Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Drain clean

I must be in a domestic mood lately. I've been cleaning a lot! The more I clean, the more I realize that I use much fewer chemicals than I bet a lot of people do.

There's a pair of sinks in our house bathroom which have been running slow. I swear, the guys who owned this place before us had no idea what to do with it. Mom pulled out a disgusting hairball from each, then I went to work to clean the pipes.

A lot of people use commercial drain cleaners on their pipes. But why? I use baking soda and vinegar. The foaming action scrubs the pipe and deodorizes the whole thing. If you remember your basic chemistry, when baking soda and vinegar react, you're left with basically salt water, which is fine to send down into the sewer, so it's much nicer than any of the harsher cleaners on the water supply.

Start by pouring as much baking soda as you can down the pipe. Then pour vinegar after it. You're going to need a LOT of vinegar, but that's why it's sold in gallon bottles. It's such a useful cleaner for just about everything (like windows!) that it never hurts to get extra. The baking soda will foam like crazy (remember those cool paper mache volcanoes from Elementary school?) and drain down the sink. Repeat a few times until the water runs nicely down the pipes.

Huzzah! Clean pipes and no harmful aftereffects, as well as buying and manufacturing less. 

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