Who doesn’t like a stress-relieving and floral or sweet-scented bath after a long day at work? Do you happen to use bath bombs? They are ball-shaped and usually come in different scents. A lot of people use them because of how convenient they are.
But, unfortunately, bath bombs are not good for your plumbing. Yes, you read that correctly.
Bath bombs can cause your drains to get clogged. However, there are a few precautions and solutions you can do to ensure your bath bombs don’t clog your drain.
What are bath bombs made of?
The key ingredients in making bath bombs are baking soda, cornstarch, and citric acid. But nowadays, bath bombs are essentially made from a combination of oils, salts, and scents providing a relaxing and soothing experience. The most common ingredient in making bath bombs is Epsom salt because of its muscle-soothing properties and it can easily be dissolved with water, just like baking soda. Some even include dyes to make them more enticing to the eyes.
The fizziness that everyone loves from bath bombs happens because of the chemical reaction when citric acid and baking soda comes into contact with water. Then, the cornstarch is the one that prolongs and slows down that fizziness we all love.
How do bath bombs cause blocked drain
Depending on the manufacturer, some bath bombs have other ingredients like flowers, cocoa butter, essential oils, cornstarch, and even glitters. These do not dissolve in water very well. The residue from these ingredients is the one that will stick and block your drain.
Essential oils clog drains when they solidify. It happens when oil comes in contact with cold surfaces or when the temperature drops. While cornstarch can harden on your pipes when it dries up and doesn’t fully dissolve. Both instances can cause hair and other matter to get stuck to them leading to clogging.
There are also instances when the salt included in the bath bombs doesn’t fully dissolve. This partially dissolved salt can also clog your drain trapping hair and other particles with it.
Clogging is not the only thing you need to be wary of when it comes to bath bombs. In some instances, bath bombs’ ingredients can destroy the functionality of your hot tubs, especially the jets. In addition, some ingredients can even cause severe blockages in your drain.
For all those bath bomb lovers out there, don’t worry! There are various solutions you can do so you can still use your fragrant and lovely bath bombs.
Solution #1: Use drain barriers to prevent solid particles from passing through the drain. Look for tub stoppers with a strainer to help keep large solid particles out.
Solution #2: Before putting your bath bomb in your tub with water, put it inside a nylon sock and tie it. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the fizziness. The nylon sock will help keep the solid particles inside while letting those safe and soluble matters disperse in your water.
TIP: You can use an old pantyhose. Just make sure to place the bath bombs where there are no huge holes in them where solid particles can pass through.
Solution #3: If you are set to use bath bombs with glitters and petals, be prepared to do more work. I highly suggest using them sparingly or not at all.
Here’s what you need to do if you want to use bath bombs with glitters and petals:
- Before draining the water, with a mesh net, catch all those floating and solid materials, by hand.
- Cover the drain strainer with a nylon sock (or any cloth made from nylon) or a mesh screen.
- Weight down the strainer with added filtering while you drain the water in your tub.
Solution #4: Flush the drain with hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. This will help break up any residue coming from your bath bombs.
- Pour hot water down the tub’s drain. This will help warm up those congealed oil or wax.
- Take a cup of baking soda and pour it into your tub’s drain.
- Add a cup of vinegar. Make sure to use equal parts of baking soda and vinegar. The chemicals in the vinegar will help break down those solid particles while baking soda will loosen up those stubborn clogs and stains. You might want to open the windows in your bathroom when you are using vinegar.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes. You will see some foaming action. This means it is working.
- Run your hot water tap to flush everything down the drain.
Remember, solution #4 only works for mild clogging. If you have major clogging in your drains, it is best to call a professional drain cleaner to do proper and thorough drain cleaning.