Un-fun topic aleart! Nobody loves having to grab the plunger, and a clogged toilet is sometimes yucky and is always annoying. Is your toilet clogged from too much paper? Will toilet paper unclog itself if you just wait it out? It’s those types of things we end up asking ourselves, standing over the porcelain bowl from time to time.
A plugged toilet is a frustrating thing, and a minor clog can usually be cleared quickly with a plunger. If there’s no plunger available, know that toilet paper can naturally unclog itself with time. In the case of toilet paper that remains clogged after hours, consider what might be causing it. There are a few different factors that can lead to a blocked toilet.
Recently, I was in this same situation where my toilet was plugged and not unclogging itself. I left it for a bit, came back and checked, trying to flush again to free up the blockage, but it remained clogged. Even though a toilet paper blockage usually breaks down within 10 minutes. Sometimes there’s a another reason for the blockage, or its just especially stubborn.
I’ve spent some hours researching how to unclog toilet paper and how long will it take for a toilet to unlcog itself. In this post, I’ll try to show you everything about unclogging toilet paper, and how to make the process faster. Let’s get Into It!
Will Toilet Paper Unclog Itself? (Answered!)
Good quality toilet paper is designed to dissolve in less than 5 minutes. This is to prevent clogs in the toilet and your sewer system. When there is too much toilet paper in the bowl, the dissolving process will be slower. Other causes of clogged toilet paper include low water levels in the toilet bowl, low-quality toilet paper, toilet malfunction or an obstructed pipe.
Why does Toilet Paper Get Clogged? (7 Common Causes)
Clogs in your toilet may occur due to only toilet paper blockage or for the following reasons:
- Low Water Level In the Bowl or Tank: Clogs can occur easily if your toilet is not maintaining the right amount of water in the bowl or tank. This water is required to flush effectively, so a low water level will make flushing difficult. (See: How to adjust water level in a toilet bowl)
- Low-Quality Toilet Paper: Low-quality toilet paper slows down the dissolving process, creating problems in your pipes, and can build up over time to form clogs. Choose good quality toilet paper as it will dissolve very quickly to limit chances of problems in the future.
- Flushing Non-flushables: There are some bathroom products that are actually not safe to flush. Choosing to flush items not intended to go into the sewer can easily clog your toilet. These include items such as:
- cotton swabs
- dental floss
- feminine hygiene products
- paper towel
- cleaning wipes
- Obstructed Pipes: If you flush objects not intended, it can form clogs within the toilets S-Trap. This is a very common cause for toilets that seem to be fine, but plug easily. A good plunging can usually free up this blockage in the toilet. If it remains, it might be worth using a drain snake to clear the blockage, or call a plumber to tackle the issue for you (way less messy!).
- Too Much Toilet Paper: Clogs also happen when you use too much toilet paper to begin with. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve very quickly, but some 2ply and ultra-strong brands don’t dissolve quite as fast. If you use these brands, and use a bit too much at a time, this could be the cause of your toilet clogs.
- Older Low-Flow Toilets: If your home has an older toilet from the late 80s into the 90s, there is a good chance that it has an outdated design that can cause easy blockage. These older toilets were the first type of low-flow toilets available, and frankly didn’t do a great job of flushing efficiently. Its a bigger cost upfront, but if you have one of these old low-flow toilets, consider replacing it with a newer, way more efficient modern toilet.
- Hard Water Build-Up: Another common issue with toilets clogging is hard water build-up. This is an issue caused by minerals in the water, leading to a narrowing of the pipes due to these minerals building up over time. Regular cleaning, using a hard water toilet bowl cleaner or tank drop-in helps a lot.
5 Ways to Make Your Toilet Paper Unclog Faster
Get a Rapid Toilet Paper Dissolver
Using a rapid toilet paper dissolver solution will help you unclog toilet paper clogs faster. Due to its special enzymes properties, these solutions easily break down toilet paper clogs in your pipes, keeping the drain lines flowing freely.
It is quite difficult to find one that works effectively, however, RV Tissue Digester by Thetford has helped many get rid of toilet paper build ups. This tissue digester is completely biodegradable, making it safe for various water treatment systems.
How to Use Tissue Digesters? Pour about half a cup into the toilet bowl. Once it dissolves the paper into almost a liquid state, flush the system to let it carry away.
While RV Tissue Digester is specifically designed for RV’s waste treatment systems, it can also be used in regular home toilets with septic systems.
Use a Plunger
Nobody likes to use them, but if you need to unclog toilet paper clogs, a plunger is a must-have tool. It has a rubber cup that creates a seal with the inside of the toilet bowl. The suction created by the plunger sucks water out of the clogged area and then forces it back through the drain pipe. Usually very effective, sometimes requires a bit of patience.
Here’s how to use Plunger to Unclog Toilet Paper Clog:
- Open the seat of your Toilet and support it against the toilet tank.
- Take the Toilet Plunger and put it into the bowl.
- Ensure the suction cup of plunger covers the toilet drain opening.
- Then, plunge the toilet downwards and upwards over the toilet drain opening. This will create a suction that pulls and pushes the clog.
Upon removing the plunger, the toilet bowl will empty, indicating that the clog has been dissolved. Try flushing the toilet to confirm whether the toilet paper is fully dissolved.
Use a Toilet Auger/Snake
A toilet auger known as plumber’s snake can be used to break up and remove toilet paper clogs, which will allow the water to flow freely again. The tool consist a metal rod with a corkscrew-shaped piece of wire at one end remove clogs in the toilet by breaking up the blockage and pushing it through the toilet drain. These snakes are very effective at removing clogs in your toilet, and they are the go-to for professional plumbers.
Here’s how to use Toilet Auger to Unclog Toilet Paper Clog: <– click for our comprehensive guide!
- Insert the hooked end of the auger into the toilet drain opening.
- Push it down the drain and stop when you notice some resistance.
- When you notice some resistance, it means you’ve reached the clog.
- Rotate the handle and keep pushing the auger inward until the barbs disintegrate the stuck toilet paper.
Once you are done with the steps, remove the auger and inspect whether the water is draining smoothly. If not, repeat the process again.
Take Help of Cleaning Solutions
If using tools such as a plunger or auger didn’t work, you can try a few home cleaning solutions to break down the toilet paper clog. To do this, you’ll need soap, baking soda, and vinegar; Baking soda and vinegar will help break down the clog, while dish soap help lubricate the drain so that the clog can move freely.
Here’s how to lubricate the drain using Dish Soap:
- Put a half cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl and leave it for 10 minutes.
- Make sure that the soap has cleared the clog by flushing.
- If dish soap didn’t do the trick, pour some hot water (not boiling water) in from about waist level. Combined with the dish soap, it will help dislodge the clog.
- Flush again to check if that worked.
Here’s how to break down the clog using Baking Soda & Vinegar:
- Half-fill the toilet bowl with water. When the solution bubbles up, add or remove water as needed to prevent overflow.
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the bowl.
- Then, pour 1 cup of vinegar. This will make the solution bubble up again.
- Leave it for 20 minutes, then flush down the toilet.
- Finally, check if the toilet drains normally. If it didn’t worked, repeat the process.
Always Pick the Right Toilet Paper
Some folks love to use the softer, more fancy expensive toilet paper while others are good with the cheaper, rougher ones. That’s all preference, but there’s a third type that many people might not even know about. It’s perfect when you want something that dissolves super fast.
This third type is called “rapid-dissolving toilet paper.“ It is made from cellulose which is basically plant fibers that have been spun together and then cut into sheets. This type of paper dissolves in water quickly, so it won’t clog your pipes or take forever to clean up.
Which toilet paper dissolves the best? We recommend giving Scott Rapid Dissolving Toilet Paper or Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Toilet Paper a try. Both are made from easily biodegradable fibers that are super-soft and dissolve in a snap. This makes them perfect for avoiding clogs and keeping your toilet running smoothly.
FAQs on Unclogging Toilet Papers
How Long Does Toilet Paper Take to Dissolve?
Quality toilet paper takes a maximum of 5 minutes to dissolve completely in a toilet bowl.
Can I Leave a Clogged Toilet Overnight?
Sometimes you just can’t clear a clogged toilet quickly, and leaving it overnight is your best option. It’s okay to leave your clogged toilet overnight, just keep your lid closed to limit potential nasty odors from escaping.
What Happens If you Flush a Clogged Toilet?
If you flush a clogged toilet, with a high water level, the water in the toilet will rise and overflow. This is because there is nowhere for the water to go down. Instead, it will flow out of the edge of the bowl and onto your floor. Wait for your water level in the bowl to slowly drain before trying to flush again. Sometimes this can take a very long time.
What Kind of Toilet Paper Dissolves the Best?
A rapid-dissolving toilet paper is the quickest to dissolve. These are made from a material called cellulose (which is basically plant fibers). This toilet paper is your best option in toilets prone to clogging.
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