Why Everyone Is Flushing Salt Down Their Toilets — and if This Hack Actually Works

Anna Garrison - Author

Dec. 27 2023, Published 11:04 a.m. ET

Plenty of unusual home hacks are floating around the internet, but the strangest — and savviest — of all frequently involve the toilet. Between using toilet paper rolls to get those hard-to-reach crevices with a vacuum or putting toilet paper in the fridge to keep kitchen odors at bay, you might be surprised at how handy bathroom tips and tricks have become.

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Users on social media are spreading the gospel of a controversial hack that plumbers have a lot of opinions about. Here's why everyone is flushing salt down their toilets, explained.

Bowls of sea salt on a table.
Source: iStock
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Why should you put salt in your toilet? There are many benefits to this hack.

Multiple videos posted to social media websites such as TikTok, including one by user @deepiloveb, show someone explaining that the best way to deal with stinky odors in your toilet is to take some salt, sprinkle it into the toilet, wait a few minutes, then flush the toilet.

However, there may be more benefits to putting salt in your toilet than just odor elimination.

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Pouring rock salt down your toilet may save your plumbing from tree roots getting into your pipes, per Hunker. Tree roots can get into your plumbing through any small cracks or breaks and will wreak havoc on your home by growing through your plumbing. Rock salt, however, will destroy tree roots.

According to Deer Valley Plumbing, flushing salt down your toilet may help unclog plumbing because salt breaks down grease and fats. Sadly, salt alone cannot fix your plumbing issues. Deer Valley Plumbing recommends a combination of salt, vinegar, and hot water to clear up plumbing problems.

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Toilet bowl that needs to be cleaned.
Source: iStock

Here's how to unclog a toilet with salt.

Plumbing experts at Meyers spoke to Real Homes to note that while salt theoretically could unclog your toilet, there's no evidence that salt actually does this.

You would need "a lot" of salt to unclog your pipes, and the experts say, "We never recommend dumping a large quantity of anything but water down your drains."

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If you have pipes made of uPVC, salt can corrode your plumbing instead of cleaning it out! Not to mention, pouring regular table salt down the drain would be ineffective. If anything, you would have to use crystallized salt — aka that expensive sea salt you've been saving for baking.

That said, pouring regular salt down your toilet with other ingredients (such as vinegar) likely won't harm your pipes, but it might not produce a result, either. Fixed Today recommends a combination of salt, baking soda, and vinegar to clear out clogging and as a deodorizer.

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