21 August 2014

Down the Drain

Living in Australia we tend to take good plumbing for granted. Until it blocks up and the kitchen sink won't empty or the shower fills up and floods the bathroom. Or the toilet overflows (guess how I know about this one?). And then we start to think about caring for our drains.

Sluggish drains are usually the first sign of a problem but we don't usually take much notice of the fact that the water isn't disappearing as fast as it should be. Then one day it just sits in the sink, doing nothing at all.

There are commercial products available to clean and unclog drains but they are expensive. Drano, found in the cleaning aisle of your supermarket, costs $12.35 for a 500g jar and is extremely toxic. White vinegar, salt and bicarbonate soda costs 65 cents to do the same job and is a lot safer for you and the environment.

You can clean your drains quickly and easily yourself for only a few cents and help to prevent costly and very annoying blockages and calls to plumbers.

Rinse your sinks, basins, bath and/or shower with hot water first then put the plug in. Tie a string to the plug first, long enough to hang over the side of the sink. Fill the sink with hot water (boiling if you can) and add 1 cup salt, 1 cup white vinegar and ½ cup bicarbonate soda. Once the bicarbonate soda has dissolved, just a few seconds, pull the plug (now you know why it needs a string on it) and let it flush out the drains.

Doing this on a regular basis will prevent odours and build-ups that cause blockages. Why the salt? The salt will help to keep small roots from taking up residence in your pipes and causing major problems in the future.

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