Do Bath Bombs Clog Drains?

image of bath bombs that clog drains

Bath bombs are more popular than ever and are popping up at virtually every retailer. After a long, stressful day at the office, many people turn to bath bombs for some much-needed rest and relaxation.  They’re a simple solution to everyday stress, but you may have heard bath bombs are bad for your plumbing system. Unfortunately, for those who adore them, the rumor is true.

Common materials found in most bath bombs may cause drain clogs. Luckily, there are a few preventative measures you can take. Knowing what you can do to prevent a bath bomb drain clog can help you protect your home’s plumbing.

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How To Avoid Clogging Your Drain When Using Bath Bombs

The Issue With Bath Bombs & Your Plumbing

Bath bombs are typically colorful circular objects that fit in the palm of your hand. They contain densely packed salts that fizz and release scents when they interact with warm water. This creates bubbles in the bath and works to ease tense muscles. Many bath bombs also contain essential oils and even dried flowers.

The number one ingredient in most bath bombs is Epsom salts, which are wildly popular within the medical community for easing overworked muscles. Common baking soda is also regularly added, which isn’t too concerning as it easily dissolves in water. It’s the extra bath bomb ingredients that can create big problems. Cornstarch, glitter, and cocoa butter aren’t water-soluble and often leave behind a sticky, messy residue. Additionally, many oils, such as coconut, also solidify as they cool, which can lead to terrible clogs.

The biggest issue is people are purchasing and bath bombs more and more. They’re common gifts and self-care tokens designed for at-home use. The problem is, they’re not always kind to your pipes—and the more use, the more likely all those ingredients mix to form a clog.

How Bath Bombs Clog Your Drains

woman using bath bombs in the bath tub

All those materials found in bath bombs may cause a whole host of plumbing problems. Some of these include:

  • Oils: Oils are likely to cause nasty clogs. You certainly wouldn’t pour cooking oil down your kitchen sink, right? Well, the same goes for your bathroom drain. Just as cooking oil congeals, so do the additive oils often found in bath bombs. Whether it’s coconut, cocoa, or grapeseed oil, these are not suitable to slide down your bathroom plumbing.
  • Salt: Salt is a big part of the problem, too: Bath salts are great and they smell good, but they typically don’t dissolve all the way. You guessed it, this, too, can lead to extensive clogs. Just a bit of undissolved salt can attract hair and other debris, which could lead to another ugly situation.
  • Undissolvable Materials: There is more to worry about than just salts or oils. The really expensive bath bombs are known to contain undissolvable additions like confetti, flower petals, glitter, leaves, and more. We’ve even seen some that contain jewelry or stickers. This may look great in an artsy Instagram photo, but it won’t look pretty as a drain clog.
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Bath Bombs & Hot Tubs

Hot tubs and bath bombs do not mix. In fact, they can do far more than just a tad bit of damage. In fact, bath bombs can often destroy the mechanical interworking of your hot tub. Plus, using one inside a hot tub could even void your warranty. Bottom line: it’s best to keep bath bombs as far away from hot tubs as possible.

Can I Still Use Bath Bombs Without Clogging My Drains?

Don’t worry, we’re not saying you have to give up bath bombs entirely. You just have to enjoy them responsibly.

  • Flush Your Drains: Grab some vinegar and water to flush out your drain. This is an easy solution with things you probably already have around the house. First, pour a cup of vinegar down the bathroom pipe, and make sure to leave the vinegar inside the drain for about ten minutes to work its magic. After you hit the ten-minute mark, turn on the spigot and flush out the vinegar. This will help bust up any residual debris or oil. Even better, call a plumber to flush your drains periodically. Doing so can prevent drain clogs from occurring while ensuring that your pipes stay in good condition.
  • Practice Prevention: If you have one of the bath bombs containing glitter, flowers, or the like, a simple nylon cover prevents these additives from floating into the tub and eventually causing drainage issues. Don’t have a nylon cover handy? Try old pantyhose.
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Experiencing Drainage Issues? Call A Plumber

plumber performing bath tub clogged drain repair

Don’t risk causing more damage with DIY plumbing repairs. If you notice your drain is beginning to back up or is draining sluggishly or improperly, it’s best to call in the help of a professional plumber. A plumber has the know-how to address the issue properly without causing further damage to your drain and pipes.

Enjoy This Video On How To Make Bath Bombs


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We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Additionally, our experienced plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work is backed with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

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