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By Amy Nutt
If you are focusing your time and energy into incorporating sustainable practices in your home, you may be wondering if there are ‘greener’ ways of performing traditional tasks. Widely used solutions to common problems may seem to go against the principle of more environmentally conscious choices. One such example is that of plumbing clogs that take place in kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs, shower drains and laundry.
If you are exploring or have chosen a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, you know that education and adoption of new habits are a large part of it. In order to ‘go green’ you need to find out what that entails and what parts of it you are willing to take on as personal challenges. For example, you may be able to take on the commitment of recycling all your recyclable materials, but you may not be able to take on the expense of investing in solar panels for your roof. In your quest to find workable strategies for reducing your impact on the environment, you’ll find strategies that involve saving energy and water to be generally pretty effortless and of minimal cost. For example, you can save energy by using cold water (rather than warm or hot) as often as possible for purposes such as washing clothes, dishes, hands, etc. One particular strategy that can help you save energy and water with minimal cost or effort is preventing plumbing clogs.
Plumbing clogs take place when hair, dust and other particles become trapped somewhere between your drain and the pipes. The problem is worsened when products such as soaps, detergents, shampoos and conditioners and others build up on the growing mass. When the offending blockages become too dense to allow water to flow through freely, we see the signs of a clogged drain. If water builds up quickly in your sink or tub when it should flow smoothly out of the drain, you may have a plumbing clog on your hands.
Traditional Methods of Unclogging Drains
The easiest way to treat a problem such as clogged drains in your house is to prevent it altogether! Traditionally, it has been advised that flushing several gallons of very hot water though the affected plumbing can prevent clogged plumbing. In order for this strategy to work, however, the drains must be flushed on a monthly basis. The volume of hot water wasted would definitely put a dent in your water and energy ‘green’ efforts. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Green Plumbing Clog Prevention
There is a simple, natural and cheap solution to clogged drains that does not take a toll on the environment. Bicarbonate and vinegar are both household products that may be in your kitchen pantry. Using these items can easily unblock sink drains that have become clogged. Simply pour vinegar liberally over and into the clogged drain. Immediately sprinkle baking soda onto the vinegar, trying to get it in through the drain holes. Continue to sprinkle the baking soda on until you begin to see foam bubble up. It will continue to froth and froth; stand back and let the solution do its job. When the foaming settles, rinse through with a small amount of boiling water. If the clog is very tough, you may leave the solution on overnight, flushing a bit of boiling water through in the morning to complete the process.
It is also advisable to use a solution of vinegar and bicarbonate for cleaning toilets, sinks and tubs because the more of this solution that goes down the drain.the less likely the drains are to get clogged.
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