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What Causes Drain Clogs?

Homeowners may notice slowly draining tubs and sinks at the end of the summer, and for good reason: Common culprits such as dirt and pet hair (which are in abundance in the summer months) can affect your plumbing’s smooth operation. However, other hazards exist that might be contributing to your plumbing problems. Learn the common culprits of sink and bathtub backups and how to avoid them.

Soap Scum

Did you know that the products that you use to clean yourself could actually be gumming up your bathtub drain lines? When the minerals in your water react with the fatty materials in most soaps, it creates lime soap, or scum. This filmy buildup can prove to be a serious nuisance. Over time, it blocks off your pipes and leads to serious drainage problems. It can also lead to mold, mildew, and bacteria growth, which can affect your family’s health.

Shampoos, Bath Bombs, and Salts

Shampoos, soaps, and bath bombs may contain ingredients that encourages the buildup of debris in your plumbing, which makes it more difficult for your tub or shower to drain. Oil-based cleaners (yes, even essential oils) can congeal and make draining more difficult. Finally, undissolved bits of bath bombs and other relaxing bathing additives can get caught in your drain and lead to significant problems.


Think you don’t shed a lot of hair in the shower? Think again. Even a few stray hairs at the bottom of the tub at the end of a shower can indicate a draining problem. Hair doesn’t take long to accumulate and can wreak havoc on your piping below the drain. Sharing a bathroom among multiple family members makes this process occur even quicker. This highlights the importance of routine maintenance and snaking to reduce the risk of a clog turning into a larger problem.

Drain clogs can also occur from the use of cooking oils, grease, or any other oil-based products. Knowing the most common causes of drain clogs can help you understand how quickly drains can back up and why they require routine maintenance. Regular snaking will help keep your plumbing systems running smoothly and help avoid overflow or other issues that could lead to damage in your home.