If you’re someone who often colors their hair (or works in a salon where you’re coloring other peoples’ hair all day) then you likely flush a lot of hair products down the drain, whether it’s the toilet, shower, or sink. Concentrated shampoos, conditioners, leftover dye, and even hair bleach are often times rinsed downstream without even a second thought. On most occasions, you’ll have leftover hair bleach and other products in your mixing bowls and on your brush applicators, and it’s common practice to just rinse them out in the sink or in the shower. But is it ok to put hair bleach down the drain? Or is this somehow bad for the plumbing?
Hair bleach and city sewers
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t freak out if you accidentally get some hair bleach down the drain if you’re on a city sewer system. Hair bleach is not as corrosive as over-the-counter liquid drain cleaners (which you honestly should never use), and it’s not even as strong as bleach that you use to clean your bathroom. You also get the added benefit of cleaning out any mildew or bacteria if you flush leftover hair bleach down the bathroom sink. Try swishing it around with a sponge to clean out the sink bowl, too, killing two birds with one stone.
Hair bleach and septic sewers
If you’re on a septic system, this is a whole different ball game. Septic tanks are very delicate, containing a fine-tuned mixture of biomatter within that is intended to take care of all your biodegradable wastes. Bleach will only tamper with this balance, so it’s best to only flush substances that can biodegrade. This means no bleach or other harsh chemicals down the drain.
When in doubt, toss it out
Don’t want to feel anxious and guilty about your hair dye leftovers? Use disposable materials and instead bag them and throw them in the trash. This way you’re not rinsing anything toxic down the drain, and you’re still removing your leftovers from your home. Make sure to toss them right in your outdoor garbage can, since bleach has a very strong odor and you don’t want it lingering in your bathroom.