Persuading The Difficult Drain

I started my day yesterday observing the slow drain in the tub. The water from my—dare I say bath?—drained so slowly that the drain appeared to be completely clogged. (Water-use guilt, but let’s move on.) Anyway, when I got home last night and saw the tub had drained, I got out my non-toxic toolkit and went to work.

First, I had to find my unopened box of baking soda, because my open box was almost empty. Found it under the kitchen sink. Then uncovered my large bottle of white vinegar under the bathroom sink. There’s a haircatcher in the drain that gets really lodged in there, so I had to kind of pry it out with a towel. Hard to visualize what that might mean, I know, but trust me. Then I dumped about half the box of baking soda into the drain and followed it up with a hefty slug of vinegar.

I always enjoy the next part: viewing the action. The concoction gets all fizzy and dramatic and I feel like I’m in chemistry class. Skinny the cat was intrigued, watching from his perch on the sink, and I had to coax him out of the bathroom to ensure he didn’t get too close and start lapping up fizz. (He probably wouldn’t have, but you never know. Last week I found him eating some leftover beets that I hadn’t yet put away from dinner.)

Lo and behold, a little while later I flushed the drain with cold water and it drained free and clear with no hesitation. (I’ve heard that some people use boiling water for the flush, but I’ve never needed to.) I get a nice sense of satisfaction every time I use this simple slow-drain fix. Maybe tonight I’ll do the bathroom sink…

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