Thursday, April 26, 2012

Natural Drain Cleaner Fail

My husband is a scientist which means periodically we do science experiments in our house.  Yesterday we made a volcano in our shower drain.  Why, you ask.  Because I keep reading and hearing that vinegar and baking soda are the best non toxic drain cleaner.  I pretty well shed like a dog, and my hair has the nasty tendency to clog up our shower drain.  In the past a plunger has always done the trick, but that is no longer working.  I didn't want to use Drano, and I already had baking soda and vinegar in the house.

We put:
-1/8 c baking soda
-1/8 c vinegar
down the drain and shut the plug.  We allowed that to sit for about 30 minutes.  Then we poured hot water down the drain for about 2 minutes.  That step almost killed me with guilt for the waste of water.

The results: It didn't work.  Having the shower run for a few minutes still resulted in the tub filling up.  I have heard so many people talk about this though, so I know it must work.  I am turning to you now to ask for your experiences with this.

What did I do wrong?

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45 comments:

  1. I like using this drain cleaning method because it's eco-friendly and easier on our septic tank ... but the husband sheds like a dog as well and if I don't do it on a weekly basis, our shower drain clogs. In the rare event that happens I have no choice but to use a little Liquid Plumber. With the bs&v method I've also noticed that using nearly boiling water instead of just 'hot' water makes a big difference as well.

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  2. i agree with the above, it's not a replacement for draino if you've already got a clog. I use it bi-weekly in all of my bathroom drains and haven't had any issues with the drain in awhile, which is a nice relief!

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  3. Unlike the previous commenters, I only use it when I get a really bad clog [[as it sounds like you have]]. However, I pull the bulk of the clog out with a stretched out wire clothes hanger first. After getting the huge clump of hair and congealed shampoo out, I do the vinegar and baking soda solution. The shower runs well after that and the best part is that you don't have to use draino. [[side note: if you have a weak stomach as I do, I recommend having your husband doing the hanger bit...I never fail to gag at the sight of all of that nasty hair!]]

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  4. I use a clothes hanger to get the bulk of the clog out too. Then vinegar and baking soda followed by hot water. Sometimes it takes a bit of work, but it always works in the end :)

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  5. I agree with the ladies. Taking out the bulk of the hair first and then keeping up with it weekly after that.

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  6. I too agree, Also pouring boiling hot water down after the baking soda and vinegar has sat for 15-30 minutes helps I find. We have a family of 7 and I use this method very successfully :o)I also should say that a pair of long tweezers like use on threading serger (sewing) machines come in handy.. it's yucky, but it can get it cleaned out for ya.

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  7. The best tool I've found to clean the tub drain is a Zip-it. It's a snakey thing with little "spikes" on it. They cost $2-3 and you can buy them at Walmart, etc. After using that, I've done the baking soda and vinegar combo with great success.

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  8. This never works well for me either, but I do use a plunger in the tub once in a while when I have a bad clog and that works really well! I might try using a combination of both next time.

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  9. Like you, this one was a failure for me as well. However, I think if you have to remove the bulk of the clog before using this, then what is the point of using anything else? I can see this natural method being used weekly to prevent a huge clog, but I gave up and bought some liquid plumber because I was tired of wasting so much baking soda, vinegar and my time trying to get rid of a clog that just kept getting worse. I want to use all natural items in my cleaning, but sometimes they just don't work (which is why I'm sure they started inventing all these chemical laden products!-I'm not promoting it, just saying I understand now why people turned away from some natural ways...)

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  10. If you have long hair, the drain may be filled with hair. I have that problem in my house. But I have never used this treatment on the showers before.

    I usually use it on my sink. And it didn;t work very well either. I think that this works best as more of a prevention option. I used some drain-o and that clears things up. And since doing that I use the vinager and baking soda once a month and the clog has not come back.

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  11. It's a drain cleaner (like for smelly drains) not a drain de-glogger.

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  12. It could be the span of time you let the baking soda and vinegar sit in. Try leaving the mixture overnight and then see if the blockage disappears. Another alternative is to use hot water together with salt. Salt is a significant ingredient for clearing out a clogged drain, basin, or sink. To produce salt, sodium hydroxide is neutralized with hydrochloric acid, which is also part of the chemicals used in manufacturing drain cleaners.

    Darryl Iorio

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  13. I know this is an older post, but I just unclogged my drain with this mixture this morning. I've used this method on my kitchen sink, bathroom sink & tub and basement sink - all with great results.
    I don't do the pour & sit method though. I pack a liberal amount of baking soda into the drain - if the tub is full of water, you may have to remove some of it to get the baking soda near the drain. I then pour the vinegar directly onto the mound of baking soda - again, I use a pretty large amount of it. After tub empties, I pour boiling water down the drain.
    If you do this 1-2 times a week, it should help your drain from getting clogged.

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  14. I tried that and failed also, but I kept trying with different methods. I was finally able to unclog my drain by sealing off the drainout in tub with duct tape and plugging the sink. When done adding my vinegar and baking soda, also covering it so that the gases push it out. I also plunged it just a little and it helped wonders. I should have thought of this long ago.

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  15. I done the same before and turned out good. Here’s what I do: I poured 1/2 of the box of baking soda, I didn’t combine any water on it just keep it dry when dumping it into the drain. Then following the 1/2 cup of vinegar and after 30 minutes adds the hot water slowly. Experimenting is fun, educational and money saver, if you succeeded. But if it comes out bad, it’s better to call a specialist to fix it.

    {Kurt Verdejo}

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  16. Indeed they are! They are inexpensive and effective. It’s not really rocket science, but it is very impressive how this mixture easily cleans and unclogs drain. But what I do differently are squeeze lemon and pour hot water after. The lemon is to make the sink shinier.

    Althea Tumlin

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  17. Use the commercial drain cleaner to get the drain really clean. Then, if possible, put a strainer in the drain. This will catch perhaps 90 - 95 % of the hair, which you just pick out & throw in the trash.

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  18. I have used Drainbo for many years and it really does work when used properly. You still need to dig out the odd clump of hair now and again. It is truly eco friendly as it breaks down waste matter into carbon dioxide and water. Baking soda and acid is pretty nasty when compared.

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  20. Help! I need drain cleaning in Salt Lake City! Does anyone know of something I can do?

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  21. I'm almost to the point where I'm going to have to call drain cleaning services in Spokane, WA but I will give this one last try!

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  26. I also tried this and it didn't work for me. Well, it did work for the following couple showers. But then it just started clogging up again. We ended up having to call drain cleaning services in Zanesville OH to help us out. Good luck!

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  32. Yes we should do these tips regularly. A blocked sewer pipe could lead to a VERY unwanted disaster inside our house. We will be flooded by things of the past, past usages of the toilet.

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  33. I always appreciate natural ways of cleaning like what is mentioned in your blog. Thanks for sharing another helpful tips here!

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  35. Great experiment and you also got succeeded in implementing it.

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  36. Great elaboration on clogged drain cleaning through DIY steps.

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  40. I didn't want to use Drano, and I already had baking soda and vinegar in the house. drain stoppage

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  41. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written. drain stoppage

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  42. Sounds like the most fun I've ever heard of someone having while cleaning! Thanks for sharing

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  44. خدمات مكافحة الحشرات من شركة المستقبل
    شركة مكافحة حشرات ببريدة
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    تقدم شركة المستقبل خدماتها لمكافحة الحشرات الطائرة من ناموس وغيرها ومكافحة الحشرات الزاحفة كالصراصير والنمل بأنواعه وغيرها من الحشرات المؤذية ومكافحة أيضا الفئران والزواحف الضارة، فالشركة تهتم بصحة عملائها الذين تتعامل معهم، ويجب أن يكون العميل على معرفة بأضرار تواجد هذه الحشرات على صحة الأسرة، فوجود الفئران في المنزل يهدد الجميع في المنزل ويؤرق راحتهم، أما عن تواجد الحشرات فهي خطر على صحة الأطفال وتؤثر عليهم فالأطفال ليس لديهم وعي بخطورة هذه الحشرات التي تسبب الأمراض.
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    شركة المستقبل هي شركة متخصصة في مجال مكافحة جميع أنواع الحشرات، الشركة لديها الخبرة الطويلة في التعامل والقضاء على جميع أنواع الحشرات، وأيضا الشركة لديها الخبرة الطويلة في التعامل مع المبيدات المختلفة والتي تستخدم في القضاء على الحشرات، فيتم بعد معرفة نوع الحشرة المتواجدة في المنزل تركيب المبيد ومعرفة الطرق والأساليب المختلفة والتي تستخدم في شركة المستقبل للقضاء على الحشرات بأنواعها.
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    يتم استخدام مبيدات لا تؤثر على صحة الأفراد وآمنة ولكن في نفس الوقت فعالة ولها القدرة على القضاء على الحشرات بسهولة وبسرعة، يتم أيضا استخدام الأساليب والتقنيات والأدوات الحديثة والمتطورة للقضاء على أنواع الحشرات المختلفة، ويتم تدريب العاملين في شركة المستقبل على استخدام هذه الأدوات والمبيدات حتى يكون لديهم الخبرة الكافية للتعامل مع أنواع الحشرات المختلفة وذلك بالتعاون مع الخبراء والباحثين الذين لديهم خبرة ودراية كاملة في مجال مكافحة الحشرات.
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    شركة المستقبل هي الشركة الأولى في مجال القضاء على الحشرات، اتصل بالشركة وسوف تجد الاهتمام البالغ في التعامل والمساعدة الكاملة وتنفيذ جميع مطالبك، تعامل مع شركة المستقبل وسيختفي جميع أنواع الحشرات لديك في المنزل نهائيا وبدون عودة للمنزل لتستمتع بحياة بدون حشرات.

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