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  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2004
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    Far away
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    462
    If it's the shower/tub drain: Once you've got it unclogged, you can cover the drain with a piece of mesh-type fabric (cut up pantyhose will do). That way, potentially clogging hairs will be easier to remove and won't get stuck somewhere further down the line...

    How to cover it depends on what your drain looks like, just unscrew the top part or something. I've also seen (in ReadyMade, I think?) half a ball-shaped tea infuser used in this way.

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  3. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    57
    We bought this contraption that uses a CO2 cartridge to blast pressure down the drain which clears the clog.
    Not only is it effective, it is also loads of fun to anticipate the loud blast and "smoke" coming from the empty CO2 cartridge!
    I also used bs/v/hot water.
    You may also want to get a pipe snake. It saved us from having to tear up our basement floor! Then, you can make all sorts of naughty jokes about putting your snake in the hole and so on...

  4. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    315
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is lye environmentally unfriendly? If so, the Red Devil drain cleaner is 100% lye. (I use it for soapmaking).

  5. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    719
    Quote Originally Posted by brdgt
    It probably requires more than this, but I try to treat my drains once a month with some baking soda, followed by some vinegar, followed by a kettle full of boiling water.
    I've tried the baking soda and vinegar to treat a clogged drain without success, but I didn't use the hot water. Maybe the hot water is the key?

  6. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,563
    Quote Originally Posted by delqc
    Quote Originally Posted by brdgt
    It probably requires more than this, but I try to treat my drains once a month with some baking soda, followed by some vinegar, followed by a kettle full of boiling water.
    I've tried the baking soda and vinegar to treat a clogged drain without success, but I didn't use the hot water. Maybe the hot water is the key?
    I don't think the method is all that good once you have a clog, but more of a preventative. I do it about once a month and haven't had a clogged drain in years.

  7. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    2,021
    lye itself isn't especially environmentally unfriendly. it will really raise the pH of that bit of water leaving your house, but if you are on a city sewer the water treatment plant can handle it and they have to ensure that water leaving the plant is in a certain pH range. if you are on a septic system, however, lye can kill off the beneficial micoorganisms that digest the waste in your tank, so it's really not good.

    in terms of production, lye is made by the chloralkali process along with other chemicals, and it's really not the most environmentally friendly process.

  8. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1

    Environmentally Friendly Drain Cleaner

    You should try a product I found---Plumb-Away. It is environmentally-friendly, safe and easy to use. None of those harsh chemicals!! It''s great because it can be used on every drain--even toilets. About 8 drains can be opened per canister. It uses high pressure propellant, extreme coldness, a cutting agent and back water pressure. 1-Second and your done. Even okay for Septic Systems. The best part--they donate a part of each sale to a non-profit environmental group, Touch Tanks for Kids, that offers marine life and clean water educational programs to children.

  9. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    54
    I know my apartment complex also specifically requests that you NOT use lye products because if you then have to put in a work request to get the problem fixed the maintenance guys can wind up with chemical burns.

    I have been using the baking soda/vinegar/hot water trick in my new place and my shower drains noticeably faster after I pour a kettle of boiling water down there. I have a piece of mesh to prevent hair from getting down there, but there seems to be a lot of scum build up going on....I wonder if my ultra-hard water has anything to do with it?

  10. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    2,021
    hard water makes much more scum than soft water. the soap and fats on your skin and hair combine with the minerals in the water to make that vile, sticky goo.

  11. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    bay area
    Posts
    183
    I found "Earth Enzymes" Drain Opener at WF, and that seemed to work pretty well. It's by Earth Friendly Products.


 
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