Having a plumber or handyman come over to the house is clearly the best way of keeping up with a little home maintenance. Whether it's a leaky tap, creaky door or blocked drain, you know that they'll fix the problem or replace the broken parts and that'll be the end of it. However, there may be times when you just can't wait for the professional help that you need, in which case you must fix the problem yourself, even if it's only a temporary measure. These simple hacks will help you to unclog partially blocked drains and reduce odour, as well as fix resonating loud sinks.
First the Sink
If you're fortunate enough to have a double bowl sink, you'll be familiar with the waste catcher which is often installed on one side to stop excess debris from going down the sink and getting trapped in the pipes. Unfortunately, these stainless steel sinks can often be loud due to the resonance of the individual bowls. There is a quick and simple way to fix this. Take some spray polyurethane (SPF) and fill in the gap between the two bowls on the underside of the sink. The SPF is the same foam that is used for loft insulation and hardens very quickly when it comes into contact with air. Once you have filled the gap, you can use a blade or modelling saw to remove any excess if needed.
Now the Stink and Blockage
Trapped food debris is unavoidable, and when it builds up too much and rots it can cause foul odours. Fortunately, baking soda and white vinegar, some of the most useful household cleaning items, can be used instead of harsh kitchen chemicals.
First and foremost, boil some water and pour that down the sink, the higher heat may help to shift grease and kill off some of the odour causing bacteria. Should this fail, use a 2:1 ratio of baking soda and white vinegar; you can use a cup or two of baking soda depending on how much you have available and how bad the smell is. Leave this to work for about a minute before using more boiling water to flush the debris away. Baking soda reacts with white vinegar to create carbon dioxide (CO2), the bubbles of which can help to remove minor blockages, even more so if you add some course salt which is abrasive. If you have some lemon juice around the house, add some to the mixture as it will create a scented fragrance and the addition of more acid will eat into grease.
If I didn't know better, I'd think my toddler started each day with a challenge to throw something new and different down the toilet. He has managed to put nearly anything can imagine down the toilet. I have gotten pretty good at figuring out what has gone missing down the loo and whether it's something I can fix or something that I need to call the plumber to help me fix it. This blog is for other mums of toddlers who need to get toys out of the toilet and get the toilet back to working condition as soon as possible!