Toilet paper is specifically manufactured to dissolve and break up in water. That is, unless too much toilet paper has been stuffed into a small space, in which case it just becomes a gummy mess. When it comes time to dissolve toilet paper clogged up in a toilet drain, there are a couple of methods you can use to try and get your water moving again.
The safest options are using plungers and augers to clear the toilet paper and other clogs. Using strong chemicals to remove clogs can be hard on your plumbing and dangerous to your health. Some household items can help with clogs if you don't have those tools handy. If your DIY attempts don't get rid of the toilet paper clog, call a plumber to help.
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How to Dissolve Toilet Paper Clogs
Step 1: Stop Overflowing Water
Shut off the water supply valve to the toilet if the clog is so bad that the toilet is overflowing or getting close to overflowing. The shutoff valve is on the water line leading to the toilet, usually below the toilet tank. Turn the knob to shut off the water supply. This allows you to work on clearing the clog.
Step 2: Clear the Area
Clear out anything stored near the toilet, such as toilet paper holders, towels, and rugs. Dissolving toilet paper clogged in a toilet drain can become messy as the water can splash out of the toilet while you're trying to clear the toilet paper clog.
Step 3: Open the Toilet Seat
Open up the toilet seat and prop it up against the tank. This gives you complete access to the toilet bowl and gives you more space to work.
Step 4: Plunge the Toilet
Insert a plunger into the toilet so that it covers the outlet in the bottom of the bowl. You want it to cover the opening completely to get a good seal and offer effective suction. Press firmly up and down on the toilet plunger handle to move the plunger up and down and cause suction in the drain. You will know the toilet paper has been dissolved and you have unclogged the toilet when you remove the plunger and the bowl empties.
Step 5: Flush the Toilet
Flush the toilet to see if the paper has been dissolved. Try plunging it a few more times if the toilet paper doesn't clear the first time.
Step 6: Use an Auger
Use an auger, which is a useful tool for clearing deep clogs, to help dissolve the toilet paper in the drain. Augers are simply long pieces of wire or thinly shaped metal that are inserted into the toilet drain. They have small hooks or barbs on the end that can break up clogs and help separate the paper so that the water can dissolve the toilet paper. Feed the barbed end of the auger into the toilet and through the drain until it reaches the end of its length. If so equipped, turn the handle on the end of the auger to help break up the clog.
Step 7: Flush the Toilet
Flush the toilet to check that the paper has been dissolved. If not, run the auger through the drain again.
Step 8: Try Dish Soap
Squeeze about 1/4 cup of dish soap into your toilet bowl if you don't have a plunger or auger. Wait about five to 10 minutes, so the soap migrates down to the clog. Pour hot but not boiling water into the toilet and let it sit another five to 10 minutes. Try flushing the toilet to see if it moves the clog through the pipes.
Remove the Toilet
Remove the toilet from the floor as a last resort if you can't clear the clog and don't want to call a plumber. You don't usually need to remove the toilet for a toilet paper clog, but it might be necessary if a toy or something else gets flushed down the toilet. Flip the toilet over and inspect the pipe to look for the obstruction. You'll need a new wax ring to reinstall the toilet once you clear the clog.