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Topic: ISO Green idea for drains

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Subject: ISO Green idea for drains
Date Posted: 3/19/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 2,654
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I have some drains that drain slow, not clogged just slow.  One is a sink & one is a bathtub.  Anyway I'm looking for a green alternative to something like Liquid Plumber.  Do any of you have a concoction or a product that you use that works well?

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 178
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I'm not sure if this is greener, but it is a little cheaper than liquid plumber.  We just pour bleach down the drain, undiluted.  I don't measure, but it's probably around 2-3 cups worth.  Wait a few minutes for it to eat away at the crud, and then flush with water.

If hair is the problem, we also use a product called the Zip-It www.zipitclean.com/.  I've seen them at Walmart in the plumbing section with the plungers.  I'd consider this green because it uses no chemicals, it physically removes the hair clogs.  Fair warning, what comes out is gross, so you'll want to wear gloves, but it really works.  We usually follow this up with bleach to dissolve whatever's left.

Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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We have a few things that we do. First, we try boiling water and a plunger. If a few pots of boiling water don't take care of the problem, then we dump baking soda and vinegar down the drain and 'bubble' stuff loose. Usually, the boiling water and plunger quickens things up. :)
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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Whoops! D-d-d-double post.

Last Edited on: 3/20/09 10:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/20/2009 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,350
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Baking soda & vinegar works most of the time for me.  Not always.

For the really stubborn drains I bought a small plumber's snake (little thing, not the huge ones for big drains) and shove it down. So far it's worked.  Better than the Liquid Plumber, actually!

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2008
Posts: 2,608
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I've tried baking soda and vinegar, letting that bubble for a while, than rinsing with very hot water.  It NEVER worked for me.  So back to Liquid Plumber.

Date Posted: 4/15/2009 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 340
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I use I think it's one part baking soda, one part table salt and then pour boiling water over it (I got this from the Queen of Clean and How Clean Is Your House) then I usually use some vinegar too. It usually works pretty well, except for the bathtub drain at my old apartment, which my spouse always had to use the plunger on afterward too.

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 3:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 857
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There is an enzyme based product I found from a plumber a couple of years ago.  It eats up the gunk in the pipes without any toxic materials, you can even use it in the cat litter to cut down on odor.  I believe it was called Bio-Smart or Bio-Clean.  It is a bit expensive $50 for a big jar but I have had mine for almost two years and shared some with my mom.  It works great.  

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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Prevention is beneficial too. I use a trap on my shower drain for hair, and highly recommend it if you don't already use one.

The hardware I have in the tub requires that I unscrew the drain plug handle to use the trap, but that only takes a few seconds to remove.

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 857
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I use traps in my sinks but with all our cats, it still gets down the drain.  I really love the enzyme product, it is safe and works really well.    We actually  had drano eat through one of our pipes about 3 years ago, that was when I called the plumber my mother-in-law suggested and he sold me on the enzyme stuff.

Now if I could get some other cleaning products that aren't so toxic...oh well one step at a time :)