Most toilet paper clogs will dissolve on their own. High-quality toilet papers are designed to dissolve in water, which helps prevent clogs and makes wastewater treatment easier. If your toilet is clogged with toilet paper, wait at least 30 minutes before attempting to flush again. This provides enough time for water to break down most types of toilet paper. If the toilet paper is slow to dissolve or there is an exceptionally large clog, it may take up to an hour for the clog to dissolve.
Table of Contents
How Long Does it Take for Toilet Paper to Completely Dissolve?
Good toilet paper dissolves 10 to 20 minutes after it is immersed in water. However, this amount of time may not be enough for a clog to totally dissolve. A large mass of thick toilet paper can take much longer to dissolve—sometimes up to 1 hour. So, remain patient if your toilet is clogged with toilet paper. Allow time for water to penetrate the wad of toilet paper, to help break it up.
- Some toilet papers dissolve in water in 10 minutes.
- If your toilet is clogged with toilet paper, allow 30–60 minutes for water to break down the clog in the pipes.
- After waiting for toilet paper to break down, flush the toilet to see if it drains properly.
If you are dealing with a nasty toilet paper clog, do not immediately reach for the plunger. Instead, give it time. Wait for 30 to 60 minutes for the water to dissolve the toilet paper, then attempt to flush again. In a lot of cases, this will be enough to totally clear a toilet paper clog.
Can You Make Toilet Paper Clogs Dissolve Faster?
There are some very effective ways to dissolve toilet paper clogs. You can pour a septic tank treatment into the toilet bowl to speed up the process and dissolve stubborn clogs. This is our number one solution because it is safe for all plumbing and septic tanks, and it breaks up toilet paper quickly.
- This septic treatment speeds up toilet paper breakdown and is safe for all plumbing.
- Some household cleaners can also help dissolve toilet paper.
- Other household cleaners—such as bleach—are not useful for dissolving toilet paper and may damage your plumbing.
If you don’t have a septic treatment handy to dissolve toilet paper, you may be tempted to use household products for the job. This solution can be hit-or-miss, and some chemicals can damage plumbing without helping to dissolve the clog. For that reason, we have made a list of chemicals that can dissolve toilet paper clogs. We also point out which common household remedies won’t help dissolve the clog.
Do All Toilet Paper Clogs Dissolve?
Not all toilet paper clogs will dissolve on their own. If the toilet paper is extremely thick, low quality, or there is a large mass of it in the pipes, it may fail to dissolve. Additionally, waste and other obstructions in the pipes can block up your sewer line. This will prevent the toilet from draining even if the toilet paper dissolves.
- Most toilet paper clogs will dissolve on their own, if given time.
- In some cases, toilet paper clogs will not dissolve.
- Poor quality toilet paper and other objects in the drain pipe can cause clogs to resist dissolving.
- Use fast-dissolving toilet paper to prevent clogs.
To prevent toilet paper clogs—or make sure any clogs dissolve quickly—choose the right type of toilet paper. Rapid-dissolving toilet paper is a great choice if you are living in a home with old plumbing or if you have a septic system. The right toilet paper can make the difference between frustrating clogs and a smoothly flowing-toilet drain.
What Should You Do if a Toilet Paper Clog Won’t Dissolve?
If a toilet paper clog does not dissolve on its own or with help from a chemical dissolver, it’s time to break out the clog-busting tools. Start by attempting to break up the clog with a plunger. In many cases, plunging creates enough force to destroy clogs made from toilet paper.
- Start by waiting 30–60 minutes to see if the clog dissolves on its own.
- Use drain-safe chemicals to help break up the clog.
- Try forcing the clog through the pipes with a plunger.
- Feed this toilet auger into the drain and remove the wad of toilet paper.
- Call a professional plumber if your other attempts fail.
If plunging doesn’t work, use a toilet auger (sometimes called a snake). Feed the auger into the toilet drain and through the bends in the pipe. Once the auger hits an obstruction, rotate the handle to snag the wad of toilet paper and pull it out. This will clear the clog and allow your toilet to drain. In the event none of these methods work, it’s time to call a licensed plumber to fix your clogged toilet.
Will Toilet Paper Dissolve in a Clogged Toilet?
When dealing with a toilet clogged by toilet paper, keep these facts in mind:
- Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water over time.
- Good toilet paper can dissolve in water after as little as 10 minutes.
- Wait 30–60 minutes for water to dissolve the clog, then attempt to flush the toilet.
- If the clog remains in place even after waiting 60 minutes, then it is a serious clog.
- Use septic treatment chemicals to help dissolve toilet paper.
- If the clog still refuses to dissolve, remove it with a plunger or toilet auger.
- Call a plumber if you cannot clear a toilet clog through other means.
The good news is, toilet paper clogs typically fix themselves if given time. To prevent clogs from getting worse, do not use a clogged toilet. Additionally, never flush anything other than toilet paper and human waste. Other paper products will not dissolve, so they can cause hazardous clogs.