Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shotgun Maintenance

I leaned over the bathtub drain, using a twisted-up clothes hanger to pack it full of baking soda like I was filling a muzzleloader's barrel with gunpowder. A persistently slow drain and a green conscious sent me to the internet in search of earth friendly ways to clean. I hate the idea of pouring poison down the drain to clean it, so I was happy to see baking soda and vinegar can sometimes do the trick. To this day smelling white vinegar when I pop open a bottle reminds me of the 3rd grade science fair when Mt. Rocky erupted as scheduled, covering the gymnasium floor with baking soda, vinegar, and red food coloring. A web forum warned that the mixture could actually ruin drains, but since I live in an apartment building I found only encouragement to double the suggested mixture. It was with a bit of anticipation that I upended the vinegar, hoping for an explosion muffled by the floor between me and my downstairs neighbor. Instead I got a bit of a fizz, then a bigger fizz, and ultimately an open drain. A nice reminder that, like buying draft beer instead of bottled, saving the earth can be fun.