Friday, August 21, 2009

Bathtubs, Baking Soda, and Vinegar

Today we decided to unclog the bathtub, after getting advice from various friends. We were told that baking soda and vinegar was a good solution to a slow running drain, although bleach and Liquid Plumber were also suggested. Being environmentally conscious, at least I try to be, we went with the first suggestion.

No one told us that getting the baking soda down the drain, especially when you can't get the cover off, is not easy. Peter thought it would only take a few minutes so he started it and then went off to the gym, leaving the rest of the job to me when it became clear that it was going to take considerably longer than we thought. I did break my labors with a few doses of the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain playing at the Proms as recommended by my friend Kelly DeVries. That was fun, especially hearing Jerusalem, but not a total recompense for the trouble of being on my knees on the bathroom floor. After close to an hour of pushing baking soda into the drain and poking it down with my larding needle (brought home after a trip to England in the early '80s), I finally gave up in disgust, pushed the remainder of the soda aside, unfortunately a large quantity, and poured in the vinegar, closing the drain. A lot of the vinegar remained in the tub. But there was a satisfying fizz, so I hoped that meant that there was some kind of reaction going on between some portion of baking soda and some vinegar.

However, when I opened the drain and poured in hot water, things seemed even worse, so obviously this was not a good solution to whatever is clogging the drain (I suspect hair we can't get out because we can't the cover off). Besides the trouble we went to, we now have an even more clogged drain and baking soda in the bathtub. When Peter gets home from the gym I will have him get some drain opener and we will try that and hope that we don't have to call a real plumber!

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