OK – this is NOT the most glamorous post I am ever going to write. But, it may be one of the most helpful, because sooner or later most of us will face this common household challenge. On this blog, I have talked about fixing your drips, conserving water, taking shorter showers and even cleaning the bath and kitchen with environmentally friendly products. But what about that other green challenge? The dreaded CLOG. Of course, it would be easy to grab that liquid drain cleaner. You know, the one filled with lye, and other harsh chemicals? And, there go all of your best green intentions, right down the drain. I have been tempted to take this quick fix recently, when my bathtub drained verrrry slowly. It was really gross to be taking a shower and standing in, well, old water. But, I resisted, and I am glad I did, because my grandmother-in-law’s tried and true solution worked like a charm.
There are some great, environmentally friendly ways to handle a clog, promise. To get started, try using a good old-fashioned plunger. Many clogs will dislodge this way, and you get a great upper-body workout in the process (in other words, this method requires some muscle power.)
My favorite way to get rid of clogs comes from an old recipe my grandmother-in-law swore by. It uses 3 very common household items; baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. If these sound familiar, you may have made a volcano with these things as a science experiment when you were in school. Pour approximately 1 part baking soda to 4 parts vinegar over the clog. Then, pour a pot of boiling water over that. Let stand 15 minutes, and then run the water to see if the drain is clear. If it isn’t, use the plunger again – the vinegar solution may have loosened the clog. You can repeat this a couple of times.
Still stuck? You can always take off the elbow joint below the sink, check the trap, or use a router. If the clog is still stuck, call a green plumber. Yes, these eco-angels DO exist. While they are at it, they can suggest ways for you to have a more sustainable home, water-wise.
Good luck…patience and perseverance will do the trick. And, best of all? You didn’t have to use any of those horrible chemicals.