DIY Drano for Toilets

By Rachel Tiemeyer
February 1, 2021

It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano for toilets really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick several different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets–no pun intended.)

DIY Drano for toilets

Why I Love this Home Remedy for Unclogging Toilets

Let me tell you, I was one happy homeowner upon discovering this simple, cheap, and safe DIY Drano solution!  That’s because a plumber visit costs at least $150 and Drano and Liquid Plumbr scare the snot out of me.  Seriously, listen to the warnings from the Liquid Plumbr company itself about the dangers of its product:

“…Never use Liquid-Plumr with other drain-cleaning products. The bleach contained in Liquid-Plumr can react with other chemicals, such as ammonia, to create toxic vapors. Also, use of a plunger can be dangerous, as the product can damage skin, eyes and mucus membranes on contact…Handling lye in any form can cause chemical burns and skin damage, and ingesting it can result in permanent injury or death.”

Do I want a chemical compound like that in my house, near my babies, in our water system?  No spanks.

The best part, besides the fact that this all-natural DIY Drano for toilets actually works, is that it only requires two CHEAP ingredients out of my kitchen cabinets and perhaps a pot of boiling water. I know you’re curious now.

My Test Results of This Home Remedy for Unclogging Toilets

Original Test Results from May 2013: The toilet was VERY clogged, as usual. I tossed in the DIY Drano and let it sit for a couple of hours.  When I returned, the standing water was gone and the toilet flushed right away! 

However, the first time I used this recipe, I had to let the concoction sit overnight in the toilet.  After a good plunging, it began to work a little better.  I used the DIY Drano one more time, and after a few hours, the toilet was completely unclogged.

Since my original test years ago, I’ve used this recipe countless times to unclog my toilets. You can see from all the comments that it’s worked for many other people, too!

Can You Use Drano in a Toilet?

One question I originally asked was “Will store-bought Drano unclog a toilet?” (This also happens to be why I ended up making my own homemade version!) It turns out that the manufacturer, SC Johnson, doesn’t recommend using Drano in a toilet. Not only will it act very slowly on tough clogs, if it all, but it will be dangerous if you decide to try to plunge it later. If you splash the Drano on you while plunging, it could harm your eyes or skin. So, please do not use the store-bought Drano in your toilets. Just use my safe, all-natural drano recipe that works!

All-Natural DIY Drano Recipe


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 gallon boiling water (optional)


1) Into a clogged toilet filled with standing water, dump 1 cup of baking soda.  Let it sink to the bottom.

2) If the toilet doesn’t have much water, add 1 gallon of boiling water to really get things moving.

3) Next, add 2 cups of vinegar slowly, so it won’t fizz over onto your floor.  Ickkk!

4) Let it sit for a couple of hours and see if the water has drained.  If it has drained, then try flushing. If it has not drained, then do this…

What If My Toilet Is Still Clogged After Using the DIY Drano?

Do not fear! Just let it sit overnight and then plunge, if needed, before flushing. If that still doesn’t work, you may have add more of the solution, let it sit again, and plunge again.

Now, if it still doesn’t work after a few tries, then call a plumber. Years ago, one of my kids flushed a toothbrush unbeknownst to me and it was the issue. No amount of DIY Drano was going to fix that problem!

Is This DIY Drano Safe to Use in Sinks?

From my research, it sounds like this recipe is safe and effective to use in kitchen and bathroom sinks and drains, as well.  One tip I read was to hold something over the opening of the drain so the fizz goes down it instead of back up and out.  Obviously, I didn’t do this for my toilet!

May the toilet unclogging force be with you next time you give this DIY Drano a try!

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93 replies
  1. Alexandrea Torres says:

    My Dad shared this with me years ago,When he came to visit once and saved us from calling a plumber.Worked like a charm.I sure miss him:/ Rest Easy pop’s

  2. Rebecca says:

    For anyone reading……do NOT put boiling water in your toilet. Use HOT, but not boiling, as it can CRACK the porcelain bowl.

  3. Patricia says:

    My son seems to clogged the toilet up every time he goes number 2. Eventually they have to remove the toilet and clean the hole out consisting of number 2 and paper but mainly 2 how can I prevent this from happening all the time. I tell him to courtesy flush, he says he does but I really do not know. And plunging isn’t working snaking isn’t working. We use to do the dawn and boiling water now it seems not to work either. We are using this recipe now. But is there a preventive for this issue. His step dad is not very happy when he has to clean that Number two out of the toilet drain in the floor.

  4. sally says:

    Trying this now! wish me luck!
    I have a toilet clogged for like 3 days. every time I flushed it seemed to only get worse. with the stay at home orders i did not want anyone walking through my house so i went looking for DIY substitutes. Sa this and decided to try since i have all the stuff in my pantry.
    Poured in the baking soda and the hot water a few minutes later. Waited like 5 minutes and then poured in the vinegar. Fingers crossed it works. will update as i progress

  5. Iiz says:

    About a year ago I had such a bad backup in my studio that my landlord had to call a plumber to come in. Now with this shelter in place happening, I knew I didn’t want to have anyone try and come and fix my toilet. So I used your mixture and waited for about 3 hours. I noticed the water level had decreased immensely. After plunging, it was able to flush! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  6. Cortaiga Collins says:

    Thank you for this tip. I wish I had read this before I spent $600 replacing my toilet. I used the same ingredients to clean my oven and it worked like magic.

  7. Margie Ann Collins says:

    We are trying this tonight! Sounds like a winning combination of ingredients, and I”m an old disabled SSGT USAF Vietnam Era Pharmacy Technician 1972-1982. ssgtannie

  8. Elaine says:

    I am sooooo grateful that I found your website. I put the DIY Drano yesterday and waited for two hours, then the toilet flush beautifully. The best part is it is cheap, environmental friendly and effective. A big thank you again 🙂

    • Jack says:

      Help! I try dishwashing detergent and heaps of it too with warm water. I’m sure the residue still there. Also try baking soda and vinegar but water does not seem to go down and gunky mess gone darker. I fear overflowing I don’t know what to do!

  9. Arlene says:

    Oh my gosh. Am I glad that I googled you!! Living beyond city limits, we have an independent sewage system. This morning we heard gurgling in the sink drains and the toilets wouldn’t flush. We knew we weren’t due to have our tank emptied but plunging wasn’t working. So I happened on this DIY site and we tried the soda and vinegar method. Voila! Thank you thank you thank you!

  10. Lin says:

    I was quite skeptical but it really worked! So happy i didn’t have to call an expensive plumber. And even better, i didn’t need to pour harmful chemicals into my toilet system and into the environment. A true Win Win!

  11. sycamore says:

    I have to leave a comment here to let you know that It really helped me! It works! I tried twice though. Probably it’s not enough baking powder i put in the toilet the first time. But then I poured the rest of the baking powder in it and waited longer. And away it drained! Thank you so much!!

  12. Ann says:

    Omg! You are my HERO!!! That worked like a charm. I can’t thank you enough. I wish you were here and I would give you a huge hug. You have no idea how awful this was almost a week with no functioning toilet. Thank you a million times over. There is so much other stress this was almost the last straw. I’m bookmarking this.

  13. Marge says:

    Today, 6/17/18, I had a smaller female pad trapped in my plumbing. I tried your DIY Drano Recipe with Baking Soda, Hot Water, and White Vinegar. It worked! My toilet is working again! Thank you so much for your help!

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    I hope this works it is 2:30 in the morning and my toilet is clogged I sure hope this work as I need a working toilet. Soap thing did not work when I started at 1 am didn’t want to wake up the matience team to my building. Oh and I so need to get a plunger in the morning off to bed

  15. Jillian says:

    I tried it last night. To be honest, it really seemed that the baking soda made the blockage significantly worse. Toilet is still flushing, but a lot slower than it was. Some baking soda is still sitting in the bottom of the toilet

      • Camille says:

        Our toilet has been blocked for 5 days. The thought of a plumber was not even one I would consider. I found this DIY option and being a great fan of bicarbonate and vinegar as a cleaner thought I’d give it a go. This toilet was so blocked it was just disgusting. It still filled with water from the cistern but it just filled up the bowl and slowly the water would drain but nothing else went away. SO! This arvo after googling, I happened upon your formula. I sprinkled a very generous amount of bicarbonate in the bowl then added a jug full of water which I’d boiled but cooled with tap water. It was NOT boiling water but it was hot. After several hours the water had drained but all the junk was still there so I added the vinegar SLOWLY and let it react with the bicarbonate that was still there in spots. The bubbling effect happened and once the bubbling stopped I flushed and VOILA!! It flushed all the problem away. Seriously. I had been sweating on this disgusting mess for days and as simply as that my problem is no longer. And my toilet is as clean as a whistle. THANK YOU ? ????

    • Jessica Danielle Cain says:

      Use some white vinegar to clear the baking soda. If the Baking soda is just sitting you did not use enough vinegar to make it fizz and “wash” away.

  16. Janet Akers says:

    Wow! We were about to bite the bullet to call a plumber after reading we shouldn’t use drano to unclog our toilet which had been clogged for days after plunging and using a toilet auger to fix it. When I found this DIY recipe, I had to try it. After doing it once, it made more progress than anything else so I did it again and let it set for a few hours. Thank you thank you thank you! It worked miraculously and saved our sanity and lots of money we were about to spend on a plumber.

  17. Shawna L Zurmely says:

    My toilet was clogged so badly that the tank wasn’t even filling with water. I tried plunging but it made it worse. I found this DIY and within minutes had a working toilet… and it did a decent cleaning job in the meantime. I’m a single mom and a plumber is not an expense I was excited about. I did use hot (not boiling) water and then held a trash can over the drain. SO HAPPY this worked! Thank-you!

  18. Ronalyn Hurley says:

    I looked up how to unclog a toilet when a plunger won’t work and found your site. I’m trying the method you described and am waiting 2 hours before I check on it. If necessary, I’ll use baking soda and vinegar again and let it sit overnight. I feel the same way you do about Drano and other similar products so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will work. I’ll post an update.

  19. Joe says:

    Bought some Drano for a stopped up commode . But first I read this article .
    WOW …….magic . Followed directions , let sit 5 hours ……done !
    Thanks so much ?

  20. Jen says:

    This was a life saver for me! I payed $350 the last time this happened and it was a disgusting mess as both toilets and showers backed up. This time, we caught it early, used the baking soda, boiling water, vinegar and a good squirt of Dawn dish washing liquid and woke up to unclogged toilet!! yeah!! thank you!!

  21. Urmi says:

    Oh!! Finally!! Thank God I found this blog!! Recently we moved to a house which is pretty old..the toilet got clogged and tried every possible way to unclog. The plunger and all those expensive drainer everything failed . Finally a cup of baking soda and vinegar did the magic!! So relived!! Thanks Polly n Rachel!!

  22. Jack says:

    ​I highly recommend Drain-FX. I heard about it on the Gary Sullivan show. I cleared my drains without having to use any chemicals! I had to buy it online but it was well worth it!

  23. Elcene says:

    Hello! And a big THANK YOU to everyone who chimed in!!! I clog our toilets all the time, :'( I’ve tried snaking it. Didn’t work. Finally had to remove the toilet. The clog was small and attached right where the toilet and wax ring connect. Weird. Anyway, the other toilet was clog not 15 minutes ago. After reading all replies, I went with what I had on hand: Arm & Hammer laundry soda, Dawn dish soap, and hot-not boiling- water. I poured about a cup of the soda, a couple of squirts of Dawn and then the hot water. I had to plunge about five times, and whoosh! Clog is ALL gone. I flashed a few more times, just to be sure. Then I put a few more squirts of Dawn in the bowl and scrubbed it thoroughly 😉
    I LOVE Dawn and A&H-soda, both versions, cooking and laundry.
    Thank you all again soooooo much!

  24. Ted Mittelstaedt says:

    baking soda is 9 on the PH scale, lye (drain opener) is 12 on the ph scale. When drain opener is mixed with standing water in the drain it’s PH drops, and so a lot of baking soda could possibly have the same ph in the pipes as a little drain opener.

    Both are chemicals and one is not better than the other. Both will react with organics in the pipe until their PH is neutral, and both are dealt with by commercial sewage treatment plants.

    Boiling water down the commode could possibly melt the wax sealing ring at the base of the toilet and cause a leak. A toilet snake will work much better on a toilet that won’t unclog with a plunger than drain opener or baking soda.

  25. Nad_da'Dad says:

    I have had read re this DIY technique elsewhere some time ago, and tried. It worked great. I used it again today and, shezzzaaaam, worked right away. Didn’t even have to add vinegar. Just a cup of baking soda followed by a pale of hot water. Beats costly (and hazmat) solutions to the punch!

    For those with (a very valid) concern of sealants getting loose by boiling water, just pour hot water collected from your sink or tub faucet. It doesn’t need to be actually boiling, per se, just hot enough to dissolve caked baking soda, and to break loose organic waste jammed down the porcelain drain.

  26. Kara says:

    I have tried the product called ‘Toilet Treatment Pro’ on Amazon and I was impressed that it’s very easy to use and solved my toilet clog problems. I first wasn’t sure if it would work. However, surprisingly, it worked pretty well. Anyway, the seller claimed that it is an all-natural product that has no chemicals, but enzymes from microorganisms to digest the organic objects that clog toilets. So, it takes time to unclog toilets. For my situation, I poured the product into my toilet, flushed it once, and left it there for a couple hours. Then, I flushed it again. The clog was gone after 2 hours. I would recommend that you all try this when you have clogged toilets next time. I hope my experience and information help you all have one more alternative to fight the clogged toilets.

  27. JR in WV says:

    I’ve always used the boiling water with Dawn dish soap in it. I fill a giant stock pot with hot water, and bring it to a rolling boil. Then I turn off the gas, add a big squeeze of Dawn, and take the whole mess to the bathroom. Pour it all in all at once. If it goes down right away, you’re done, if it flushes well. If not, I’ve done this repeatedly up to 3 times.

    I’m gonna try the soda and vinegar next time, though, because carrying that multi-gallon pot of nearly boiling soapy water from themitchen to the bathroom is scary.

  28. Samantha says:

    Hi. Just wanted to share my experience. I had plunged so much the water was moving very slowly but still clogged. I had tried what other sites say works wonders: dish washing soap & hot water. That didn’t do anything. So due to reading the bad comment above I was cautious & only used 1/2 the recipe you provided. I waited over night, plunged a little in the morning, and it worked! Thank you so much for this recipe! Must be the pressure buildup makes things unstuck. Just wanted to thank you & let you know it worked with half too.

  29. ekta says:

    Hello Rachel,

    I gave a try to your suggestion to declogg the toilet (clogged due to lots of tissue paper). Didn;t see much result. Should I gave it more shot? will it be safe to do it again.

    Thanks for your help!

  30. Erin Joy says:

    In one of the more terrifying moments of my life, I woke up with a big black spider in my bed. Screaming nonsense, I grabbed a fistful of paper towel, closed my eyes and took several lunging grabs at the eight-legged offender. When I felt brave enough, I picked up the paper towel, saw a leg start to move and folded the towel in on itself. Desperately avoiding the feeling of actually squishing the spider, I ran in a crazed fit trying to figure out what to do as the spider frantically tried to free itself of its Bounty prison. So I did the first thing I could think of – which was, unfortunately to triumphantly throw the wad of paper towel and arachnid into the toilet.
    In a premature sense of triumph, I flushed the toilet, cursing the monster as he swirled to his watery grave.
    If only this were the end of the story.
    In his last attempt to terrify me and ruin my morning, the toilet is now clogged.

    I am assuming that most people are using this method to unclog a toilet of human waste, and I was wondering if you knew if I would have any luck using this recipe on a toilet clogged with about three sheets of paper towel (and a terrible, disgusting spider).

    Either way, I’m still making it for my bathroom sink! Thank you in advance!
    -Erin Joy

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Erin,
      This is hilarious (sorry to laugh about your terror, but the way you wrote it cracked me up). This is probably too late (sorry we were out of town), but this recipe has worked on the mounds of toilet paper my kids have used. So, I’m guessing it couldn’t hurt to try it on paper towels before calling the plumber. The thing I’ve learned after using it many times is that you have to be patient. Sometimes, I let it sit overnight. You’ll know it’s time to try a flush when the water level finally goes way down (leaving room for a flush). A few times it’s taken a couple of rounds, but every time it works so far! Good luck!

  31. Lisa says:

    So I tried this remedy on a toilet that wouldn’t go down. We had tried the plunging, no good, just got higher, scooped the water out, turned off the water at the wall, added my ingredients as told and left the room. An hour or so latter my son had me come look at all the black stuff EVERYWHERE! It had blown out of my toilet hit the walls and gone all over my floors, (which I had used 8 towels on already from it flooding over.) I had blown all the water out of the toilet onto the floors, soaking thru my hardwood floors, with this ash like looking stuff left on my floors. My toilet bowl looked like you had dumped ashes in it. I’m not trying this one again.. Beware if you try it!!

    • Rachel says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that! That’s awful. We just used this again this past week and it worked like a charm. I let it sit over night. Then, plunged. Didn’t work. Added another round and let it sit for one hour. Plunged and it worked. Do you think a kid flushed it by accident?

    • Roxanna Stone says:

      It sounds like you have some pipe issues that could possibly be caused by earth, roots having penetrated them, or a break somewhere. I manage rentals and in one very new home the plumber pulled out a huge 4′ long mangle of root out of the toilet. I highly recommend having your toilet snaked to check it. Vinegar and baking soda cannot cause the dark matter you describe, and act essentially like alka seltzer together to unclog drains and toilets. I am sorry you went through such a mess. For the home we pulled the root from the toilet on, the neighbors tree was the culprit.

  32. Mare says:

    This works amazingly well in any drain! It seems that when the toilet runs slow and a plunger won’t work it’s because the clog is way down deep in the pipes.

    After we had a big party at our house both toilets were running slow. Even the shower stopped draining and water was backing up into the other bathtub! Plunging the shower drain didn’t help. So I poured the baking soda and vinegar down the shower drain and plunged some more. It didn’t seem to be helping but a few minutes later I heard the clogged toilet gurgle and drain. The shower and backed up bathtub drained too! Baking soda and vinegar fixed everything and was way cheaper than any declogger. Thanks!

    • Sally says:

      I’m about to get the vinegar and baking soda and try this. Right now my toilet won’t flush, but when you plunge it, the water goes down. Must be a partial block way down in it. Crossing my fingers that this works!

    • Rachel says:

      I’ve done it a few times (adding it to the already standing water in there) and had no problem. It mixes with the other water and isn’t boiling at that point. Be careful, though, that you don’t burn yourself!