Saturday, March 21, 2009

Draino is a Dirty Word

I am going to tell you a secret, no green cleaner is probably going to work as well on your drains as the eco-evil Draino. But, it's not all doom and gloom, for you or the Earth. With a few simple tools you can get an almost just as good drain clean without the toxic chemicals.

For your mission, if you choose to accept it, you will need vingar (surprise, surprise), baking soda, and a drain snake. I know a lot of people swear by only vinegar and water to clean out their drains. At my house it works great for little clogs, but every once in a while, if we really want to get the water moving, we have to break out the snake.

Ok, tools in hand, here is the plan.

1. Pour a little bit of baking soda into the sink. No, I don't have an exact amount I usually do about 1/5 of a small box. But just use your best judgement.
2. Pour in some vinegar. Again, I am not sure on an exact measurement, but pour it straight out of the bottle and make sure you use enough to wash the baking soda down and really get things fizzing.
3. Wait for the fizzing to stop. It is such a satisying sound and it sounds so clean.
4. Pour in a small pot (there, an almost exact amount!) of boiling water.

And that should do it most of the time! I have even tried out many of the earth-friendly drain cleaners and found they didn't work nearly as well as this simple, much less expensive solution.

If that doesn't work, try the snake. Follow the directions on your particular model, but ours is so easy even I can do it.

Anything I missed? Any other drain cleaning tips? You all have been awful quiet lately.

And I might be awful quiet soon. It seems small children and modem boxes don't mix and I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I am without phone or internet until further notice. Maybe it's a sign I am supposed to get out and enjoy the world more instead of just typing about it. Hopefully I will be back soon!


Patty Skypants said...

I think I have perfected the drain cleaning thing after 30 years of experimentation and after calling plumbers and paying them $75 to do something very similar to this.

for this you need a plunger, a small fork or spoon, a drain guard/hair catcher, a small pan of almost boiling hot water and your vinegar and baking soda.

First, remove the drain stop. Pour two or three cups of hot water into the drain. Plunge gently, trying to pull up as much of the gunk as possible. Hold the plunger in place until you get the drain guard/hair catcher which you will put over the drain opening. This will catch most of the gunk. I usually have some newspaper ready to put the gunk into. Plunge several times until you feel you have gotten most of the gunk out. Then take your fork or spoon and scrape the inside of the drain as far down as you can go. Usually, you can get a lot more gunk out this way. Then, spoon into the drain about a half cup of baking soda and immediately pour about a cup of vinegar into the drain. Let it bubble and do it's thing for about ten minutes. Then pour some more hot water into the drain to determine whether this has worked. It usually does!

Plunging to pull up the gunk keeps it from moving down through the plumbing to possibly clog in another spot from which it might be much more difficult to remove.

Anne said...

That's a great tip - and much cheaper than many other cleaners!

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this.

Just tried it on a problem sink - I needed the plunger too but everything is free-flowing again.

Great tips.


Lucy Pursglove said...

This is a great tip, thank you! I shall be trying it on our kitchen sink.
Lucy. x

MLDB said...

I'm pretty useless when it comes to fixing things around here, but I plan on using this on my upstairs soon as I can figure out how to remove the stopper;)

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, I get a headache just seeing the name Draino! I have such a chemical phobia. Last year I worked in a preschool, at the end of the day they would get out the Lysol and spray....I would freak out, get a headache, dizzy, and had breathing problems. My girls and I would RUN out of the building! I finally convinced the school (not easy, they were die-hard Lysol fans) to use environmentally safe products. Ugh, I don't know how people can breath in all those chemicals in these type of products!