Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Small Scale Self-Sufficiency

It's a minor thing, but an accomplishment is an accomplishment, I say.

How minor? Well, the bathtub has been draining slowly and growing progressively slower over time. When the end of my shower found me ankle-deep in soapy water, I'd had enough. Bailing out the tub gave me the motivation and plenty of time to decide the problem needed fixing pronto.

I could have just asked Kayak Guy to do it, but because I'm flexing my independence muscles these days, I wanted to do it myself.

First, I identified how to remove the drain plug. Yes, there are different kinds. (Who knew?) No, I am not very mechanical.

Wishful thinking suggested it might be a gunk problem. A quick internet search revealed an easy and non-toxic cure for that: baking soda and white vinegar. First I poured a coffee pot of boiling water down the drain. Then I added the baking soda and poured the vinegar over. What fun! It foamed like crazy and made a hissing sound. I felt like a mad scientist!

Between that and the fact that I didn't have to pour something hazardous like Drano down the drain (I can never forget that eventually what goes down the drain ends up in our rivers and lakes and oceans and ultimately in our drinking water), I was totally stoked that this was the right solution.

But alas, it was not enough. The final application of hot water went down very reluctantly. Which meant it had to be hair. Ugh.

Using a tool fashioned from a coathanger (I'm so resourceful!), I extracted a hairball the size of my fist out of the drain. (Aren't you glad this post has no pictures?)

Voila! Success! Cue the feeling of satisfaction all out of proportion to the task at hand! Now the water positively gurgles down.

I followed it up with another baking soda and vinegar cocktail, though, just to end on a good note. That part is highly recommended as a fun way to achieve a clean drain and a sense of accomplishment. The hairball part is only fun because it worked and it's over.


  1. Baking soda and vinegar does work . . . but I've found it can also cake. Maybe this is because some baking powders contain wheat - though I don't know why they do. So how does one get that hard layer free? Don't know. Have had to resort to washing soda - don't know how hard that is on the environment.

    1. Oops, just seeing this now . . . . Mine didn't cake up and I'm not sure why. (Beginner's luck, maybe.) If it had, I would have tried scrubbing with an old toothbrush and then who knows what else.

      Sorry to hear your experience hasn't been glitch-free.


Talk to me! I love external validation.