How to Use Lye in Toilets

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Lye is used to clean and unclog drains, including those in toilets.

Lye is a strong alkaline solution made from sodium or potassium hydroxide. It is used in soapmaking and for cleaning and opening drains. If your toilet becomes clogged, sprinkling a small amount of lye in the toilet will help unclog it. Before using lye, carefully read the manufacturer's instructions for use of the product.

Step 1

Place a plunger in the toilet. Push down on the toilet to try to unplug or unclog the toilet.

Step 2

Add the appropriate amount of lye into the toilet, following the manufacturer's directions. Wait the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 3

Flush the toilet. If the toilet flushes normally, the drain is cleared. If the toilet does not drain, or is slow draining, repeat Step 2. Never plunge or snake a drain once chemicals have been added.

references & resources

Kallie Johnson

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.