Will a Toilet Unclog Itself, or Do You Need to Intervene

Well, the quickest answer is no. If a toilet could unclog without intervention, it wouldn’t be a headache. So, is there any situation where a toilet clog can be cleared automatically or through continuous flushing? Let’s find out.

A person using a yellow glove to unclog and intervene in cleaning a toilet.

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself?

Whether a toilet blockage will clear on its own or not depends on the severity of the clog and the items responsible for the blockage. If the clump of objects causing the clog disintegrates or dissolves over time, such as poop and toilet paper, it doesn’t need any human intervention to clear the clog. 

Continued flushing may dislodge or break down these small or partial clogs. But the stubborn clogs, such as the wads of toilet paper, sanitary napkins, dental floss, children’s toys, etc., need to be manually removed by a person using tools like a plunger, drain snake or drain cleaning chemicals. 

Most toilet papers are water-soluble, meaning they can dissolve easily. However, certain materials, such as wet wipes or paper towels, may not be fully water-soluble, even if advertised as flushable. 

Flushing them can lead to stubborn clogs due to their resistance to breaking down. Moreover, some unnecessary plastic objects find their way into the toilet, which plays a crucial role in clogging the drain system of the toilet.

Should You Wait for a Clogged Toilet to Clean by Itself?

You shouldn’t wait for the clog to clear itself after multiple flushes. The flush or flow of water generates enough force to dislodge or break down the water-soluble blockage. Moreover, you can pour a bucket of hot water to liquefy greasy clogs. 

After a couple of flush fails to dislodge or dissolve the clog, you should not waste time waiting for it to dissolve by itself because it is unhygienic to stay longer and use a clogged toilet.

If you leave a clogged toilet for a few hours, it will overflow with trapped water. Besides, continuous flushing packs the trapped material and makes unclogging harder.

Also, the bad smells of the poop may develop and circulate in the bathroom, which poses health hazards. When the waste water doesn’t properly drain away, it creates a perfect environment for bacterial molds to grow and thrive. This is not seriously good for health and hygiene. 

Common Causes of Toilet Clogs:

In modern times, people are more careful about health and hygiene. The toilet is one part of our home that causes many health concerns if not managed properly. Therefore, we must take note of matters related to a toilet to maintain a healthy and wholesome environment in our everyday lives. 

Whenever you face any issue with the toilet, take steps promptly to resolve the problem. Also, knowing what factors lead to those problems helps us prevent any unwanted situation. So here are some common causes of toilet clogs that will help you maintain a healthy toilet in the future and deal with the issue.

Wipe and Paper Towel

People often think of the toilet as a garbage can of many products, if not all. Some such items are wipes and paper towels, often misunderstood as toilet-safe or septic-safe. This is a common misconception that makes people flush the wipes and paper towels. 

Even the advertised flushable wipes don’t break down in the toilet drain system. Toilet paper is the only paper product that should be used and flushed down the toilet. 

In addition, take a moment to check the toilet paper packaging to ensure it is toilet or septic-friendly. Choose toilet paper that is 2-ply or less. 3-ply and more tend to be thicker and more resistant to dissolving.

Not enough Pressure in the Flush

When the toilet flush doesn’t generate sufficient pressure or power, it may not drain down the waste and paper effectively. One common culprit of poor flushing capabilities is the torn-out flapper, for which your toilet may keep running as well. 

This rubber component, responsible for regulating water flow from the tank to the bowl, can lose its effectiveness over time, leading to decreased flushing power. Besides, the malfunctioning float and blocked rim jet can also cause insufficient flushing power.

Blocking in Different Parts of the Draining System

Different parts of the draining system can be blocked by foreign objects. The most common parts of the draining system that are blocked or clogged are the toilet trap, the branch drain line, the vent pipe, or the main sewer line.  

The toilet trap is a P or S-shaped channel that connects the toilet to the home drain pipe. Its purpose is to prevent sewer smells from entering the bathroom. 

Foreign objects, such as hair, paper, and plastic materials flushed down the toilet can get snagged in the p-trap, blocking the route and obstructing the water flow. 

A clogged p trap often causes a partial block in the toilet, which only allows the wastewater to drain slowly. Plunging and snaking are generally the most effective ways to dislodge clogs from a toilet P-trap.

Likewise, obstructed plumbing vents are another common cause of the problem. In a home’s plumbing system, ventilation pipes play a crucial role by equalizing pressure, preventing sewer gas release, and enhancing flushing power in toilets. 

These vent pipes are more vulnerable to clogging with foreign objects such as bird nests, leaves, dust, debris, etc, because they are often overlooked. These pipes, extending through the roof, stabilize pressure within the drain system and facilitate the entry of clean air, ensuring efficient drainage and odor prevention. 

If you find any bird nests and other objects on the outlet, clean them away. In most cases, this is enough. 

Blocked By Common Items

Here are some of the most common items that clog toilets:

Dental floss – Strands of floss can wrap around pipes and adhere to materials already clogging the drain.

Hair – Loose hair washes down drains and combines into larger clumps that clog pipes. Hair accumulates easily in toilet bends.

Sanitary products – Pads, tampons, and applicators should never be flushed as they are designed to absorb liquid and resist breakdown.

Condoms – Like sanitary items, these obstruct drain systems and should always go in the trash.

Cotton swabs – The cotton tips detach and cling to pipes easily. The wooden sticks also cause issues.

Cigarette butts – These contain synthetic fibers that do not dissolve when wet. The fibers tangle into hard clogs.

Children’s toys – Bath toys, small action figures, and toy pieces cause major issues when flushed.

Produce stickers – The adhesive paper does not dissolve and sticks firmly to any buildup.

The easiest way to avoid clogs is to follow the wastebasket rule – if it is not toilet paper or bodily waste, it should be put in the trash can rather than flushed. This prevents many common clogging issues.


A clog in the toilet draining system typically doesn’t clear up on its own without any manual intervention. To unclog the toilet, you need, at the very least, strong or continuous water pressure. 

Sometimes, a clump of toilet paper or waste can get trapped in any part of the toilet. These kinds of clogs can essentially clear up by themselves because toilet paper dissolves in water. So, constant flushing can solve this type of clog. 

However, these are hardly considered toilet clogs. In reality, the most common toilet clogs are often the stubborn ones that cause many people trouble.

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