It’s easy to see the appeal of bath bombs; they are colourful, glittery and smell delicious. Add one to a warm bath, light some candles and grab a glass of champagne, and you have a luxurious sensory experience on your hands.

Bath bombs might help you relax and unwind, but the bad news is that they may not be that great for your plumbing system. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Bath Bombs Made From?

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and citric acid are the basic ingredients that make up a bath bomb and cause it to fizz. Bath bombs will also contain at least some of the following ingredients depending on the brand.

  • titanium dioxide
  • epsom salts
  • oils (coconut, soybean and olive are common)
  • essential oils
  • rose petals or other dried flowers
  • glitter
  • confetti
  • colourants

If you have sensitive skin, dermatologists recommend staying away from bath bombs as ingredients like limonene, linalool and alpha isomethyl ionone can be irritating. 

And many plumbers recommend staying away from bath bombs for the health of your plumbing!

Why Bath Bombs Can Harm Your Plumbing

Not all bath bombs cause problems, and the occasional bath bomb probably won’t have any detrimental effects on your plumbing. The worst culprits are those that contain chunky additions like flower petals and glitter that don’t dissolve. Too many baths with these types of ingredients and you could be looking at a clogged or slow-draining drain.


“Drains are slimy and sticky to begin with, so they catch things like flower petals, glitters and other add-ons that aren’t biodegradable.” 

Aaron Mulder

Operations manager and co-owner , Mr. Rooter Plumbing San Antonio


If you have a septic tank, bath bombs can cause even more problems. Salts that don’t dissolve can cause blockages as well as damage the bacteria in your tank. Those chunks we talked about earlier can block effluent filters and cause damage to other components.

If you really don’t want to give up your bath bombs, consider using a mesh bag to catch all those chunky ingredients while still allowing the fizz and fragrance out. You could also try using a strainer when you drain the water from the bath to catch all those potential clog-causing chunks!

Can I Use a Bath Bomb in a Hot Tub?

No. Never. All bath bombs are different, but most will contain a mixture of the ingredients mentioned above. By adding a bath bomb to your spa or hot tub, you risk permanently staining the tub, blocking the filters and damaging the pump. And you don’t need us to tell you that repairs to a hot tub are not cheap. Of course, one bath bomb in the spa isn’t the end of the world, but our advice is to stick to the champagne in the hot tub and save the bath bomb for the bath!

If you have any concerns about the health of your plumbing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.