Category Archives: Home Improvement

Natural Drain Cleaning: Not for the Weak of Stomach!

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Things are slowly settling in our new home. I am extremely excited to tell you about all the things that I have done thus far, but that would be a 6 mile long post. I have decided to share with you one of my favorite natural cleaning/home improvement solutions. Now, I really must warn you that the photos are not very appealing.

We have all played with Baking Soda and Vinegar. My first experience with it was as a child. As a “science experiment” one summer, my mother helped me put some baking soda into a balloon and some vinegar in a bottle. We then carefully put the balloon’s end around the bottle’s mouth. After attached, she would let me lift the balloon to empty the baking soda into the bottle. This would cause a chemical reaction that produced a gas that would fill the balloon. Here is a video of that experiment!

If only I would have known then that those two ingredients and that chemical reaction would become my favorite natural cleaning solution! I have to admit one reason why this is my favorite is because I am still highly amused by this chemical reaction. From day one of moving in, our master bathroom sink drained really, really slowly. The speed of the water from the faucet was way faster than the water leaving down the drain. I needed to do something, so I looked up recipes for unclogging drains. I did a search on the internet or had already seen a recipe in my readings. I can’t remember for sure and I can’t find the exact page I found the recipe on, but this page has lots of good recipes, including the one I used.

Drain Cleaning Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Baking Soda
  • A pot of boiling water

Pour the baking soda down the drain. Pour the vinegar down the drain and allow to bubble. Wait 15 minutes and flush with boiling water.

The Modifications I had to make:

  • Our drain plug doesn’t remove, so I had to pack the baking soda down by hand
  • Due to the wet nature of the drain, the baking soda doesn’t fall into the drain and packs pretty tightly at the top. To adjust for this I used a medicine syringe to squirt the vinegar down through it.
  • Also, squirted vinegar down the emergency drain to deliver it to the bottom of the packed baking soda.
  • I had to use way more than 1/2 cup of vinegar to dissolve all of the baking soda.
  • I had to do this three times for our sink. I think that waiting longer than 15 minutes would have helped.
  • When flushing with boiling water, start by pouring slowly directly or as directly as possible into the drain and about 1/4 –1/2 way through the pot dump the rest of the water without splashing it on you.
  • One more that I will discuss below.

Tonight, I had to do this again for our bath tub. I followed all of my modifications and got it completely unplugged the first time.

The last modification that no one warns you about is that the bubbling of the chemical reaction can cause the clog be pushed back to the top of the drain. So, I had to use tweezers to pull all this hair and gunk out of the drain. Luckily, we have a pair of old tweezers that we used for cleaning hair and animal fur out of the drains at our apartment. The gunk and hair I had to pull out is not pretty. The sink was not as bad as the tub. The tub was so bad that I decided to play the girl card and have my big, strong husband deal with the nastiness of picking it up in a bag to take to the garbage can. Luckily, the garbage is picked up in the morning, because that pile of hair was starting to remind me of a horror movie… LOL!

Here are the pictures:

Gunk from the Sink                                                        Tub with Horror Movie Hair
Gunk from the Sink                                                                       Tub with Horror Movie Hair

Well, I hope my adventure will help you with your clogged sinks. Tune in soon for more cleaning recipes I’ve been using and maybe a sneak peak at our kitchen. I might even include some other recipes I’ve been cooking up like homemade dog treats, granola bars, and body wash just to name a few. Have a wonderful day and don’t be afraid to leave some comments or questions!