Liquid hand wash is it responsible for blocked drain?

I was told yesterday by a plumber that the reason the hand basin was blocked, is because of the use of liquid handwash. Could this possibly be correct. Anneke


It might contribute to it. There are many things that are worse. Many plumbers’ web sites will tell you that bar soap is worse. We all need some kind of emulsifying agent to wash with however.

This is my list of things you do not put down the drain in order of importance.

  1. Solids. Odd bits of junk, jewellery, pencil shavings, food scraps, clothing, paper, pads, tampons, wipes, nappies, tissues, chunks of soap etc. Other than toilet paper the only solid that ought to go down is bodily waste. In the case of the hand basin nothing at all. Children need to be supervised and coached not to experiment by seeing what they can poke down the drain.
  2. Hair. Pet hair, human hair, any kind of hair. Hard to avoid as we all shed hair from our bodies and not just from the head. Along with solids hair combines with gunk (that is the technical term) to make immovable lumps, a bit like using fibre glass or carbon fibre to strengthen polymer structures. If you shave any part of you that contributes more. If you get adventurous and decide to clean out your own traps you will find long smelly trails of black goop going down the pipe held together with hair.
  3. Oil or fat. The cooking kind you can dispose of correctly, the kind that comes off your skin there is not much you can do about.
  4. Soaps, shampoos and washes. Once again you can’t avoid them. These make gunk. This is detergent or soap that has been precipitated due to combining with oils or from hard water. If you have very hard water the problem is worse because it solidifies soaps quicker and you tend to use more soap as it doesn’t foam as well.

So could you avoid the next plumber’s bill by switching to bar soap instead of liquid wash? I doubt it.


Thank you. Much appreciated. Anneke


Highly unlikely unless you are using a very cheap hand wash. I have been using exxy one and my drains are white, no longer have black gunk on them.

Plus to refresh them I dump a pot of boiling water every now and again.


Maybe take the bottle off the drain hole as the bottle may stop water from flowing down the drain.

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