Within the past few years, bath bombs have become a mainstay in many peoples’ self-care regimens. Their bright colors, luscious perfumes, and sometimes hidden treasures offer the promise of a relaxing soak. While we understand the appeal of a long, decadent bath in a silky tub of glittery bubbles, when it comes to caring for your septic system, bath bombs are anything but septic-safe. Read on to learn more about the dangers of bath bombs for your septic system and to discover some septic-safe alternatives to use when you need to pamper yourself.
What is a Bath Bomb?
Bath bombs are made in an array of shapes and sizes and are dense mixtures of mostly dry ingredients that dissolve into a fizzy plume when dropped into a tub of water. Some bath bombs even feature treasures hidden inside – like glitter or flower petals – that add an extra dose of glamor to the tub. Whether homemade or store-bought, most bath bombs contain similar ingredients to create this luxurious effect, including:
- Baking soda
- Citric acid
- Perfumes or essential oils
- Decorative solids
The baking soda and citric acid work together to create the bomb’s fizz. The salts and oils – most often a combination of olive oil, shea butter, or cocoa butter – work together with the essential oils and perfume to nourish the skin.
Are Bath Bombs Septic-Safe?
In a word, no. We do not recommend bath bombs for regular use with your septic system. Many of their ingredients can pose significant problems for your system.
Solid particles in many bath bombs – like flower petals, lavender buds, glitter, and confetti – will not dissolve. Instead, they may create clogs in your plumbing or in your septic tank. Once in your tank, they will float on the surface of the liquid in your septic tank, adding to the layer of scum. If they find their way out to the septic drain field, they may clog the pipes, causing catastrophic damage to your system.
Any oils that go down the drain, whether from cooking or the toiletries we use, will combine with the layer of fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) that floats on the surface of the liquid in the septic tank. Often bath bombs feature cocoa or shea butter, both of which are dense and solid at room temperature. As they flow down the drains and out into the septic system, they can solidify and collect on the pipes, potentially creating clogs that could cause wastewater to backup into your home. Once the FOGs from bath bombs find their way into your septic tank, they can continue out to the drain field, creating clogs that will cause your system to fail.
Bath bombs often contain Epsom or sea salt to help soothe sore muscles and joints. However, when the salts do not dissolve completely, they can create stubborn clogs within your home’s plumbing or the septic drain field. In high enough concentrations, even fully dissolved salts can harm the bacteria in your septic tank.
Septic-Safe Alternatives to Bath Bombs
Even though bath bombs are a bad idea for your septic system, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasional soak in a luxurious bath. The good news is septic-safe bath bomb alternatives are not only better for your septic tank, but they’re also better for you. Free of artificial colors and heavy perfumes, any plain soap (non-antibacterial) bubble bath will offer just as decadent an experience for those times when you need to unwind.
You can even toss in a small handful of finely grained Epsom salt to soothe aching joints and muscles. As an added benefit for your septic system, the finely grained Epsom salt will promote vegetation growth over your drain field, which helps prevent it from becoming water laden during heavy rains. Be sure you are only indulging in a decadent bath on days when you are not otherwise handling water-heavy household chores, like the laundry.
Supeck Septic Keeps Your System Running!
As Northeast Ohio’s largest septic service provider, Supeck Septic has been delivering exceptional customer service for the past 52 years. We are available for emergency repairs as well as routine septic maintenance and installation. Contact us to schedule your service visit today!