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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'.

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>How to never pay for new batteries again: <a href="http://batteryrecover.com" rel="nofollow">http://batteryrecover.com</a></p><p>Thank you Gregory ! :)</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
Ps. I also created an account just so I could thank you. Hugely appreciated!
Our toilet was blocked for 2 days, plunger, water buckets.. tried everything nothing worked ! Found this and tried a water bucket and a lot of dishwashing liquid.. within 15 minutes it was back to normal and clearer and cleaner than before THANK YOU :)
<p>You're truly a LIFE SAVER!<br>I can't thank you enough!!</p>
<p>I tossed some old pierogis down the toilet and they got stuck in the <br>pipes, of course. The water was going down veryyyyy slowly, and if <br>someone made poopoo it was just going to float around and spin in the <br>toilet bowl forever. </p><p>Before it got to that crisis level I took <br>action. I found this article and gave it a try before running out to buy<br> a plunger. Squeezed about a quarter bottle of dishwashing soup (maybe a<br> half-cup?) and boiled up about 2 quarts of water. It was food, not <br>toilet paper, that was my problem so I tried to get the water as close <br>to boiling without it actually boiling. When the water level went down <br>enough, I poured all the hot water in and waited. Repeated this 3 times <br>in 15 minutes.</p><p>After the third time, I sat down and started <br>thinking about the plumber bill I was about to get tomorrow. It was <br>during this moment of weakness when a loud, other-worldy belch came from<br> the bathroom scaring me half to death. </p><p>The pierogis had disappeared into the nether and my toilet was sparkling clean and functional again. Thank you greatly!</p>
<p>Giving this a try right now - seriously hope this works as I have no plunger. I didn't have a bucket either so I just filled my water bottle full of hot water and dumped in some shampoo and conditioner. Fingers crossed that this works and saves me from an embarrassing chat with my landlord. </p>
<p>I've been able to flush the whole time, but I can still see that certain things are not going down with the water. I waited 20 min and nothing happened. I just added some different shampoo and will walk away from it and try again later tonight. </p>
HANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I am renting my place and they would have charged me a bomb to get it sorted. I just moved in amd dont have bleach. I squirted in half of a bottle of shower gel, and a few saucepans of tap hot water. Left it over night, and it drained!!! It didnt before. So i tested it with some more shower gel and filled it with more hot water, it took 2 mins and it cleared!!! Infact, left my toilet cleaner that it was before!<br>Thabk you, you legend!
So happy that this worked! I was actually quite skeptical because things like this usually are not easily fixed in my house. We tried plunging but it didn't work. I really thought that I was going to have to call the plumber. Yay! I didn't have to! I used about a half a cup of dawn and poured about a pot full of hot tap water in the toilet, and about 20 minutes later it unclogged all by it's self and I heard the gurgling and it was clear. Whew! Thank you all for all of your comments. Definitely glad I tried this.
<p>Also made an account just to thank you! Worked brilliantly! Just to add because it wasn't clear from the post: I did *NOT* have to force anything down with a plunger or flush. The whole thing just went &quot;whoooop&quot; all of a sudden all by itself. It did take a good 5-10 minutes before it did that though, and a constant generous supply of soap and warm water. Just be patient. It was safe to flush immediately after the blockage cleared. Thanks again!</p>
<p>Brilliant!</p><p>Works in Australia too!!</p><p>Again, bloody brilliant!!</p>
<p>Thanks so much .Toilet blocked for several hours and had tried Mr Muscle and bleach all to no avail .In desperation looked on line and found this brilliant tip ..Worked perfectly ...Two kettles of water and Fairy liquid did the job in about five mins ...</p>
Thank You so much!!!!<br>My son &amp; I with tried plunging to no avail. 25 minutes after squirting dish soap &amp; baby shampoo then about 2 gallons of water my son was able to plunge it right down. Didn't want to try flushing as it was already close to the rim.
<p>Another success story!! After plunging until I thought my arm would fall off with no success, I tried a quick internet search before calling the plumber - and thought I might as well try it. After an hour, the toilet flushed - yay!! Used Dawn and about 4 quarts of hot water. Will remember this trick for the future!! </p>
Thanks so much.<br>I used this tip and plunged simultaneously as i poured the shampoo water into it.<br>Surprisingly it all went down within seconds.<br>Many thanks for the idea.<br>You saved me a lot of money.
<p>Hi ..Created my account to Thank you...It is a life saver. Worked like a pro...Some Head and Shoulders ( shampoo) mixed in a cup of warm water and after a few seconds 1 more cup of warm water and I closed the lid ...After 4 hours FLUSHED , Can't imagine that it just went away and unclogged clearly ..Literally saved me from a big embarrassment at my cousin's house .. God bless the owner of this idea...</p>
<p>Hi ..Created my account to Thank you...It is a life saver. Worked like a pro...Some Head and Shoulders ( shampoo) mixed in a cup of warm water and after a few seconds 1 more cup of warm water and I closed the lid ...After 4 hours FLUSHED , Can't imagine that it just went away and unclogged clearly ..Literally saved me from a big embarrassment at my cousin's house .. God bless the owner of this idea...</p>
<p>Best thing ever on the internet! Plunging wasn't working. I searched online. Followed the instructions on this post...VOILA! I used 3/4c Dawn liquid soap and about 64oz of hot tap water. I poured the soap and water in at the same time. Let it sit for a couple hours...crossed my fingers and flushed. PERFECT! No additional plunging was needed. Thank you!</p>

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