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I'm sure most people know this, but my wife reminded me last week when the kitchen sink drain seemed plugged...

She simply poured down a tablespoon or so of ordinary baking soda and then a small amount of that good old standby white vinegar (useful around the house for countless things). You could hear the commotion down there, and pretty soon we could run water just fine. It's been fine since.

Cheaper than "Liquid Plumber" and totally "eco friendly"!

Vermonter
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A can of Coke will unclog most drains also.

Barbara
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cleaning drains with baking soda and white vinegar

I use baking soda and/or white vinegar (and rubbing alcohol) to clean just about everything. Funny you mention this just now as several days ago I asked my husband to do the baking soda & vinegar thing in all of our drains (he just retired...starting him off easy on the honey-do list...he enjoyed the little volcanoes, which brought up memories of science class demos from his youth ;-)

One non-eco-friendly cleaning product I still use is bleach. We live in a humid area and add a little bleach when we wash our white bath linens to prevent mold/mildew when damp washcloths & towels are hanging in the bathroom (no openable window in there either, just glass block over the tub). I tried using vinegar, but I don't think it worked as well.

The other non-ecofriendly item we use is dishwasher detergent. Any solutions out there? We went to Costco yesterday in part to get our annual giant tub of Kirkland dishwasher detergent, but they don;t sell it that way any more. And I need to get something else within a week.

=alstro, buys a 2-gallon container of white vinegar and a big bag of baking soda about twice a year
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She simply poured down a tablespoon or so of ordinary baking soda and then a small amount of that good old standby white vinegar (useful around the house for countless things). You could hear the commotion down there, and pretty soon we could run water just fine. It's been fine since.

I think there is a big difference between a kitchen clog (generally food items/grease/oil) and bathroom clogs (generally hair/hair products).

Would that work for a hair clog?

GSF
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Would that work for a hair clog?

Physically removing it. Take off the trap and remove any hair from it. Check to see if there is any hair between the sink drain and trap and also after the trap. An old toothbrush can help clean off any gunk clinging to the sides of the drain pipe.
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I love my zip it for hair in the drains.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP250uL1k5A
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I love my zip it for hair in the drains.

You have to be careful with the Zip-It on some drains. Our bathroom sinks have a drain stopper that is pushed up and down by a horizontal rod that sticks into the drain pipe. That is where all the hair gets caught. Without removing the rod before using the Zip-It, you risk snapping the rod off.

PSU
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The other non-ecofriendly item we use is dishwasher detergent. Any solutions out there?


While i do not know if it is more or less eco-friendly, it is less expensive and you know what the contents are...

1 Tablespoon Washing soda
1 tablespoon Borax
Use White Vinegar instead of a rinse agent


peace & the basics
t
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GSF:

Would that work for a hair clog?

Dunno, but I somehow doubt it. Have to reach down and clear hair from the shower drain now and then (yuck...).

Vermonter
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Have to reach down and clear hair from the shower drain now and then (yuck...).

Shortly after I moved to this apartment I cleaned the underneath part of my toilet tank, and when I looked at the results I wasn't sure if I should call Stephen King or the Harvard Biology lab.

Nancy
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I have "cristaux de soudre" here in France. It's basically what is being used in the "Old Trick". So far it's not doing any miracles on my calcium spots on my shower glass screen. Close but no cigar!

A friend works at a campsite where there's hundreds of trailers. He uses this product too for clearing the sewers, easily. But, if you put too much of the "Old Trick", it can disolve the PVC sewer pipes. Of course he is brutal cleaning the trailer sewers.

Blackduff
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1 Tablespoon Washing soda
1 tablespoon Borax
Use White Vinegar instead of a rinse agent

peace & the basics
t


Do you do this? Anybody else? The hubster's askeered to put something unusual in his new Bosch dishwasher (that he bought when I was living in NY, so I had little input and he does the dishes anyway).
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Nancy:

Yetch...

Vermonter
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this is exactly what I use (and I think LQ as well)
- and I think also kind of the primary ingredients/chemicals in dishwasher detergent anyway...

I think, if anything they might be more mild chemicals than what is commercially sold and easier on the Bosch.

peace & german engineering
t
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Try having a 15 year old Chinese daughter with hair down her back and showers almost every day (she's a runner). I am unclogging her drain every month. I told her to brush her hair before she showers, but it doesn't seem to work.
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BlueGrits ~

I use the exact same filter that you highlighted in the first link. I got it at WalMart for about $3. So far it works well. My son keeps forgetting to put it at the bottom of the tub so I do deal with some hair in the drain but not much.


Robyn
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I completely second the plastic drain thing -

until his most recent locks-of-love donation the elf had long hair, Mine is down to the top of my pants, GoMC shaves in the shower (although he claims that his hair never contributes to clogs) -
we used to have to snake the drain every 4-6 months

Since using one of those $2 filters (the trick to which is cleaning it before/after every shower, to avoid slow draining) we have not had to do that in the last 2 years


peace & prevention
t
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We got one of the plastic drain things at Kroger for a lot less. Our daughter has very long hair and it was a mess when she visited,not so bad now.
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I use the combo tconi mentioned, but I now add some citric acid (cheap in bulk from Amazon) and salt. Helps with hard water and and cloudiness on glasses. I add the citric acid separately so my basic powder doesn't clump. The powder mix makes a good sink scrub too. The borax really helps stainless shine.

You can also just cut your regular dishwashing powder with borax, if you want to start more simply. Try 2 parts powder to 1 part borax.

Definitely switch to white vinegar for your rinse agent. Those little bottles run about $3-4 but substituting vinegar costs less than 10 cents. Absolutely works as well.

50/50 baking soda/borax makes a fab sink/counter/tub scrub, as an alternative.

More info on recipes, tips here:
http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-dishwasher-detergent-soap...

Check the blog of One Good Thing by Jillee too. She has some tips from her experiments with it. Can't post the link at the moment.

Laura
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This reminds me that pouring a pot of boiling water down the drains once a week also helps keep the drains open.

Thanks for posting this. I've got two or three gallons of white vinegar sitting around that I didn't know what to do with. I'll get started on the drains today.
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1 Tablespoon Washing soda
1 tablespoon Borax
Use White Vinegar instead of a rinse agent

***********
Aren't borax and washing soda the same thing?

(sorry if this is a repeat question. I'm catching up on old posts.)
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I've got two or three gallons of white vinegar sitting around that I didn't know what to do with.


I see the words ...


peace & where do I start?
t
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Aren't borax and washing soda the same thing?

No

Borax=Sodium Borate (Na2B4O7·10H2O)
PH is 9.5 and breaks down into Hydrogen Peroxide

Washing Soda=Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3)
PH is 11

peace & not a chemist, but can Google
t
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No.

Washing soda is: Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3)

Borax is: Sodium Borate (Na2B4O7·10H2O)

Ishtar
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