less than 5 minutes. Hoohoo! A clean toilet at last! Thank you!
what should i do?? i did the instruction even if it seems like no tisue causes the clog
<p>I know akichiro's issue is 5 months old now, but replying for those who are still having issues. Please try this idea first of dish soap and hot water, it will solve &quot;most&quot; of the clog problems out there and it's much cheaper/easier. If this does not work after several attempts, then you may have to pull the toilet due to an object actually stuck in the toilet (like the issue I am having). My water goes down, but only 50% as fast as it used to. I know something is stuck.</p>
I read all the comments and thought i would get the same result if I try. It made things worse. The water is now full and it's not going anywhere ??
<p>I did the same thing with dish soap and hot water quite a few number of times. I now know it's not a dissolvable clog and probably something the kids dropped in the toilet. At least this idea is much cheaper/easier and worth a try first before getting your hands &quot;dirty&quot;, and once I find the object it will be cleaner than it was before :)</p>
This worked wonders for me!! Another reason to love the internet.
<p>From the Philippines here and believe it, this really works! I was desperate because the toilet won't flush completely. Some water goes down but it won't get rid of the &quot;package&quot; my daughter left. Followed the steps using a local dishwashing then after two attempts (waiting approximately 1 episode of Agent Carter in between), voila! I heard that lovely flushing sound everyone here's been talking about. Kudos to whoever thought this up! A definite lifesaving trick!</p>
This worked like magic! No plunger needed and worked almost immediately. Created an account just to say THANKS
<p>Even after reading all the positive posts, I was very doubtful, but WOW. It was incredible. Toilet was backed up by tons of toilet paper...I knew the culprit...WOW. Thank You and God Bless You. </p>
My toilet has been clogged for 4 days. Nothing I've tried worked. I've plunged till i felt like my arm was going to fall off. I was afraid I'd have to take the toilet off again. I'm a mother of three, I was so afraid thst maybe they put another toy in the toilet. Lol. You are a life saver. This is amazing. THANK YOU! God Bless You. You have a nice day.
<p>Thank you for posting! I tried it and it definitely works! My toilet was blocked for 4 days. I plunged and plunged, nothing happen. I then poured a full bottle of Drano Max gel down the toilet and filled with water...it just set there full to the brim. I went googling for help and came across your post. This works like a charm. Thank you for saving me $$$'s.</p>
<p>This was great.. just started happening today, the very slow flush.. Plunger did nothing and I don't own a snake so I went to the net for a solution.. This is the first one I found and it worked on the first go..</p><p>I took a 5 gallon bucket and filled it about a quarter of the way with hot tap water, I put in about half a bottle of shampoo .. which I probably didn't need that much.. I put in a bit of hot water and let it sit for a moment, maybe 45 seconds to a minute.. then I started the flush while steadily pour in the rest of the hot water.. it started going down slowly and then half way down it just swooshed down.. <br><br>I went ahead and repeated the process with less soap and less water just to be extra safe that it was all cleared up.. again, also probably un-necessary.. it worked perfecty</p>
<p>Holy crap! It worked! I've been plunging a toilet that my kids told me yesterday had been clogged or draining slowly for a few weeks. (Parent of the year.) I plunged for an hour last night and went through a couple towels mopping up the spill-over, which thankfully is clear at this point. Was starting to have the very scary &quot;Maybe I should call a plumber&quot; thoughts when I picked the second Google search result. I poured about a half cup or more of the Dawn knock-off from Target that I had under the kitchen sink, and then a giant pasta potful of nearly-boiling water. The water went right down! So I poured in another and let it marinate. All fixed. Toilet flushes like a charm! Thank you thank you thank you! This was my first good news since November 8, 2016! I'd post a picture, but just Google for &quot;clean, empty toilet&quot; and pick any photo you find.</p>
<p>This is insanely amazing! Our toilet has been clogged for a week (nothing but water, but not flushing.) We've been plunging and plunging to no avail. I figured, what's the worst that can happen, so I tried it. First I put in about 1/2 cup of shampoo and a few quarts of hot water. Left it to &quot;marinate.&quot; When I came back, nothing had happened, so I added a bit of liquid body soap and another quart of hot water, and...lo and behold! the drain unclogged! Works here in the US!</p>
<p>just create the account to say thanks!!! We didn't think it would work BUT IT DID!!! thank you sir you just save our lives!!!!</p>
<p>Some Suave shampoo (79cents on sale) works as well followed by hot water, plunger helps I think depending on how blocked the pipe is, glad I found this, thanks! My bathroom smells nice now too.</p>
<p>This is amazing! Thank you! I poured 8-10oz into the bowl that was filled almost to the brim...(over kill much? Maybe, but is there such a thing as too much when it comes to defeating stuck toilets?) As I started pouring a small stream of hot water in, Whooosh! Fin.</p>
<p>I don&acute;t know who you are, but you are my hero</p>
<p>ok I made an account for this because it's amazing I have carpal tunnel and corral tunnel... my hands and wrists are weak and everything I do hurts when I use them My toilet was clogged and I tried to plunge but this caused great pain to my hands and wrists I logged on and found this site I'm amazed how well this worked I highly recommend people share this with elderly people or with people that have arthritis or corral and carpal tunnel like myself I used about a cup of dawn and hot water from the tap I had to fill the cup a few times as bucket was to heavy for me. I sat on my tub and watched for about a minute then checked here for timing Went back and decided to try and plunge I took the plunger and half assed plunged one time because my wrists were already sore.... Shazam the clog went bye bye must have been a total of three minutes </p><p>Thank you so much you've no idea how much pain you saved me from </p>
<p>Thanks a lot dude. You just made my day</p>
<p>Wonderful advice! Clearing a used toilet with a plunger is disgusting having to clean the plunger, the surrounding splashy mess, etc. I followed instructions, came back to the computer to check estimated wait time and I heard gurgling from the bathroom. ALL GONE!!! Called to share with my parents already! Thanks for the easy fix!</p>
<p>Created an account just to say thank you. Can't believe that actually worked.</p>
you just saved my life
<p>1/2 cup dawn big bucket very hot water poured straight in didn't stop it went right down..between soap hot water and wAter pressure?????Down it went!</p>
I cannot believe this worked! It is really incredible but I left it overnight and just checked, not only has it all cleared but it looked like the toilet bowl has been cleaned. Thank you thank you thank you amazing

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