Unclogging a toilet is something that no one looks forward to, isn’t it? But toilets invariably clog, and at the most inconvenient times! Thankfully, there are several household items that you can use to unclog a toilet, and the simplest of them is good old salt!
To unclog your toilet with salt, combine a cup of baking soda with a cup of salt, pour the mixture directly into the toilet bowl, and mix. Add ten cups of hot water to the bowl and let the mixture sit for at least eight hours. Once you let it sit, pour another ten cups of hot water and flush.
Although the method is simple, it is quite effective. But do you know that you can use rock salt and Epsom salt to unclog your toilet? Let’s dig deep and understand how salt helps to break up the clog and how to use it properly to unclog your toilet.
How to Fix a Clogged Toilet with Salt?
If you are someone like me who hates flushing harsh and potentially toxic chemicals down the toilet to unclog it, then you would appreciate how simple salt can get the job done. You can use salt alone or other household items like baking soda to resolve even the toughest clogs.
Salt is a cheap, environmentally friendly, and easy way to fix clogging problems, and it’s no surprise that many plumbers also recommend it as a potential solution.
You can unclog your toilet with table salt, rock salt, and even Epsom salt. Here is how you can do it-
Unclogging Toilet with Table Salt
Table salt, or sodium chloride, is a safe and effective method to unclog your toilet and prevent clogs from forming in the future. Here is a stepwise guide to clearing your toilet with table salt-
Step 1: Prepare a dry mixture of one cup of salt and one cup of baking soda in a container.
Step 2: Pour this mixture into the toilet bowl and stir it to get everything mixed up.
Step 3: Add six to ten cups of hot water to the bowl while avoiding splashing. Make sure that you are using hot, not boiling water.
Step 4: Let the mixture of baking soda, salt, and hot water sit in the bowl for at least eight hours, preferably overnight.
Step 5: Once the waiting period is over, use a plunger to loosen the clog and pour an additional six to ten cups of hot water before activating the flush.
That’s it! If you follow the steps outlined above, you should be able to unclog your toilet without using strong chemicals or calling a plumber.
How Does the Salt Unclog Your Toilet?
The combination of salt, baking soda, and hot water creates an abrasive mixture that can break and dissolve the clog. Although it might take some time, the combination can work wonders and is worth a try.
Pro tip: Rock salt can also be a great alternative to table salt. As rock salt is much more abrasive than table salt, it does not have to be combined with baking soda, and you can use it alone.
Unclogging Toilet with Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a natural mineral consisting of salts of magnesium and sulfur. Epsom works by breaking down and dislodging biodegradable clogs like those due to toilet paper. It can also clear any scales formed on the inside of drainage pipes as well.
Like table salt, you can combine Epsom salts with other ingredients like vinegar and baking soda to increase its effectiveness. Here are instructions on using Epsom salt to unclog your toilet-
Step 1: Measure out a cup of Epsom salt and pour it into the toilet bowl. Don’t be alarmed if you see some fizzy reaction in the bowl once you put the Epsom into the water. The magnesium sulfate reacts with water to produce this fizzy reaction that aids in clearing the clog faster.
Step 2: Let the Epsom salt do its thing for an hour or so and flush the toilet as usual.
Step 3: Your toilet should be unclogged now.
Epsom salt is easy to obtain; you can buy it from any home improvement store.
Why Should You Use Salt to Unclog Your Toilet?
Why should you use salt if so many unclogging agents are on the market? Why not get the best, most powerful unclogging product and be done with it? Well, here is why-
- The commercial unclogging agents are full of harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment and can do a number on your plumbing. The chemicals in these agents gradually corrode the plumbing and cause leakages and other problems after prolonged usage. Salt, on the other hand, is perfectly natural and nontoxic.
- While most of the fancy unclogging products are expensive, salt is not. You can use as much salt as you need without considering how much it costs!
- Salt is also excellent at working with other agents like vinegar and baking soda to dislodge clogs. Most commercial products can’t be combined with other ingredients.
- Salt can not only help in unclogging your toilet, but its true utility lies in preventing the clogs from forming in the first place.
So, as you can see, it makes much more sense to use salt to unclog your toilet than other commercial products.
How Can Salt Help to Prevent Clogging Toilets?
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Preventing the clogs from forming is much better than resolving the issue when your toilet clogs. Here is a quick recipe using salt that can prevent your toilet from clogging.
Mix a cup of baking soda, salt, and a quarter cup of cream of tartar in a container and pour it into the toilet bowl. Let the mixture sit in the bowl for a couple of minutes before flushing. Use this mixture every time you clean your toilet bowl to prevent clog formation.
Flushing the toilet with hot water can also prevent clogs. However, ensure that you are using hot and not boiling water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is salt bad for your plumbing?
Using salt alone or in combination with baking soda or vinegar to unclog your toilet is perfectly safe for your plumbing. There is no downside to using salt to unclog your toilet.
Can I use Epsom salt to unclog my toilet?
Absolutely! You can use Epsom salt to unclog your toilet. All you need to do is put a cup of Epsom salt into the toilet bowl, give it a minute to do its thing, and flush.
Can rock salt prevent tree roots from infiltrating your plumbing pipes?
Rock salt can prevent roots from infiltrating your plumbing pipes by drying them out. The method is most effective if the roots are still young and have not grown excessively into the lines.
The Bottom Line
Salt is a handy ingredient to unclog your toilet when you are in a pinch or don’t want to use harsh chemicals. It might take longer than commercial products, but it works. Besides, salt is available 24/7, making it one of the most accessible solutions to toilet clogs!
Amos Christen graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Drexel University — Philadelphia, PA. Since 2003, Amos has worked with top interior design professionals in this area, including architects and interior/graphic/lighting designers. As a skilled interior designer, Amos Christen is highly versed in fine arts and crafts and uses that to supplement his main area of expertise. He often publishes articles related to home décor on several websites, including Sprucetoilets.com, Sprucebathroom.com, and Mybesuitedhome.com. He also contributes to leading interior design magazines.