Will a Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?

Not many things in life evoke a sense of  horror like flushing the toilet only to see the water level start to rise instead of fall. 

 But what do you do when you have a toilet clog and the plunger just isn’t doing it’s job? Or worse you realize that there isn’t a plunger available?

Before you freak out and call a plumber there is a good chance the clog will resolve itself over time. Let’s take a deeper look and find out how long it will take for a toilet to unclog itself 

Will a clogged toilet eventually unclog itself?

A clogged toilet will usually unclog itself over time if you wait long enough. Most things that clog a toilet are water-soluble which means they will eventually dissolve in the toilet water. When the clog is given enough time to break down, the pressure of a flush should be enough to clear the pipes.

How long will it take for a toilet to unclog itself?

If normal materials like toilet paper and feces clog your toilet, your toilet will eventually unclog itself. It can take as little as an hour for the unclogging to happen or as long as 24 hours.

Is it OK to leave a toilet clogged overnight?

If you have a second bathroom that you can use, then yes leaving a clog overnight is fine. If you only have one toilet in your home, you should strongly consider alternative methods for getting out the clog. 

Will toilet unclog overnight?

You can wait and see if the clog works itself out in time. If you have another toilet you can use, let the clogged one set overnight. The water pressure that builds up in the bowl might actually cause the toilet to unclog itself. After a day’s wait, flush the toilet again.

There are 2 main things to consider when trying decide if you should leave the clog to resolve itself on its own or take matters into your own hands and continue to put some elbow grease into the situation:

  1. What is clogging the toilet?

If its just pee, poo and toilet paper then you are most likely golden. 

These materials will break down on their own in as little as an hour. The cheaper the toilet paper the faster it will degrade. This is actually a good time to have cheap one ply rather than the more expensive thick toilet paper. 

However if the clog is caused by wipes, feminine products, thick paper towels or something else that is not pee, poo or toilet paper then you will likely need to continue on your quest to unclog. 

2. How big is the clog?

If the clog is relatively minor or just partially clogged then there is a good chance it may dissolve on its own. Feel free it wait and see. 

If the clog is large, there is water flowing over the sides of the bowl and there seems to be more paper than water. Trudge on and try a different method of unclogging the commode. This clog probably won’t go away on it’s own. See below for instructions on how to unclog a toilet with hot water and dish soap.

If you clog the bathroom at someone else’s home then definitely do not “just leave it” to dissolve. You need to inform the home owner and deal with it. Leaving them with a nasty surprise is a surefire way to turn a friend into an enemy.

White toilet in bathroom with brick floor

Should I keep flushing a clogged toilet?

The most important thing you can do in this situation is not to flush a second time. Forcing the toilet to flush again releases gallons of water into the toilet bowl and will cause an overflow. A second flush will only create another disaster, in addition your current problem. Remember: don’t flush again!

How do you tell if a toilet is unclogged without flushing?

Check water level in toilet bowl
Listen for a gurgling sound from the drain (a good sign) and check the water level in the toilet bowl. If nearly all the water drained from the bowl, then you’ve probably cleared the clog.

How do professionals unclog a toilet?

In case the matter is more serious plungers do not work anymore and at this point of time plumbers come up with a much stronger instrument known as the toilet auger or toilet snake. This is a cable-like tool that plumbers twist in deep into the toilet to the clog. This is a kind of device to loosen the clog.

How much will it cost for a plumber to unclog my toilet?

The national average cost to unclog a toilet is $200 to $700, with most people spending about $350 for a plumber to use an electric auger to clear the toilet drain clog and test the system. This project’s low cost is $100 for a simple drain snaking or professional chemical treatment by a plumber.

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap and water

Time needed: 1 hour

How to unclog a toilet with dish soap and hot water

  1. Fill up a bucket with hot water

    Make sure the water is as hot as it can get without boiling. Pour it into the bowl so that the bowl is full but not overflowing.

  2. Pour dish soap into the toilet bowl

    Grab a bottle of dish soap from the kitchen and pour about one cup into the toilet.

  3. Wait

    Leave the soap for about 15 minutes. Once the water level starts to go down add more hot water.

  4. Plunge if possible

    If you have a plunger, gently plunge the toilet to try to loosen the clog.

  5. Repeat

    This is not a quick fix. It may take up to an hour for the toilet to unclog with this method. Keep adding more dish soap and hot water until the clog is cleared.


Why does it work?

The soap adds a bit of ”slip” and helps things slide down. The hot water helps break down the paper and other things in the toilet and helps the soap slide down even more.

Can I use any kind of dish soap?

Yes, any brand will work.

What if I don’t have dish soap?

Try shampoo, body wash or any kind of hand soap you have.

Can I pour boiling water down the toilet?

No! besides the risk of burning yourself you may also ruin the pipes if they are made of plastic.

Adrienne Carrie Hubbard
Latest posts by Adrienne Carrie Hubbard (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *