Sparkly Clean: A Kintsugi 'How Do I Clean This' Thread

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by TheMockingCrows, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    I put this under a spoiler because this is just upsetting.

    So my kitchen drain is clogged. It is draining, but it's doing so extremely, EXTREMELY slowly. and like, sometimes it smells weird.

    I know the easy answer is that I need to reach down and grab what's clogging it, but there's a problem: it's the side of the sink with the (broken) garbage disposal. And when I say broken I mean 'doesn't work at all' so unfortunately that's no help. But basically, the blades keep my hand from going very deep down there. I did just try and grab at whatever was clogging it, and I thought I got it!! turns out no, I definitely didn't, that was just a random plastic bottle cap, it wasn't causing the clog.

    The only other thing I can think of would be drain cleaner. But ever since I watched that episode 0f 1,000 ways to die, I'm paranoid about putting things down my drain because I'm afraid the drain is releasing gases that will react with other chemicals and I'll die. Is this a common thing?? Like, are people usually able to use drain cleaner alright, or is that one of those things that people always use, but it's not helping and they shouldn't? Also, do you think chemical drain cleaner would be able to get past the disposal blades?

    (The moral of the story is clearly I'm a bad housekeeper)
  2. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants feral mom energies

    Try sprinkling it with baking soda, then adding an equivalent amount of vinegar, and rinsing it with cold water when the foam has finished - that's how I clean out my disposal.

    Edit: I've used chemical drain cleaner on a disposal like at least fifteen times in my life and a) I'm still alive and b) it generally worked. I'd just try the baking soda and vinegar first in case you don't need something that hardcore.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
    • Agree x 1
  3. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Okay, so I just tried that. The drain is still clogged, but I do think it helped!! Also it barely smells weird anymore, thank you so much, it was starting to get to me!

    Also good to know about the chemical drain cleaner :) I figured it was probably safe, but I have a history of doing really, really dumb shit that I don't even realize is dumb until someone intervenes cause they're scared I'll get hurt. Since I live by myself, I didn't want this to be the time that no one caught my mistake in time >.<
  4. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    For the record: I had reason to use Drano on my garbage disposal recently (namely, my ongoing war against a fruit fly infestation), and ended up checking the bottle to see if they said anything about garbage disposals. Which they did- it's pretty much the same as any other drain (pour the drain cleaner, let it sit, flush with hot water), they just added "pulse the disposal if it's still not clearing" on the end.

    Liquid drain cleaners are mostly either strong acids or strong bases, so the main safety consideration is to keep them off your skin and not use multiple cleaners shortly after each other.

    There's a few combinations of cleaning products that can make poisonous gas, but in cleaning-typical amounts even those won't be enough to make you more than kinda sick, and almost all of them involve bleach. Don't mix bleach with anything but water and don't use it on anything currently soaked in pee and you're pretty much safe from cleaning-product-induced poison gas.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
    • Useful x 2
    • Agree x 1
  5. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Thank you! That helps :) Also I hope you got rid of your fruit flies, those things are irritating.
  6. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    We are indeed winning the fruit fly battle! (...Mostly because I noticed that for some ungodly reason whenever I put a pot in the sink with suds in it to soak, there'd be like three dead fruit flies in the foam inside of two minutes, so I filled the kitchen sink with soapy vinegary water before I left for work one day and came back to a lot less fruit flies.)
    • Winner x 5
  7. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Repeating the baking soda & vinegar trick, but using hot or boiling water to flush with might help more. The nice thing about baking soda and vinegar is, you can basically repeat it as many times as you want as often as you want, without worrying too much about fumes or anything.

    Also, if there's something you can stick down there that you don't mind pushing past the blades (I'd recommend...something you were probably planning on tossing soon anyways) that won't take your fingers closer than you're comfortable with, you can try poking it in there to see if that helps dislodge the clog more.
    • Useful x 2
  8. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Good news: I fixed the drain!

    Bad news:
    I ended up having to reach down and physically handle the blockage. I have no idea what that was, but I'm fairly certain that things like that aren't supposed to exist on this earth. If that experience wasn't tempered by the thrill of victory, I'd be crying.

    Thank you all so much for the advice! I'm still flushing the drain with vinegar and baking soda to minimize any risk of smell.
    • Winner x 4
    • Witnessed x 3
  9. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Congratulations on defeating the Lovecraftian horror living in your garbage disposal!
    • Agree x 4
    • Like x 2
  10. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    Winner and also witnessed. Every time I have to do something like that at work I feel like the first five minutes of a Supernatural episode :P
    • Agree x 5
  11. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    I don't know if they're available where you are, but I drop an enzyme stick down my sink every four weeks, which eats the worst of the gunk.

    The food prep sink at work used to get clogged with bits of blood and guts, fish scales, squid tentacles and slime, just generally all the nastiest bits of cleaning animal products for customers. Sometimes it's easier to just remove the trap from underneath and clean it that way.
    • Witnessed x 2
  12. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    So, there's a weird smell in my bathroom. There's no ventilation basically at all, and the shower has no enclosure so water just gets everywhere, so it's not really unexpected.
    The thing is, I cleaned my entire studio apartment from top to bottom a week or so ago, and the smell is still there. It comes back every time the floor gets wet, so I suspect it's some bacterial or mold thing. I just... Have no idea how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it from coming back? (I could buy a dehumidifier, or the material to make one myself, but I'll get yelled at by my parents for wasting my money on useless impulse purchases)
    • Witnessed x 2
  13. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Uhhh, I hope that when the damp begins staining the ceiling of the room directly beneath, your parents have the basic decency to realize what fools they’ve been.

    Is there literally any way to put up an adjustable curtain rod, or a circular affair that could hang from the bathroom ceiling over the tub?

    As a stopgap, excessive bath mats. Use beach towels (since they’re big) or whatever towel items work best for you. After you dry yourself off, pick them up off the floor and hang them up wherever you can. Towel rods, over the side of the tub, anything to get the moisture off the floor. Mop up any stray puddles while you’re at it.

    If your floor is tiled, I’m not aware of any reasonable way to totally seal the space between the tiles by yourself without risk of disfiguring the flooring and probably making it nasty to walk on. Maybe there exists one, but the point may be moot if there’s already sufficient water damage under the flooring.

    If you need something quick and pretty damn justifiable as an expense to get damp air out of the enclosed space quickly, a large (like box fan size), powerful fan could help a lot. And it’s summer, a perfectly normal time to invest in a fan.
  14. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    They actually wouldn't care that much, the ceiling is a pretty thick stone arch. There's a curtain rod we'll be able to install as soon as my parents decide we've got the money to buy a 5mm drill bit, but I'm not sure how much that's going to improve things because the shower tray is elevated a bit. (I've been looking into actual enclosures for a while, but I've been having a really hard time finding a three-sided one that's simultaneously the right size and tall enough.)
    The floor is tiled, but the tiles are already sealed, I think the problem might actually be with the space below the sink I couldn't properly clean.
    • Witnessed x 4
  15. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    A curtain actually will help, since it'll keep the water from spraying all over everything.

    I'd go with Excessive Bath Mats, spraying the crap out of the tiles and the space under the sink with vinegar, and getting a portable fan for the bathroom.
    • Agree x 1
  16. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants feral mom energies

    Are tension shower rods available where you are? They're the kind that don't require any tools for installation, you just put the curtain on and then screw the rod open until the tension keeps it pinned to the wall.
    • Agree x 3
  17. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    If you have some very small gaps you need to seal against water without being super obvious about it, I can’t recommend silicone caulk enough. It’s cheap, resilient, waterproof, and dries clear.

    I’ve used it as a very effective temporary seal for a u-bend under a kitchen sink where the... slip joint washer maybe? rubbery bit that was supposed to provide a seal at the joint... was hopelessly corroded due to age. As the sink was in an apartment, replacing the washer thingy was not my affair, but the dripping pipe sure was fixing to become my headache. I didn’t have an extra washer or any fucking clue about plumbing, so I had to make do. The landlord was very nice, but non-emergency repairs were rather a "sometime this year, probably" thing. Happily, the silicone stuck beautifully to the unpainted metal around the joint. I was extremely generous with it, which wasn’t the most attractive look, but the leaking sure did stop. It was completely possible, if a bit of effort, to peel the caulking off in one piece even after it had set, though a knife might have helped to get started at that point.

    I’d check the materials you’d be applying it to first to make sure it would be expected to seal properly, and that it wouldn’t damage anything. If those under-sink pipes had been painted for some unholy reason, I bet it would have pulled the paint completely off when removed in preparation for actual repairs by a real plumber.

    As is normal for caulking, it probably should not be exposed to water while it sets, though that should be faster than traditional caulk I think. I wouldn’t expect to be able to paint or stain the silicone if you don’t appreciate the look, as I don’t imagine pigment would stick, so there’s also that.
    • Like x 2
    • Useful x 1
  18. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    The shower is actually just kind of against a wall (and in full view from the outside if I don't close the curtains, because there's no door for the bathroom, of course), so I'll need a U-shaped rod which means I'll have to screw it in, unfortunately.
    As for the silicone thing, I'll try to see what I can do. Maybe there's some left in the house.
  19. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    a post crossed my dashboard with cleaning info and I'm gonna snag the stuff from it and post it here bc neat shorthand.

    • Useful x 5
    • Winner x 1
  20. palindromordnilap

    palindromordnilap Well-Known Member

    (For the record, Tide pens' magic is mostly hydrogen peroxide, with a bit of citric acid and alcohol, according to this. Basically all cleaning products have a MSDS like that, which can be great for DIYing them.)
    • Informative x 5
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