7 Bad Bathroom Habits That Cause Clogs

Man trying to fix a toilet | Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey
Not to alarm you, but your daily bathroom routine could be more damaging to your plumbing than you know. It’s true! All the stuff you wash down your drain and flush down your toilet could create a heavy-duty blockage that will necessitate a call to a plumber.

Save yourself the headache and exercise a little clog-caution when doing your thing in the bathroom. Here are seven habits that could be doing your drains dirty.

1. Not Rinsing Toothpaste Down the Drain

You brush your teeth twice a day (Right? Please say yes), but each time you spit toothpaste into the sink, you’re contributing gunk to the tight quarters of the residential PVC drainpipe. Some people don’t run enough water to thoroughly rinse toothpaste down the drain. So, it sticks to the interior, gathering more gunk: hair, soap, and other debris.

What we’re saying is toothpaste is but one of many things coating the pipe’s interior, and all that buildup will eventually form a full-blown clog. Charcoal toothpaste is said to be an even bigger offender, so use it sparingly.

2. Using Bar Soap

Bar soap and hard water are a bad combo. Solid soap is made of animal or vegetable fats, making it more difficult to dissolve. Add water high in calcium and magnesium to the mix, and you get scummy results.

The solution here is simple: Swap out the bar for liquid soap. Liquid soap is technically a petroleum-based detergent, so it goes down the drain more easily.

3. Flushing the Wrong Things

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If it’s not toilet paper or, you know, that other stuff, don’t flush it. Toilet paper is wonderful stuff. It’s engineered to fully dissolve in a matter of minutes, leaving no trace behind.

The same can’t be said of the following items that jam up the works when flushed:

  • Tampons
  • Floss
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Flushable wipes

Yes, we know the last bullet point has “flushable” in it, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for your pipes. These things belong in a wastebasket, not your toilet.

4. Not Using a Drain Catcher

All those loose strands going down the drain will do a real number on your plumbing. There are several weird-looking devices you can place over the drain that allows water to pass through and nothing else. Drain covers only cost a few bucks and require you to occasionally pick them up and remove the hair. Gross, but it beats a clog.

5. Using Bath Bombs

Do you like to unwind in a warm tub amid a kaleidoscopic swirl of colors? Bath bombs make bath time more colorful and are typically infused with essential oils and therapeutic aromas to make your soak all the more relaxing; however, they can cause problems if used frequently.

The problem: They don’t fully dissolve. The worst kinds are packed with glitter and flower petals that will never disintegrate. That’s why we recommend putting your bath additive in a nylon stocking to keep little bits from going down the drain.

6. Washing Beard Trimmings Down the Drain

When it’s time to bid adieu to your beard, do so carefully. Washing whiskers down the sink is a great way to plug up your plumbing. Place an empty plastic bag over the basin to catch your trimmings.

7. Flushing Cat Poop

This belongs under Flushing the Wrong Things, but it’s such an important point that it deserves its own header. Hard cat feces take a long time to dissolve and almost always have bits of kitty litter attached. Most litter is made of clay and expands in water. So, there are two good reasons right there not to flush cat poop.

Here’s another: It’s really bad for the environment. Cat poop contains a parasite called toxoplasmosis. This parasite can pass through sewage treatment plants unharmed and into our waterways, where it causes brain damage to marine animals. Bag and toss the car waste, please.

Is the damage already done? The expert plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of South Jersey will get your drains flowing again in no time. Call to schedule your appointment today.