We have lived in our house for almost 2 years and have had issues with our plumbing from the beginning. Within months of our moving in, we had to tear up our entire front yard to replace our sewage line. Since then, we have been pretty careful to not do anything that might cause further damage or clogs…unfortunately, there is my hair.
Apparently, my hair is a pipe’s nightmare and a clog waiting to happen. Sometime last winter, we had to call a plumber to use a super duper long snake to clear out a clog and it was my hair. I’ve used drain catchers and still, my hair gets through. This time, Marc was determined to figure it out and NOT call a plumber. Oh, and no chemicals. We have an 11 mo old and were not going to introduce toxic chemicals into our household.
Last Monday after the kids baths, we noticed that the tub was draining very slowly. Now this is the kids bathroom and Marc and I don’t shower in there, so for it to have a clog is unusual. Marc started off with the usual ammo. The 1st time around, he was able to get it to do an incredibly slow drain (it took all night) and we knew that there would be worse problems the next time we used the bathtub. We needed to clear the obstruction. Usually 1 cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of extremely hot vinegar will clean any drain. You wait a few minutes and flush the drain with about a quart of very hot water (switch to 1/4 cups of each and it makes a great garbage disposal cleaner). . You can hear it sizzle as it goes down the pipes, imagining all the gunk it’s clearing out. After this, Marc fills the tub with water and then lets the water drain. The pressure of all the water wanting to drain usually makes the clog just disappear…usually. In our case, we were left with a tub full of water that Marc had to drain by bucket…fun.
By Thursday, our clog made its way into the master bath shower. I was ready for the plumber, Marc was getting there. At work, I happened to talk to our warehouse manager (to ask if we had a drain snake I could borrow overnight). This was our ‘ahhh’ moment. He introduced us to the Clog Buster.
This little device was $10 and is worth more than its weight in gold. Apparently, you can find it in most hardware stores or through Amazon. In all my years of living alone in NYC (and having to re-plumb an entire bathroom on my own), I had never seen one of these. It’s awesome. You attach it to your hose and (for tubs) put the contraption into the overflow opening. When you turn on your hose, the contraption balloons out (to block water from coming up) and shoots water directly into the pipe. The pressure unclogs your drain very quickly. The packaging shows you how to use the clog buster to clear sinks, tubs, showers, and washing machines. Its also re-usable, very compact, and there is no need for a drain snake, which I have always found a bit unwieldy and difficult to use.
Marc wanted to really clean out our drains, so after much online research – he discovered Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Now, I love baking soda. It cleans everything! But Super Washing Soda, that’s like a super duper baking soda. It’s actually sodium carbonate (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate) and is much stronger and should be kept out of reach of children. It cleans, refreshes, and neutralizes odors in drains and traps and works great to brighten clothes. Its also a deluxe household cleaner and will now be my go to if baking soda doesn’t quite cut it. Marc tried several different places and finally found it at Ace Hardware (which is our favorite hardware store and also has the best selection for canning supplies). Ace is truly the place!
Since Thursday, our drains have been clear and wonderful! We were able to bypass the plumber and come out ahead. How awesome is that?!?