Nothing beats a nice, long soak in the tub after a long, hard day slaving at the office or dealing with the kids. With a brightly colored, scented bath bomb, many people like to jazz up their bath time. They may not be so good for your plumbing, though bath bombs are awesome for relaxing and easing away your stress. Today, we at The Original $49.95 Plumber would like to discuss how bath bombs affect the plumbing.
What Do Bath Bombs Actually Do?
Bath bombs are made up of a mixture of wet and dry ingredients that are compressed, molded into a variety of shapes, then dried, which were invented and patented in 1989 by Mo Constantine. Both of which can be irritating to skin, they were originally meant to be an alternative to bubble baths and bath salts. Most typically contain citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch while the exact ingredients of bath bombs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. While the cornstarch binds to both baking soda and citric acid, slowing the reaction and causing the fizzing to last longer when the bath bomb is dropped into water, the citric acid and baking soda are what cause the signature “fizzing and bubbling” effect. Even glitter can be found in some bath bombs, bath bombs also contain other materials, such as scents, essential oils, fat or grease, and flower petals. Not all of a bath bomb’s ingredients are harmless to your plumbing, such as:
1) Salt. Especially if the crystals are large, salt will usually dissolve in water, but not always. You may end up with clogs in your drains if salt doesn’t dissolve entirely.
2) Oils. In order to moisturize the skin, as well as to provide a fragrant scent, these ingredients are usually added to bath bombs. The oil can congeal and stick to the insides of your pipes, causing clogs, however, even a little bit can cause issues with your plumbing.
3) Fat or Grease. They also help to maintain the bomb’s shape before it is added to the bath water like oils, fat and grease are sometimes added to bath bombs to moisturize the skin. Fat and grease don’t dissolve easily unless the water is very hot, resulting in clogs.
4) Paper, Flowers, Glitter. These materials clog as they don’t dissolve in water. Even biodegradable ingredients, such as flower petals, can cause problems.
Protecting Your Plumbing While Using Bath Bombs
If you love the bath bombs and want to continue using them, just be sure to make a few precautions as to not cause any inconvenience or damage to the plumbing.
1) Nylon Bag. Place your bath bomb in a sealable, fine-mesh nylon bag before putting it in the water. Flower petals and other things that may clog your drain, the bomb will still fizz, and the bag will help trap the debris. It can even help with the salt that won’t dissolve completely.
2) Fine Print. Before you purchase any bath bombs, pay close attention to the ingredients, and avoid those that contain grease, oil, or anything else that won’t dissolve easily.
3) Avoid Overuse. Use them just every once in a while.
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If you are having a problem with plumbing and need to see if there are clogs and have them removed, call The Original $49.95 Plumber and let us assist you.