How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda

How to unclog a toilet with baking soda is a cheap and environmentally friendly option. 

Let me explain how to use baking soda to unclog a toilet and how, it might not be doing what you think it is. 

how to unclog a toilet with baking soda
I get commissions from links in this post.

How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda 

If you’re toilet is clogged up and you are desperate, you may try anything and everything to get that toilet unclogged.  I know what that feels like.  But what if you don’t have a toilet auger, or money for a plumber, maybe it’s 3am, maybe little Timmy has a stomach bug and you NEED that toilet running NOW! 

Let’s talk about baking soda and how to use it to unclog your toilet fast.  Baking soda is actually not the cure all for your toilet clogs.

How Long To Leave Baking Soda and Vinegar in Your Toilet to Unclog it

Most folks advise to combine baking soda with vinegar and hot water to create a reaction, leaving it to bubble for 10-30 mins in your toilet bowl. Then, you would pour hot water very slowly into your toilet bowl.  Is it actually working on your clog? You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s not the baking soda and/or vinegar doing anything really on your clog. Read below at what’s really unclogging your toilet.

Can You Leave Baking Soda and Vinegar in Your Toilet Overnight?

Yes, you can leave it in your toilet overnight. This is so that it can work at unclogging your toilet. If you have 1 toilet, this is not the best solution.

Do not use anything in your toilet that causes a chemical reaction like chemical drain cleaners. These chemicals produce HEAT and your porcelain toilet doesn’t expand and contract with temperature, so it could CRACK.
Baking soda and vinegar are safe: they actually cause a drop in temperature and shouldn’t affect your toilet.

How to Unclog a Toilet with Baking Soda: Facts 

Can Just Baking Soda unclog a toilet? No. Will Vinegar and baking soda unclog a toilet? Technically, no. It isn’t the baking soda and vinegar unclogging your toilet, it’s the very hot water melting away some of the gunk that caused your clog.  Here are our quick tips for unclogging your toilet fast.

Steps to Unclogging Your Toilet Fast

#1.  Make sure that your toilet bowl is only half full or less

#2.  Pour in hot water

#3.  Wait anywhere from 10 to 30 mins

#4.  Use a plunger if you have one, if not, just try flushing your toilet

Even if this technique works to break up the clog, the main reason the clog started in the first place is still there. It will come back to haunt you another day, when you least expect it.    As it collects more and more gunk, the main clog will once again grow big enough to clog your toilet pipe. 

As a short term solution, you can use JUST hot water to slowly melt away the clog.  If you have a plunger, you can also use it to help get your toilet unclogged.   Save your baking soda and vinegar for another day.

Afterwards, look at buying a toilet auger or snake to have in your tool box for the next time a clog happens in your toilet.  Because it will. 

Cost of Hiring a Plumber Versus Buying a Toilet Auger

Hiring a plumber to unclog your toilet costs anywhere from $100- 250, depending on the area and how complicated the clog is. A toilet auger can be as cheap as $30. You can also use your toilet auger as many times as you like, so I consider it an investment.

Why You Should Put Baking Soda in Your Toilet Tank

This has nothing to do with clogs, but thought we’d mention it. It’s a great way to prevent or rid yourself of toilet odors. Also, a good way to scrub the inside of the tank and bowl clean after you let it sit for a few hours. Scrubbing out the tank where all the water sits can get rid of smells in your bathroom.

What Plunger do I Use for Which Clogs?

SinkSink Drains

Toilet Clog Prevention

Here are some tips to prevent future toilet clogs:

  • Don’t flush too much TP down the toilet at once
  • Flush multiple times during a big poop
  • Watch that the kids don’t flush anything
  • Don’t flush any wipes down the toilet. It doesn’t matter if they say they are “flushable”. They aren’t. Most of my service calls are for this issue.
  • Clean out your pipes twice per year with a toilet auger
  • Don’t flush cat litter: it turns into cement in your pipes
  • Don’t flush paper towel
  • Don’t flush large feminine hygiene products
  • Grease should be poured into a container and thrown out, not down your toilet


How to unclog a toilet with baking soda is basically a myth and the hot water is really doing all the work.  Save your baking soda for baking and just use either some hot water or buy a toilet auger and get your poop down the shoot! 


How Much Baking Soda to Vinegar Should You Use To Unclog a Toilet

The ratio is 1 to 1. One cup of baking soda to one cup of vinegar, let sit for 30 mins, then pour hot water down the toilet, wait another 10-30 mins and flush. Remember that the soda and vinegar aren’t necessarily doing anything, it’s the hot water melting away your clog.