Why Put Dish Soap in Toilet Overnight? – 2 Reasons

By Marsha Harrison

why put dish soap in toilet overnight

Lately, we see all sorts of cleaning tips and tricks on social media, blogs, and lifestyle magazines. One such example is a recent trend where homemaking influencers preach about how pouring dish soap can unclog your toilet.

With this kind of information available online, we tend to take up the task of repairing our toilets instead of hiring professionals to do the job.

Now, the question is: Why put dish soap in toilet overnight? Should I give it a try?

Before you start cleaning, let’s separate facts from fiction so you know what you are getting yourself into.

Hack #1: Pour Dish Soap in Toilet


Let’s face it, some of us do not know how to use a toilet plunger properly. Apart from that, not all of us own a toilet plunger. Hence, we turn to alternatives, like using Dawn dish soap to clean toilet or unclog it.

This article on Apartment Therapy explains that you need to mix dish soap with hot water for the method to work. The logic is that, if the dish soap can get the food particles out of dishes, it can do the same with the toilet.

There are a couple of methods that you can follow. Hunker suggests mixing baking soda, water, and dish soap. Meanwhile, Toilet Seek recommends leaving dish soap in the toilet at night if pouring the hot water and dish soap mixture fails.


According to the fact-checking site called Snopes, you can unclog toilet with dish soap and hot water as a remedy for common clogs.

It is worth noting that the whole dish detergent in toilet trick comes with limitations. As many tutorials pointed out, you can only do this if you are in a critical situation.

If you have to leave the soap overnight, just be sure not to repeat it the following day in case it still does not fix the issue.

Licensed service provider Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing warns DIYers from pouring water that is too hot.

What happens is that boiling can crack the porcelain. Moreover, it can melt wax rings around the toilets, pipe seals, and PVC pipes.

Hack # 2: Put Dish Soap in Toilet Tank


Another tip in toilet cleaning that can be found online is putting dish soap to clean the toilet tank.

After all, this area is often moldy and disgusting. This article on Angi touts the idea of installing a hard water softener as a long-term solution.

On top of that, it provides a way to wash away the dirt and grimes in your toilet tank using baking soda, white vinegar, and dish soap.

Meanwhile, this article in the SF Gate Home Guides suggests using 2-3 tablespoons of mild liquid detergent.


Yes, you can clean your toilet tank but you must use cleaners designed for toilet systems.

Many experts recommend cleaning your toilet tank twice a year to prevent build-ups of grime and mildew, as well as minerals that are harmful to the parts. Keep in mind, however, that certain types of cleaning agents can damage the toilet’s parts.

As explained in this news article, those who live in places that use septic tanks instead of sewers should also consider using products that are compatible with septic systems.

Most of us do not know which method or cleaner is unsafe for plumbing or septic systems. If you are unsure, ask the local plumbing service provider for advice.

What to Use Instead of Chemical-based Solutions for Plumbing Problems

Using a toilet snake, plunger, and other cleaning tools is the way to go according to Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing.

In terms of prevention measures, you can also utilize a hair trap to collect hairs and all sorts of debris. Flushing hygiene products down the toilet is a big no-no as they can surely cause a clog.

As such, you can avoid putting dish soap to unclog toilet altogether.


Getting mixed information online can often lead us to more plumbing problems. In this short article, I answered one of the many that people often ask: “Why put dish soap in toilet overnight?”

Whether your toilet is clogged or not, it is best to turn to options that are safer for your home’s plumbing system. As discussed, dish soap and hot water can be a good one-time solution. If your toilet is still jammed, it’s time to call a professional.

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