How To Unclog A Toilet Clogged With Flushable Wipes

How To Unclog A Toilet Clogged With Flushable Wipes

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Have you been flushing baby wipes down your toilet? Even if the package claims that the wipes are flushable, this often isn’t the case.

Flushable wipes can get caught and build up in the drains, especially since they usually don’t degrade.

If you’re dealing with a clog, there are fortunately several ways to get rid of it. And if all else fails, professional help will be able to come to the rescue.

5 Ways to Unclog a Toilet Clogged with Flushable Wipes

1. Pull the Wipes out by Hand

Pull the Wipes out by Hand

Now, this solution might not sound very appealing. But it is one of the simplest and easiest ways to deal with a clog.

If the wipes are close enough, you can simply reach in and grab them.

This is especially helpful because it keeps you from forcing non-degradable matter through your pipes. It might prevent a more problematic clog later.

You might want to wear gloves if you do this. And of course, you should have a garbage bag on hand for the soggy wipes.

Plus you should be prepared to wash your hands very well!

This option is most viable if you can actually see the clog in the drain. But if you can’t see it, you can still give it a shot.

Push your hand into the drain as far as possible and see whether you touch the wipes in the trap.

All of this will be a lot easier to do if you turn off the water supply and drain the toilet first. Try sponging out the inside of the drain to get rid of the dampness.

You’ll make much less mess that way.

2. Use a Plunger

use a plunger

With most clogs, a plunger should be your go-to. In this case, it should be your second solution.

Since there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to remove the wipes using a plunger, you should try to fish them out by hand first.

Sometimes plungers will pull clogs out of your toilet. But it’s much more common for them to force objects further down the drain.

If you’ve made peace with that, you can continue on.

The toilet bowl must be slightly wet in order for the plunger to get a proper seal. Fit the rim around the drain.

When you push and pull it, the vacuum suction will cause the clog to be violently dislodged. Then you should hopefully be able to flush it.

If you hear the gurgling of water, that’s usually a sign of success. It means that the toilet is draining past the clog.

3. Use Hot Water and Dish Soap

use dish soap

Believe it or not, dish soap might be your friend in this situation.

Many people are tempted to use heavy-duty chemical cleaners in an attempt to dissolve the wipes. That’s not a good idea, since wipes are rarely broken down by harsh chemicals.

But dish soap works differently. It makes objects slippery by reducing water’s surface tension.

If your dish soap lubricates the clogged wipes, they might be able to slide down the pipes.

The first step is to pour dish soap into the bowl. Give it a few minutes to sit, until it has spread over the entire bowl.

After that, pour in a gallon of hot water and flush. This will clean the bowl and allow the soap to move through the pipes.

The soap-and-water solution should soak the clog. It won’t always work, especially if your clog is major.

But it’s a simple remedy that doesn’t really have any involved risks, so there’s no reason not to.

The one thing to remember is that toilet overflows are possible. How slowly is your toilet draining?

If you pour in a gallon of water and then flush, the bowl might back up and spill onto the floor. Make sure your pour is gradual, and don’t flush if the water doesn’t seem to be draining at all.

4. Try a Plumber’s Snake

use plumber snake

A plumber’s snake is the next step after plunging, hand fishing, and dish soap have all failed to work. Again, don’t reach for any chemical cleaners!

They’ll just cause you a lot of headache and hassle.

You use a plumber’s snake to attack clogs that are lodged deep in your pipes. These tools have a flexible wire that can feed around the bends and joints in the plumbing.

You simply keep cranking the handle until you feel the end of the metal meet resistance.

You’ll carefully push the metal into the clog. This will break the material up so that it can flow down the pipes.

You might need to do this a few times if the clog is especially large.

Depending on the model, you might also be able to “catch” the debris and pull it out. Rather than breaking it down for the pipes, you simply fish it out of the toilet.

Then you can put the wipes in the trash so that they don’t cause problems in the sewer or your septic system.

5. Call a Plumber

call a plumber

If none of the prior four solutions have made a difference, it’s time to call a plumber. That’s also your best bet if you simply don’t want to use a plumber’s snake or reach directly into your toilet.

A plumber will be able to determine where the clog is. They’ll use tools to remove it from the pipes.

If there has been any damage to your plumbing system, they can often let you know. And they’ll give you valuable advice for how you can take care of your pipes in the future.

FAQs

What is the best way to unclog flushable wipes?

If the wipes aren’t very far down the drain, one of the easiest ways to remove them is to pull them out by hand. You can also use a plunger to dislodge them.

With a clog further down in the pipes, you might need to grab the wipes with a plumber’s snake.

Even though many wipes claim to be flushable, most are not actually biodegradable. This means that it’s much easier for them to get stuck in your pipes.

What home remedy can I use to unclog a toilet clogged with baby wipes?

If a plunger and auger haven’t worked, you can try using dish soap. This may lubricate the clog and let it move further along the pipes.

What will dissolve flushable wipes?

Unfortunately, most baby wipes are pretty indestructible. They won’t be broken down by chemical cleaners, and they won’t dissolve in contact with water.

Even bleach isn’t able to break down clogs. It just creates a bigger mess.

If any substance claims to be corrosive enough to break down the material in baby wipes, it will probably harm your pipes as well.

Can chemicals unclog flushable wipes?

You should not use any chemical cleaners or chemical anti-clog solutions to deal with flushable wipes. They will not break the materials down, and they’ll likely just cause a bigger hassle for your plumber later.

Will one baby wipe clog a toilet?

The answer to this question depends. For the most part, you should be able to flush a single wipe without a problem.

But if you keep flushing wipes repeatedly, you’re more likely to have an issue down the road. They can get stuck partway through the pipes and then build up, creating a blockage.

That goes especially for old toilets that are prone to clogging. You don’t want to make your pipes work any harder than they already do.

Conclusion

Even though many manufacturers claim that their wipes are flushable, it’s still not a good idea to flush them down the toilet. Most of the time, the materials won’t degrade the same way that organic matter does.

If you are dealing with a clog made of flushable wipes, there are options. It’s a good idea to fish the clog out by hand if possible.

If not, try traditional remedies like a plunger or an auger. If neither those solutions nor dish soap work, you can call a plumber.

Don’t try to break down a flushable wipe clog using bleach or corrosive chemicals. Not only will it not work, but it can also damage your pipes or create dangerous reactions.