Residential & Commercial Plumbing in the Indianapolis Area

Bath bombs and hair...oh my! What's clogging your drain?

A clogged drain often seems to happen out of nowhere. Water is draining fine then, suddenly, there’s a back-up that needs immediate attention with a plunger, a drain clearing device, or a plumber. But clogged drains don’t just happen. The problem grows over time and often starts with simple everyday activities that seem harmless. Check out six things you may not know could lead to a clogged drain:

Bath bombs

This popular item is a must-have for many who enjoy a relaxing bath but bath bombs, if used too frequently, can cause big problems for your drains. One of the reasons is that oils can build up in your pipes. The more you use bath bombs, the more those oils can harden in your drain. This news might sound alarming for those who love bath bombs, but don’t panic and toss them away. Just use them in moderation and consider using a drain strainer to catch those particles like glitter and salt that don’t dissolve easily once they go down the drain. 

Cooking oil and grease

Never pour cooking oil or grease down the kitchen sink. These items solidify and seals off the pipe. It collects other debris causing a major problem that a plunger cannot fix. The best way to dispose of cooking oil and grease is by tossing both in the trash after cooling. 


Hair is one of the biggest reasons for a clogged drain. We comb our hair at the sink, wash our hair in the shower, and, if you are the owner of a dog or dog that sheds, watch out! It’s hard to catch all the stray hair so it ends up down the drain. A hair catcher or drain hair stopper is worth an investment to minimize the amount of hair going down your drain. 

Hard water

You cannot avoid hard water in Indianapolis. Left untreated, hard water not only causes frequent stains on dishes and damage to faucet fixtures, it can also be a problem for your drains. The problem is the buildup of minerals like magnesium and calcium. A water softener is the best solution for hard water, especially in Indianapolis. 

Soap Scum

That chalky white residue in your shower and bathtub is soap scum. Not only is it on the surface but in your drain. Mix soap scum with stray hair and other debris and water will be slow draining out of your shower or bathtub. Purchasing a mesh guard can help reduce the amount of soap scum that gets in your drain. Also, clearing your drain once a month using hot water or baking soda can help loosen the soap scum sticking to your pipes. 

Toilet paper and disposable wipes

These items are among the most common reasons for a clogged drain. Toilet paper and disposable wipes cause soft blockages which means they don’t dissolve quickly when flushed down the drain, so they bind together and block the flow of water. Because these items are labeled “flushable,” it’s assumed they are toilet friendly, but they can be a big problem. Avoid flushing disposable wipes down the toilet. Toss them in the trash instead. As for toilet paper, be mindful how much you place in the toilet before flushing. Excessive amounts flushed at one time can cause a clog if done frequently. If you have children in the home, discuss the proper use of toilet paper to reduce frequency of large amounts being flushed at one time. Also, be sure you are purchasing septic safe toilet paper.

Call L.D. Smith Plumbing to address any clogged drain issue. We offer free camera inspections to find the location of the clog and provide solutions to treat it. Request an appointment here.

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We serve Central Indiana, including:
Beech Grove

PHONE: 317.279.4501
FAX: 317.426.4739

L.D. Smith Plumbing
2400 Southeastern Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46201

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