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Four Beauty And Hygiene Routines That Aren't So Good For Your Plumbing

You put a great deal of time and effort into caring for your appearance and keeping up with good hygiene. But as good as these hygiene routines may be for your body, they are not always the best for your plumbing. Read on to discover four beauty and hygiene routines that may harm your plumbing—and some tips to make them less harmful.

Oil Pulling

It's the latest phenomenon in oral health care. Whether you oil pull to whiten your teeth or because you believe it will prevent tooth decay, pay close attention to what you do with the oil when you are done swishing it. If you spit the oil down the drain, it will stick to the insides of your pipes. Coconut oil is the most likely to congeal in the pipes and cause clogs since it is a solid at room temperature—and your pipes are often cold. Other oils can also cause problems, however—especially if they combine with soap scum and hair.

If you engage in oil pulling, make sure you spit your oil into a cup or jar, and then dispose of it in the trash. Never spit it down the drain.

Flushing Cotton Swabs and Pads

If you use cotton swabs and pads to clean your face, apply toner, or wipe away stray bits of makeup, the toilet may seem like the perfect place to dispose of them. However, these items take a lot longer to break down than toilet paper. If they get stuck in a pipe, you will need to have a professional come remove the clog. Cotton products can also get stuck on roots in your main sewer line, exacerbating a root-related clog.

If you have a septic tank, cotton items will build up at the bottom of the tank, necessitating more frequent pumping. You may deal with backups and overflows more often, too.

Shaving Longer Hair Over the Sink

Your sink might be the most convenient place to shave your face. However, if you use an electric shaver on a longer beard, the little hairs from your face can build up in your drain and cause a clog. A normal sink trap, designed to catch longer hairs, won't always trap them, either. A good solution is to shave over a bowl when your beard hair is too long. Toss the hair in the trash rather than letting it go down the drain.

Using Clay Soap

There are so many different natural soaps and face washes on the market today. These can be excellent if you have sensitive skin; they make you less prone to breakouts. However, you should be wary of using ones that contain any sort of clay. The clay is intended as a natural moisturizer, but it also has the side effect of causing excessive soap scum in drains. Pick soaps that are free of clay for better plumbing maintenance.

If you have a clay soap that you really love, at least make sure you have a water softener in your home. This device removes excess minerals from your water, making soap scum less likely. You can also rinse some vinegar and baking soda down the drain every couple of weeks. The acidic vinegar will help break down some of the clay buildup.

If you have been practicing any of these hygiene routines, you may want to schedule a checkup appointment with a plumber. They can look over your drain pipes for any signs of clogs, and if they find a clog, they can then clear it before it has a chance to get any larger. Contact a plumber in your area for more info.