The best way to dissolve toilet paper clogged in a sewer line is with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as this creates a reaction that clears the clogged pipes. Make sure to remove as much water from the toilet as possible to prevent it from overflowing.
Leaving your sewer line clogged with toilet paper for a long time can lead to unpleasant odors oozing from your drain. Although a sewer line clogged with toilet paper will eventually dissolve itself, this can take a very long time. This article will teach you six easy methods to dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line.
Using A Toilet Plunger
A toilet plunger is a common household tool that can help push clogged toilet paper for those who don’t want to handle chemicals. Note that there are different plungers, so getting the right plunger for the job is important.
The most basic plunger type is the cup plunger, but the accordion plunger, sink plunger, etc. A toilet plunger is a household tool with a rubber suction cup. When you use a toilet plunger in your sewer line, the suction cup alters the pressure in the drain, which dislodges the clogged toilet paper.
The steps below explain how to use a toilet plunger to dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line:
- Toilet plunger
- Turn off the water supply to the toilet if it is overflowing or close to overflowing, and clear out anything stored in the area.
- Open the toilet, sit and insert the plunger into the toilet, so it covers the outlet of the bottom of the bowl.
- Position the plunger at an angle to fill with as much water as possible. Don’t position the plunger straight down, as the cup will trap air that can be compressed more than water.
- Fit the cup over the drain hole, so the flange forms a complete seal over the hole.
- Grip the plunger with both hands and push down on the cup forcefully. The goal is to create a rapid alternative force of suction and compression to loosen the clog.
Using A Toilet Snake Auger
A plunger may not get the job done if the clog is too big. In such cases, you may need to use a toilet snake auger. As the name implies, a toilet snake is a long flexible cord.
The end of the toilet snake line is a sharp hook or auger that breaks up clogs. Also, some toilet snake lines come with a handle; it makes feeding it into the drain a lot easier. The steps below explain how to use a toilet snake auger to dissolve toilet paper:
- Long toilet snake auger
- Find the location on the drain with the clog.
- From the clog, find the closest access to the drain.
- Open the access to the drain and feed the snake line down the drain
- Apply enough pressure to feed the snake down the drain till you feel clogged, but don’t overdo it as the sharp auger can damage the pipe.
- Twist the snake to break the clog to pieces. When the clog breaks, you will notice the water level in the drain will reduce.
- Pull the snake line out and push it back in, further breaking the clog.
- Repeat the process until all the clog has broken down.
- Flush the drain several times to further push down the broken toilet paper into the mainline or septic tank.
Using Epsom salt
Epsom is a mineral salt known for its exfoliating and softening properties. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is responsible for its softening action. Epsom salt is not a harsh chemical, so using it will not corrode your pipes or leave you worrying about damaging your septic tank.
Apart from this, you can combine Epsom salt with other reagents like vinegar. The step below explains how to use Epsom salt to dissolve toilet paper:
- Epsom salt
- Foam or sponge
- As usual, first, locate the area of the clog
- Get as much water out of the drain as you can using foam.
- Pour a cup of Epsom salt down the drain and let it sit in the clogged area.
- The magnesium sulfate in the Epsom will react with the toilet paper in the drain creating a fizzy reaction. The longer you let the Epsom salt sit in the drain, the more toilet paper it will react with.
- After a while, all the Epsom salt will have completely reacted and will no longer create a fizzy reaction. Usually, it takes about 30 minutes for a cup of Epsom to react completely.
- If, after 30 minutes, the clog doesn’t clear up, add another cup of Epsom and let it react with the clog.
- When the water level starts reducing, know that the clog has dissolved, and you can flush the toilet to push the remaining toilet paper down to the mainline or septic tank.
Removing Clog With Dish Soap
If you don’t want to get your hands in the drain, dish soap is an easy way to dissolve clogged toilet paper. Pouring dish soap down the drain makes the drainpipe slippery, thus making it easier for clogged toilet paper to slide out easily.
Using dish soap in your drain can also serve as a preventive measure for toilet paper sticking to the drain wall in the future. The steps below explain how to use dish soap to dissolve toilet paper:
- Dish soap
- Find the section on the drain with the clog.
- Pour a generous amount of dish soap into the drain; about half a cup should suffice.
- Let the soap sit in the drain for about 20 to 30 minutes as the soap reacts with the clogged toilet paper.
- The soap will slowly soften and dissolve the toilet paper, sending it through the drain to the main or septic tank.
- If you have a plunger, you can use it to hasten how fast the toilet paper moves down the drain.
Using Vinegar And Baking Soda
Apart from using baking soda and vinegar for cooking, mixing them is a great remedy to free up clogged sewer lines. When you mix baking soda and vinegar, it causes a somewhat explosive reaction, forcing the clog down the sewer line into the mainline.
Vinegar contains an acid known as acetic acid. In contrast, baking soda contains the base sodium bicarbonate. So, when you combine these two items, it creates a fizzy reaction producing carbon dioxide gas. After the clog has cleared, it is recommended to flush the drain with water several times.
The steps below explain how to use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to dissolve toilet paper:
- Baking soda
- Foam or sponge
- Before pouring the vinegar and soda into your drain, remove as much water from the drain as you can with foam.
- Afterward, add one part baking soda and one part vinegar into the drain and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes.
- An effervescing reaction will begin, which will release the clog after a while.
- When the clog has been cleared, flush the drain several times to push any remaining tiny particles down to the mainline.
Using chemical additive
To dissolve toilet paper with chemical additives, be cautious as some chemical additives are very harsh. So, before you pour the chemical additive down your drain, check the label to ensure it is septic tank safe.
While using different chemical additives to dissolve toilet paper is slightly different, please read the instructions that come with it to learn more.
- Chemical additives such as Dihydrogen monoxide or RID-X
- Depending on the chemical additive type, if it is liquid, pour it down your drain, but if it is powdered, then mix it with water first.
- Allow the chemical additive to sit in the area of the toilet paper clog for a couple of minutes, as recommended by the manufacturer.
- After that, flush the drain a couple of times to push the clog from the drain.
FAQs on How To Dissolve Toilet Paper In A Sewer Line
Can you flush a toilet paper roll?
Ideally, the only thing you should flush down your toilet should be pee, poop, vomit, and toilet paper. Though paper towels and napkins are close substitutes to toilet paper, it is not recommended to flush them.
How much is toilet paper too much to flush?
Any professional will tell you that flushing anything more than 4 to 8 squares of toilet paper down your drain will clog it. If you need to use more than this for any reason, don’t flush it all at once.
Will bleach dissolve toilet paper?
There’s a misconception that bleach dissolves toilet paper, but it doesn’t. As a rule, toilet paper dissolve is a highly acidic solution, but bleach has very low acidity.