Author Topic: Drain Volcanos  (Read 2289 times)

SpacemanSpiff

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Drain Volcanos
« on: November 08, 2013, 10:58:30 AM »
So I stumbled across a website that proclaims that a simple "Drain Volcano" of baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean out tough drains (think 3rd grade science project style):

http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/post/16140056671/i-read-something-here-once-about-drain-volcanoes-what 

While the concept is certainly cool and the ingredients are fairly inexpensive as far as cleaning supplies go, I wasn't sure if I trusted a tumblr based website that displayed vinegar in nice sparkly letters with structural integrity of my plumbing.  Do you Mustachians think there be any possible detrimental side-effects associated with using this as a cleaning method?

jenstill

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Re: Drain Volcanos
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 11:03:04 AM »
I certainly hope not as I've been doing this for years. It's had no ill effects at all at my houses, nor have I heard of any.

StarryC

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Re: Drain Volcanos
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 11:20:02 AM »
I have done it with no ill effects, but you have to be sure you put enough vinegar down to dissolve all the baking soda (or follow up with water) otherwise you can block the drain with baking soda paste. 
However, I am not sure it works. Usually the advise is to pre flush with boiling hot water, and rinse again with hot water.  I think that pouring gallons of boiling hot water down your drains does most of the work of dissolving soap and fats/oil.   Baking soda plus vinegar produces carbon dioxide and water mostly.  I'm not sure how that would clean your drain.  Perhaps the "foaming action" gets the remaining bits of vinegar or baking soda to the gunk stuck on the sides and deodorizes it like cleaning with baking soda or vinegar? 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Drain Volcanos
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 11:22:45 AM »
Yeah, I've use that method for years; it is more for light clean/deodorizing than a really gunked drain. If I want to get it really clean, I throw in some old orange or lemon peels (or an old whole one that was headed for compost) and chucked a pile of ice cubes in the garbage disposal and turn it on with a little water after. Or I just do the cubes with the vinegar/soda foams off lots of crud and the cubes will knock lose lots of nasty stuff and it sounds like I threw a lawnmower down the drain. It's quite entertaining. :)

It's way less powerful than the caustic drain cleaners that people pour down their drains. I laugh at the idea that you can  damage drains or pipes with boiled water tho... I dump boiled water from pasta and other stuff down the sink ALL THE TIME and have done so in every apartment and house I've ever lived in. If pipes can't handle a little boiled water, they're awfully delicate structures.

I use vinegar and baking soda to clean lots of things and people have done so for years and years. One of my favorite cleaning tools for lime/calcium buildup on shower heads is a plastic baggie with full strength vinegar rubber-banded to submerge the shower head... and then walk away for about 20 minutes. Take it off and re-use the vinegar to shine the rest of the tub fixtures and the water flows beautifully from the shower for months.

And it doesn't hurt your skin to come in contact with either, and it is better than using harsh chemicals for the environment as well.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 11:25:58 AM by Frankies Girl »