A very common problem that many people have is when blockages occur in the sanitary drains due to feces and toilet paper, this can occur for several reasons.
There are several methods to solve this situation and there is also a chemical solvent that can be used to dissolve these materials without damaging the pipes, although it must be used properly, as all chemical solvents carry a risk in their use.
Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda is a substance that causes chemical reactions capable of quickly dissolving toilet paper and feces, although this substance should be used with great caution.
Sodium hydroxide is easy to acquire in any general store or pharmacy. Caustic soda is used in many products for domestic and industrial use, such as cleaning products, and plungers.
Although it is an easy product to acquire, I must mention again that you must be very careful with its use because it is highly corrosive, here are some tips on how to use it safely.
Popular brands that are known for producing drain-cleaning products
These brands often offer various products designed for different types of clogs, so be sure to choose the one that’s right for your particular situation.
Popular brands are known for making drain cleaning products:
How to unclog your drain fast without using chemicals?
If you don’t want to use chemicals and need a quicker and more direct method, there are mechanical methods to dissolve or unclog toilet paper or poop in a sewer pipe.
A plunger can also be a simple tool that can be very handy for unclogging pipes super fast.
On Amazon, I saw this one called ToiletShroom, it’s a pretty nifty tool designed for unclogging toilets. Unlike the traditional plunger, which uses suction to remove clogs, the ToiletShroom is shaped more like a long, narrow mushroom.
It’s designed to go into the drain hole, making direct contact with the clog and then allowing you to twist and maneuver it to break the clog apart.
Also, a hand-cranked toilet auger can reach clogs that a plunger can’t. Insert the end of the auger into the drain hole and turn it to break up the clog.
For deeper clogs in the sewer line beyond the toilet, you might need a plumber’s snake (also called a drain snake). This tool can reach clogs several feet down the sewer line.
How can caustic soda dissolve feces and toilet paper?
Sodium hydroxide is a very corrosive chemical agent, which easily degrades organic matter. caustic soda as a base provides any product with greater conservation and stability, in addition to lowering the final price of the product.
Caustic soda is a very hygroscopic substance, that is to say, it tends to capture the humidity of the environment; soda takes advantage of the water present in the organism to achieve its corrosive purpose.
Uses of caustic soda and how to unclog plumbing pipes
Caustic soda is used for multiple industrial purposes. One of them is for the production of soaps and detergents.
In swimming pools, caustic soda is commonly employed to raise the pH of the water. Caustic soda has a pH of 13.5 on a scale of 14, which makes it a very corrosive product. Caustic soda is used for several purposes.
But certainly, its most popular application is for unblocking pipes and plumbing pipes in sewage networks.
Its strong corrosive power can dissolve and eliminate any kind of organic tissue that may be forming a clog in the pipe.
How to use caustic soda to dissolve feces and toilet paper in pipes?
To unclog a pipe that may be clogged with debris, pour one cup of soda (liquid or beads) down the drain, then two cups of hot water.
Never add caustic soda to hot water as it may react and may splash. Do it step by step, first the caustic soda to the drain, then the hot water.
That will trigger a chemical reaction in the pipe that will cause the caustic soda to react on the clog and dissolve it.
If after 20-30 minutes, it is necessary to check if the caustic soda has had the effect intended, otherwise, it is necessary to use more product.
Special precautions when using caustic soda to dissolve feces or toilet paper
It is very important NOT to mix caustic soda with other products such as hydrochloric acid, as this can cause a very strong exothermic reaction.
It is also necessary to be careful with the presence of aluminum in the pipes since the reaction with the soda releases hydrogen gas that can be harmful to human health.
In the event that there is oil in the pipe, the caustic soda may react and cause a solid block of soap to form that is difficult to unclog.
Soaps are made from the combination of soda and oil, so it could be that the soap is solidifying in the pipe if the clog is not reversed, and you continue to pour caustic soda.
If you find that after using the product the pipe still does not work properly, try not to use the soda any more times as this may cause further clogging or even damage the pipe walls.
Keep in mind when mixing water and caustic soda to mix the caustic soda into the water, okay? Make sure it’s the soda going into the water, not the other way around, to avoid any nasty splashes or reactions.
Chemicals That Dissolve Human Feces In Pit Toilets
Pit toilets are common in a lot of camping sites, remote areas, and sometimes in places where plumbing isn’t accessible. So, dealing with waste in a safe and effective way is crucial.
When it comes to using chemicals to break down human feces in a pit toilet, you’re generally looking at a few options, but they’ve got to be suitable for the setting.
Traditional household chemical cleaners are generally a no-go because they can harm the environment.
When you’re looking for a chemical solution to dissolve human feces in a pit toilet, it’s crucial to strike a balance between effectiveness and environmental responsibility.
There are several brands out there that are commonly used for septic systems, RVs, and portable toilets, and many of these can also be appropriate for pit toilets.
Brands like Rid-X and Roebic offer enzyme-based solutions that are designed to break down waste while being septic-safe. These products usually contain bacteria that feed on the organic waste, breaking it down into less harmful substances.
They’re often used for the maintenance of septic systems, so they’re designed with long-term, environmentally responsible waste breakdown in mind.
Another option is Walex Bio-Pak, which is more commonly used for RV and marine waste treatment. It’s biodegradable and non-toxic, and it even adds a nice fragrance to help control odors.
For a quicker fix, some people opt for lime or calcium-hydroxide-based products. These don’t necessarily dissolve the waste but they do help to reduce odors and accelerate natural decomposition.
Just be cautious here because lime can alter soil chemistry and may have environmental impacts.
Before you proceed with any of these, if the pit toilet is in a public or protected area, make sure to consult with the local authorities or park services. There may be regulations about what chemicals you can or can’t use.
Also, remember to read the labels carefully. These are chemicals, after all, so you need to make sure you’re using them safely and effectively. If in doubt, consulting a professional is always a good idea.
What chemical will dissolve toilet paper?
Now, most folks might go for a classic drain cleaner when faced with a clog. The active ingredient in many of these is sodium hydroxide, commonly known as caustic soda.
This stuff works by basically breaking down the toilet paper and other organic matter, turning it into a sort of sludge that can flow more easily through the pipes. But I gotta warn you, this stuff is potent.
You need to be super careful not to get it on your skin or in your eyes, and you really shouldn’t breathe in the fumes. So if you’re going with this route, get those gloves on and maybe crack a window for ventilation.
Another option that’s a bit gentler but might also do the trick is enzyme-based drain cleaners. These work by using natural enzymes to eat away at the toilet paper and other organic gunk.
They’re slower acting, but they’re also less harsh, so they’re a good option if you’re worried about damaging your pipes—or yourself, for that matter.
If you’re in more of a DIY mood, you might even give hot water a try. Boil a pot of water and then slowly pour it down the drain.
The heat can sometimes be enough to break up the toilet paper and get things moving again.
I wouldn’t bet the farm on it if you’ve got a really stubborn clog, but it’s an easy first step that might save you a trip to the store.
What Precautions Should Be Taken When Using Chemical Drain Cleaners?
Seriously, this stuff can be pretty harsh, so if you’re planning to go down that route, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind for your own safety and the well-being of your pipes.
First of all, gear up. I’m talking gloves and eye protection. Imagine getting even a tiny splash of that stuff in your eye; it’s not a scenario you want to play out.
And while you’re at it, make sure the area’s well-ventilated. Open a window or turn on a fan, because the fumes can be pretty intense.
Read the label and follow the instructions like it’s a sacred text. This isn’t the time to wing it.
Each drain cleaner has its own quirks, and you’ll want to know exactly how long you should leave it in, how much to use, and what to do afterward. So yeah, actually read the manual this time!
Also, be cautious about mixing chemicals. If you’ve already tried another cleaner, or even a home remedy like vinegar, adding a chemical drain cleaner to the mix can create some dangerous reactions.
Even combining different types of chemical cleaners can be risky, so stick to one method at a time.
If you have a septic system, you need to double-check that the cleaner is compatible with it. Some chemicals can mess up the natural breakdown of waste in septic tanks, and you really don’t want to go there.
After you’ve poured the cleaner and waited the recommended time, you’ll want to flush it out with water. Again, check the instructions on how to do this properly.
And hey, when you’re done, make sure you store that bottle of liquid menace somewhere safe, like a locked cupboard, especially if you’ve got kids or pets around.
What Chemicals Are Safe for Pipes?
When it comes to unclogging your pipes, it’s like walking a tightrope sometimes. You want something strong enough to tackle the clog but gentle enough to not wage war on your pipes. So, what are the chemicals that strike that balance?
Well, one of the mildest options out there is enzymatic drain cleaners. These guys use natural enzymes to break down organic material like grease, hair, and food particles.
Think of them as the pacifists in the world of pipe warfare. They’re gentle, but they usually take longer to work. If you’re in a hurry, this might not be the best choice, but for routine maintenance, they’re a good option.
Then you’ve got the more heavy-duty stuff like cleaners containing sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. These are the workhorses that can cut through tough clogs like a hot knife through butter.
But be warned, they’re strong, so they should be used carefully and sparingly. You don’t want to be pouring this stuff down the drain every week or you risk damaging your pipes over time.
A lot of people wonder about acids like sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. While these are effective, they’re also like bringing a sledgehammer to a thumbtack.
Super strong and should be used only as a last resort and very carefully. Plus, they can be too harsh for some types of pipes, like old, corroded metal ones or even some plastic pipes.
If you’re into the DIY vibe, you might have heard about using vinegar and baking soda. These household items are way gentler on your pipes, but they’re also less effective on tough clogs. If you’ve got a minor slow-down, they might do the trick.
So, what’s the takeaway? If you’ve got newer pipes and a horrendous clog, a sodium hydroxide-based cleaner could do the trick.
For older pipes or for regular maintenance, maybe look at enzymatic cleaners or even household items like vinegar and baking soda.
What to do if your outside drain is clogged with toilet paper?
Dealing with a blocked outside drain can be quite a headache, can’t it? If it’s clogged with toilet paper, the good news is that you have a couple of straightforward ways to tackle the problem.
Let’s start with the basics: grab a pair of gloves and some safety goggles. You’ll thank me later; this job can get messy.
The first and simplest thing you could try is a plunger. Just like you’d use it on a toilet, you can use it on the drain to create a suction force that might break up the blockage. Plunge away vigorously and see if that helps the water go down.
If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, you might want to consider getting a bit more hands-on with a drain auger or a plumber’s snake. These tools have a long, flexible metal coil that you manually push down into the drain.
Once it reaches the clog, you twist it around to break up the material. If your clog is too far down to reach with a simple toilet auger, then a plumber’s snake would be your go-to tool.
Now, if you’re not a fan of manual labor, you could opt for chemical solutions. Enzyme-based drain cleaners are a decent option. These are more environmentally friendly and work by essentially “eating away” the organic material.
Pour it down, let it sit overnight, and check in the morning to see if the drain is clear.
Chemical drain cleaners are another option, but I’d use them as a last resort. They can be pretty harsh on your pipes and are not the best choice for the environment. Also, if you go this route, be sure to read all the safety instructions—no one wants a chemical mishap on their hands.
Do vinegar and baking soda dissolve feces?
Vinegar is used for many things besides being a condiment, one of the most popular uses of vinegar along with baking soda is to unclog clogged pipes as well as for cleaning.
The reason vinegar is used is because it is a weak-based acid, which can slowly interact with the organic matter without being harmful or causing major problems.
Human feces are composed of more than 88% organic matter, which means that vinegar can dissolve, albeit very slowly, part of its structure and accelerate its decomposition.
It must be taken into account that vinegar is a weak acid, and when it is mixed with water contained in the toilet or siphon, it weakens even more.
Also, if you mix baking soda with vinegar, the baking soda will cancel the acidity of the vinegar because it is an alkaline element.
By mixing vinegar and baking soda, a chemical reaction is triggered that transforms the vinegar into water, the baking soda into practically salt, but also releases carbon dioxide which is a gas.
While baking soda and vinegar cancel each other out, the carbon dioxide is an exothermic reaction that can raise the temperature a bit, which is probably why many people use this combination, because the heat helps dissolve the organic matter.
But in that case, they are not using the acidity of the vinegar itself to dissolve feces, this can be proven because this method of using baking soda and vinegar also involves using hot water.
Practically what is being done is to increase the temperature in the clogged pipe, in order to loosen or dissolve the remains of organic matter so that they can be washed away.
Does hot water help to unclog the toilet?
If the cause of the blockage is estimated to be feces or toilet paper. Hot water can help soften the soft material blockage, so the toilet can be unclogged.
However, “hot” does not mean “boiling”. Because boiling water can cause damage to ceramics if it is not of very good quality. It is best to boil several liters at a time and then let the water cool for at least three to four minutes.
Using detergent is also recommended if the toilet is clogged. This is logical since detergent works as a softener, although it does not help disintegrate.
Optionally, you can add a little detergent to the hot water. Then pour the hot liquid directly down the drain from a height of about one meter.
Ideally, the energy of the fall will already help to loosen constipation. If not, let the heat work.
Will a toilet paper clog eventually dissolve?
Toilet paper, composed of cellulose fiber, has enough time to decompose on the way it travels from the moment it is flushed down the toilet until it reaches the wastewater treatment plant.
Although the cellulose of which toilet paper is composed is not actually water-soluble, toilet paper in toilet water will eventually degrade to a level where its fibers will be too compact and soft to create clogs.
What Types of Toilet Paper Are Easiest to Dissolve?
You might not think much about it until you’ve got a clog on your hands. When it comes to toilet paper that’s easy on your plumbing, there are actually some differences.
So, you know that super plush, ultra-soft, 3-ply toilet paper that feels like a cloud? Yeah, it’s super comfy, but it’s not always the best for your pipes.
That stuff takes longer to break down, which can be a problem if you have sensitive plumbing or a septic system.
On the flip side, the cheaper, single-ply toilet paper? It may not feel like a luxury spa treatment, but it generally breaks down faster and is less likely to give you clogging issues.
Then you have “green” or eco-friendly options, which are often designed to break down quickly.
They might be made from recycled paper or bamboo, and they usually don’t have the same plush feel as the ultra-soft varieties, but they’re more gentle on the environment and often easier on your pipes too.
You may have also seen those “septic-safe” or “RV-safe” labels on some toilet paper brands. These types are specifically made to dissolve quickly and are a good option if you’ve got a septic system or if you’re hitting the road in an RV.
How long does it take for toilet paper to dissolve?
The time it takes for toilet paper to dissolve can vary based on several factors like the type of toilet paper, the conditions in the drain or sewer line, and the presence of other substances like fats or oils that might be in the system.
However, generally speaking, standard toilet paper is designed to break down relatively quickly once it’s flushed, often within minutes to a few hours in typical sewer systems.
Some types of toilet paper are specifically designed to be more “septic safe” and break down quickly. These are usually single-ply and made from recycled materials.
On the other hand, thicker, plush toilet paper like the ultra-soft or quilted varieties may take longer to dissolve.
What Are Common Household Alternatives for Emergency Situations?
An emergency plumbing situation, eh? We’ve all been there. The toilet’s clogged, guests are coming over, and you suddenly realize you don’t have a plunger or any drain cleaner on hand.
But don’t worry, your kitchen and bathroom cupboards might have a few hidden gems that can help you out.
So, one classic trick people use is hot water as previously mentioned, just make sure it’s not boiling, as that can actually crack the porcelain.
Pour a bucket of hot water from waist height into the toilet bowl; the force combined with the heat might just break up the clog.
Dish soap is another lifesaver. You’d be surprised how well that stuff can lubricate a clog. Just squirt a good amount into the toilet bowl, let it sit for a few minutes, and then try flushing.
The soap helps break down the fats in the waste, making it easier to flush away.
You’ve probably heard of the baking soda and vinegar volcano experiment, right? Also mentioned previously in this topic, well, that fizzing action can also help you with clogs.
Pour about a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, follow it up with an equal amount of vinegar, and let the fizzing do its thing for a few minutes.
Then try flushing. Just a heads up, this is a bit hit-or-miss and more of a last-ditch effort before calling the plumber.
A wire coat hanger can also be your makeshift plumbing snake in a pinch. Unwind the hanger, put some rubber gloves on, and gently push it into the drain hole to try and break up the clog. It’s not the most pleasant job, but hey, desperate times, right?
Does Coca-Cola unclog drains?
Coca-Cola is also known to be a powerful cleaner and solvent, all because it has a high phosphoric acid content.
The phosphoric acid used in Coca-Cola is a mildly corrosive component used to give the product a sour taste, but it is also used to make detergents and fertilizers.
Most over-the-counter drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide, a component that increases the alkalinity of the water in the drain to the point where it dissolves the clogging element.
Professional-strength products, on the other hand, usually contain sulfuric acid, an ingredient that increases the pH in the opposite direction.
However, the phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola has the same function as sulfuric acid, but it does not act as quickly, because it is a weaker component and, in addition, it has a lower concentration in the brand’s soft drinks compared to the products used to unclog pipes.
Indeed, Coca-Cola can work to unclog pipes, but it must be left in the drain for a longer period of time.