Does Bar Soap Clog Drains? [Complete Answer]

If you’ve ever stood in your shower and noticed that the water was taking longer to go down the drain, chances are you’ve asked yourself if the bar soap you were using could be the culprit.

It’s a fair question to ask, and it’s one that many people are curious about. Does bar soap have the potential to cause a clog in your drain? And if so, what is it about bar soap that makes it a problem for drains and pipes?

Today, I am going to dive into the answer to these questions and explore the potential benefits of switching from bar soap to liquid soap to prevent clogs and other plumbing issues.

Does Bar Soap Clog Drains? [Complete Answer]

What Is Bar Soap?

Bar soap is a simple and affordable way to get clean, but many are unaware of its basic makeup. To achieve its cleansing power, bar soap is made from a combination of fats and a variety of different chemical compounds, depending on the recipe.

The fats are usually lye-based, meaning the fats are mixed with lye, which is a type of alkaline compound. The lye reacts with the fats to create a substance called soap.

Soap molecules have a particular structure, with a hydrophilic head that is attracted to water and a lipophilic tail that is attracted to fats and oils.

When the soap is mixed with water, the hydrophilic heads of the soap molecules become attracted to water molecules, while the lipophilic tails become attracted to the dirt or oil particles on the skin. This creates an emulsion or suspension, where the oil and dirt particles are broken up and suspended in the water.

The fats used in bar soaps vary in composition, including plant-based fats like coconut oil, and animal-based fats like tallow.

Fats are important in soaps because they give the soap good emulsifying and cleansing qualities. The fats also create a moisturizing lather, which can help soften and protect the skin.

As well as the fats and lye, bar soaps also include other ingredients to provide color, scent, and texture. These can include natural ingredients like essential oils, herbs and exfoliants, as well as synthetic ingredients, like preservatives and fragrances. Some bar soaps even contain antibacterial ingredients, to help fight germs and bacteria.

What Causes Drains To Clog?

Clogged drains are a common household nuisance that can really put a damper on your day. But what causes drains to become clogged in the first place?

There are a few different factors that play a role in clogged drains. One of the most common culprits is hair. Tiny strands of hair often escape the drain filter and accumulate in the pipes. Over time, the hair builds up and can cause a blockage.

Other factors such as soap scum and grease from food can also contribute to clogged drains. Soap scum accumulates in the pipes and coats the inside of the pipes, making it nearly impossible for water to pass through. Grease from food such as bacon and cheese can also accumulate in the pipes and contribute to a clog.

In some cases, large objects such as toys or jewelry can also become lodged in the pipes and cause a clog. Children often lose small toys or jewelry in the drain, and this can cause a serious clog.

Finally, tree roots can sometimes grow into the pipes and cause a clog. This is especially common in older homes that have pipes made of clay or other porous materials.

Grease and Oil

Grease and oil can be some of the biggest offenders in clogging drains. Both grease and oil are made up of molecules that don’t mix with water, so they settle and stick to the edges of your pipes and accumulate, eventually forming a clog.

If you’re used to cooking with a lot of oily foods, like bacon, or you often use products like oil-based makeup, you could end up with a lot of greasy buildup in your pipes.

Since grease and oil don’t mix with water, traditional bar soap isn’t effective at cleaning them away. It might look like soap bubbles dissolve the grease and oil, but the molecules just float around until they sink and settle on the walls of the pipes again.

Soap molecules can build up on the inside of pipes and create a scum that coats everything, making it even harder for the water to get through and pushing the oil and grease further down the pipes.

To tackle grease and oil clogs, you need to use a specialized cleaner specifically formulated for grease and oil. These products dissolve the molecules and scrub away the build-up without damaging the pipes.

Hair and Soap Scum

Have you ever noticed the scum-like substance that accumulates on your shower walls and hair follicles? Chances are you’ve seen—or at least heard of—the dreaded “soap scum”.

But what is soap scum? In its most basic form, soap scum is a combination of soap and minerals that form when water containing dissolved minerals (like calcium, magnesium, and iron) mixes with soap. When the water evaporates, these minerals remain behind and bond with the soap, forming a scummy residue that can be difficult to remove.

Soap scum can cause clogged drains, especially when it combines with human hair. When soap and hair mix, they create a sticky, gummy substance that can quickly clog the pipes of your shower or bathtub.

To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to rinse off your hair and body thoroughly in the shower to avoid letting soap buildup. Also, it’s important to regularly clear out your drain by using a plunger or a special drain cleaner to remove any built-up soap scum that could cause a clog.

Does Bar Soap Clog Drains?

Does Bar Soap Clog Drains?

You’ve heard the old wives’ tale that bar soap clogs drains, but is it true? The answer is not so simple. Though bar soap may be a potential cause of clogged drains, there are other factors to consider when assessing the cause of a clogged drain. Let’s examine the bigger picture and find out if bar soap really is a culprit for clogged drains.

First and foremost, bar soap is designed to be used with a wash cloth rather than directly on skin. This helps to keep the bar soap from washing away too quickly and plugging up your drain.

Because bar soap is designed to be used with a cloth, if it is used directly on skin and ends up going down the drain, it can create a build up in the pipes and clog them over time. This build-up is similar to the grease and food particles that could clog a kitchen drain.

Another factor to consider is the quality of the bar soap itself. Bar soaps that are low grade and contain chemicals, artificial colors, and fragrances have the potential to be more difficult to break down and cause a clog in the drain.

On the other hand, high quality natural soaps are much less likely to cause clogs. The majority of clogs are caused by larger objects like toys or shaving products, not bar soap.

Some people also use bar soap to wash their hair, which is not recommended. Doing so is likely to leave an excessive amount of soap scum on your scalp, making it more difficult to rinse the soap out of your hair. This, in turn, could cause an accumulation of soap scum in the drain and lead to a clogged pipe.

How Do You Dissolve Bar Soap in A Drain?

Dissolving bar soap in a drain is an easy way to save some money and avoid having to call a plumber to get rid of clogged pipes.

The process begins by running warm water into the sink and breaking up the bar soap into small pieces, then letting it dissolve with the help of the warm water while you continuously run additional warm water into the sink.

Once all of the pieces are fully dissolved, rinse out any additional suds with cold water to make sure all remains of the bar soap are gone. This easy solution will keep your drains clear without having to invest in expensive chemical solutions or costly tools.

How Bar Soap Impacts Pipes and Drains

Bar soap is made up of tiny, solid particles of soap, which may be the same size as a drain or pipe. This can lead to tiny particles of bar soap sticking to the surfaces of the pipes and drains, which causes buildup over time. The buildup of soap particles can eventually create a clog, resulting in slow-moving or blocked drains.

To make matters worse, bar soap contains oils and fats, which can accumulate in the pipes and drains. This buildup can also lead to clogs and slow-moving drains.

The oils and fats in the bar soap can contribute to the growth of bacteria, sludge, and mold, which can cause serious damage to the pipes and drains over time.

To prevent these negative impacts of bar soap on your pipes and drains, it is important to only use low-lathering soap bars and to avoid using too much soap. You should always rinse away any soap residue with hot water after each use. This will help to prevent any soap buildup in your pipes and drains.

The Benefits Of Liquid Soap

The Benefits Of Liquid Soap

When it comes to getting clean, liquid soap is a great choice. It’s gentle and easy to use, plus it’s safe for sensitive skin. Not to mention, liquid soap is also kind to the environment and more cost-effective than bar soap. Here are just a few of the many benefits of choosing liquid soap over bar soap.

First and foremost, liquid soap is so much easier to use than bar soap. All you have to do is pump a little into your palm, wash your hands, and you’re done.

With bar soap, it can feel like a chore to have to lather it up and wash it off. Plus, with bar soap, it’s easy for it to slip out of your hands, leading to wasted soap and an even messier cleanup. With liquid soap, you don’t have to worry about that.

Liquid soap is also much gentler on your skin than bar soap. Because it’s often formulated with moisturising ingredients, liquid soap is perfect for those who struggle with dry, itchy skin. Not to mention, liquid soap is also much less likely to produce any harsh, irritating scents than bar soap.

Finally, liquid soap is much more environmentally-friendly than bar soap. Since you don’t have to worry about having bars of soap lying around, there’s much less waste associated with using liquid soap. And since liquid soap can be refilled or added to existing containers, it actually requires less plastic to keep it in.

Can Using Liquid Soap Help Avoid Clogs?

When it comes to avoiding clogged drains, liquid soap often gets overlooked in favor of bar soap. Liquid soap has a few unique qualities that can help keep your drains running smoothly.

First, liquid soap has a far lower pH level than bar soap. This makes it better at breaking down stubborn clogs caused by soap residue, dirt, grime, oils, and other materials. You may need to use a drain cleaner in addition to liquid soap, but the liquid soap will give the cleaner an additional boost and help keep your pipes clean.

Second, liquid soap forms fewer clumps than bar soap. That makes it easier to rinse away down the drain, reducing the chances of a clog forming. The more evenly liquid soap rinses away, the less likely it is to stick to the sides of the pipes and accumulate over time.

Finally, liquid soap often contains compounds that are not found in bar soap. These compounds can act as antifungal agents, helping to prevent mold, mildew, and other organic residue from forming on the drain walls. These compounds also create a protective layer on the pipes, helping to keep them cleaner and clearer in the long run.

How To Clear A Clogged Drain

1. Use a Plunger – If the blockage is due to debris, hair, or other solids, use a plunger to try and break up the material causing the obstruction. Make sure you cover any overflows with a damp cloth so as not to create an airtight seal, then plunge firmly but not too hard several times. You should be able to feel movement in the pipe when doing this method.

2. Use A Drain Snake – This tool can help remove more stubborn blockages from pipes by snaking through them and breaking them up manually. Insert the snake into the pipe until you feel the obstruction, then rotate it in a clockwise direction while pushing forward. This should help to dislodge most blockages within the pipe.

3. Use Hot Water – Pour a pot of boiling water down the sink or drain opening. The hot water can help break up any soap, grease, and oil deposits that may be clogging up your pipes. Make sure you use extreme caution when pouring hot water down your drain as it can easily damage some plumbing fixtures.

4. Use A Chemical Clearing Solution – If all else fails, try using a chemical clearing solution such as Drano or Liquid Plumr to dissolve any remaining debris inside the pipe. Be sure to follow all directions on the label of your chosen product and use extreme caution when handling and using it.

5. Use Baking Soda – This natural cleaning agent is a great way to combat grease and hair build-up in your pipes. Start by adding 1/2 cup of baking soda down the shower drain and drain pipes, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Allow this mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes, then flush with hot water.

Tips to Prevent Clogging of Drains

Clogged drains can be a major hassle, particularly when it comes to your sink or bathtub. Homeowners and renters alike know how difficult it can be to get a clogged drain flowing freely again.

One potential cause of clogged drains is bar soap. That’s right – bar soap can cause a nasty clog if it’s not disposed of properly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop using bar soap entirely. Instead, follow these tips to prevent clogged drains due to bar soap:

1. Break down large bars of soap into smaller pieces. Breaking down large bars of soap into smaller pieces will help to reduce the chances of them clogging your drain. Break them into pieces that are small enough to easily fit into the drain, but not so small that they can get stuck.

2. Put your bar soap in a container. If you’re worried about soap clogging, try putting your bar soap in a container of some kind and draining it into the sink or bathtub. This will help catch any soap pieces that might have become too small.

3. Consider switching to liquid soap. Liquid soaps are less likely to clog drains, so you might want to consider switching away from bar soap altogether. Not only will it reduce the chances of a clog, but it’s also often gentler on your skin.

4. Use Water Softener – Hard water tends to clog up your pipes and drains with calcium and magnesium deposits. Installing a water softener in your bathroom sink, can help prevent this issue, as it will remove these minerals from the water before they enter the pipes. Soft water is less likely to cause pipe blockages in your bathroom drains.

Use A Shower Strainer

If you use bar soap in the shower, you may be concerned that it could clog your drains. That’s why it’s important to use a shower strainer. A shower strainer is designed to keep bar soap and other debris from entering your drain. It’s an easy solution that can help prevent a clogged sink or tub.

When shopping for a shower strainer, look for one specifically designed for bar soap. These strainers are typically shallow and oval-shaped, allowing them to catch smaller particles. The wide opening prevents the bar soap from entering the drain and the integrated lip keeps it securely in the strainer.

Run Hot Water Reguarly

You know what they say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why the best way to avoid clogged drains due to bar soap is by running hot water regularly. Not only does this flush out any soap that may be hanging out in your pipes, it also serves as a great preventative measure.

But why is hot water preferable to cold? As with many things in life, the answer is simple: heat. When it comes to dealing with stubborn soap scum, hot water can be your best friend.

Hot water dissolves soap quickly, allowing it to be flushed out of your pipes with ease. In contrast, cold water does not dissolve soap as readily and can cause it to stick to the interior of your pipes, leading to clogs.

It’s also important to keep an eye on your water pressure. If your pipes are becoming clogged due to soap, running hot water may not be enough.

You may need to invest in a water-pressure regulator to ensure that the water flowing through your pipes isn’t too high or low. This will help to keep your pipes clear and reduce the chances of a clog.

Use Drain Unclogging Chemicals

Use Drain Unclogging Chemicals

If you’re dealing with a clogged drain, you may be looking for an easy and cost-effective solution. One popular method is to use drain unclogging chemicals. These products can be found at any home improvement store and are relatively inexpensive. But, do they really work?

In short, yes! Drain unclogging chemicals are designed to break down grease, hair, and other debris that has built up in your drain over time. This makes it easier to flush or remove the material from your pipes. Therefore, these products can be very effective when used correctly.

However, it is important to note that drain unclogging chemicals can also be dangerous. They are formulated with harsh chemicals, which can be corrosive and flammable.

Therefore, it is important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Also, it is a good idea to wear protective gear like gloves and safety glasses when using store-bought drain unclogging chemicals.


The answer to the question “Does bar soap clog drains?” is yes. The build-up of soap scum, oil, and debris can cause clogs in your pipes and drains.

The best way to minimize the chance of clogs is to use liquid soap instead of bar soap, as it is much less likely to create clogs.

It’s also important to run hot water regularly, use a shower strainer, and use unclogging chemicals to prevent clogs from forming. Bar soap may create clogs, but with the right practices, you can avoid them.