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Drain Cleaners That Dissolve Toilet Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Not all drain cleaners are created equal, but most quality drain cleaners should dissolve toilet paper. However, drain cleaners contain lye and acids that are extremely toxic. Many manufacturers recommend that you use the entire bottle on one drain, and throw the bottle immediately in your dumpster or outside trash receptacle to avoid accidental consumption. It may be superfluous to use these heavy-duty drain cleaners if your drain is only clogged with toilet paper. Instead use safe drain cleaners from household ingredients.

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Baking Soda Cleaner

Baking soda has a variety of home uses. Its alkalinity makes it useful for dissolving items such as toilet paper. To remove toilet paper from your drain, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Boil a pot of water on the stove, and pour it down the same drain. The boiling water will increase the alkalinity of the baking soda and will dissolve the toilet paper. Use at least 3 cups of water at a time. Repeat the process if necessary.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar will react when combined to create bubbles and some fizzing. This fizzing will easily break down wadded up toilet paper that is stuck in your drain. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Combine 3 cups of water and 1 cup of white distilled vinegar. Boil them on the stove, and pour them immediately down the drain, which may cause some bubbles and fizz in your bathtub, but the solution will likely dissolve the toilet paper blockage.

Washing Soda

Washing soda is much like baking soda except that it is more alkaline, which makes it better at dissolving toilet paper in the drain. Washing soda is especially useful if the toilet paper has clogged the drain so much that the water will not drain. Pour the washing soda over the drain, and let it sit for several hours to give the washing soda time to soak through the drain and onto the toilet paper. Do not use washing soda if you've recently used an acid drain cleaner as the two could react and damage your pipes. Do not use washing soda if you have plastic pipes.

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About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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