The other day mum and I were visiting a friend of hers and mum was moaning that she was going to have to call out a plumber to unblock our shower drain. The shower kept filling up with water and you could almost have a bath in the shower well. She was whinging that plumbers were so expensive and she’d much rather buy a pair of new shoes with that money.
Her friend smiled and told her to relax – there was no need to call a plumber.
She gave us a recipe to unclog the shower. Mum was a bit sceptical – she’s not big on doing innovative stuff – but I wrote it all down and said I’d try it when we got home.
It was a bit like a science experiment – and I am very fond of those.
Mum assured me had all the ingredients needed – nothing fancy at all – just hot water, baking soda and vinegar.
Mum supervised and I got to do the fun work.
First we boiled the kettle and poured the whole lot of boiling water down the drain.
Then we poured in half a cup of baking soda – and let that sit in the drain for about 5 minutes.
Next we added a cup of vinegar followed by a cup of boiling water to the baking soda in the drain. This was the fun part – it all fizzled and foamed. Mum made me wear safety goggles in case it whooshed up too much and got in my eyes. (I felt even more like a scientist!)
If you have one of those drain plungers – put it over the plug hole at this stage – so that all the fizzy stuff stays in the drain.
Finally, after about 5 to 10 minutes – we poured another kettle of boiling water into the drain.
The next day we all had a shower and the water flowed perfectly out of the drain – no more bathing in the shower.
So maybe – if you have a blocked drain – you should try this first before you call a plumber!
Have a fabulous week further.
Because the 5th of June was World Environment Day thought it might be a good idea to share some tips on saving money and the environment.
These days many people use toothpaste, facial or body scrubs with those teensy plastic micro beads in them. Well… those little plastic toxic bombs go down the drain from your basin, shower or bath and eventually land up in rivers, lakes and seas. Very simply, the fish cannot avoid them and we eat the fish. These things are causing untold havoc in the environment.
By now we all probably know how useful bicarbonate of soda is for cleaning stuff around the house – but you can also use it instead of various beauty products. Here’s an alternative for your various scrubs. A much cheaper and more environmentally sound one.
Use an old spice jar – one of the ones with little sprinkle holes in the top and fill it up with bicarbonate of soda. Make sure the lid still seals well – you don’t want the bicarb to get wet. Keep it in your bathroom or shower where you can easily access it.
This alkaline substance has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. But before you start using this – try a test patch on your skin to check that you don’t have any bad reactions to it.
In addition to being antiseptic and anti-inflammatory it helps balance the skin’s pH – so if you have acne or spots you can mix a spoon of bicarb with a bit of water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area for a few minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Do this until your skin clears up.
You can whiten your teeth by sprinkling a bit of bicarb on your regular toothpaste and brushing your teeth once a day. Only do it for a few days though – not all the time – otherwise you can hurt the enamel on your teeth.
Get rid of residue of hair products on your hair – put a blob of shampoo in your hand and sprinkle some bicarb into it. Wash your hair as normal. It removes all the yukky stuff very effectively.
Sprinkle some bicarb onto a face cloth and use it as a body scrub to get rid of all the dead skin and flaky bits. Rinse well when you are finished.
Or simply sprinkle some bicarb into your hand add warm water and gently use it as a face wash/scrub. This works especially well if you don’t wear a lot of make-up.
The other day I was having lunch at my friend’s house and accidentally dropped some food on my jeans. It made a big oily splodge. I dashed to the kitchen and gave it a rub with some sunlight liquid. Thought I had cleaned it… but no.
When the patch dried, the oily blob was still there.
I was miffed with myself and sad too. Not only were they my favourite jeans, but they were also new and I figured my mum was going to yell at me for messing them up.
Then my friend’s older sister Emma came to the rescue.
“Don’t worry,” she said “I’ll sort them out for you!”
I was a bit worried because she’s an arty type. I half imagined that she might cover up the splodge with a bigger splodge of paint or something, but instead she took the bicarbonate of soda out of the cupboard and made a little white heap on the oily spot. Then she added a few drops of water to the heap.
A couple of hours later she handed my jeans back to me. They were spotless. I couldn’t even see where the mark had been. It was amazing.
When I got home later I googled bicarbonate of soda – also known as baking soda.
Wow! It’s fabulous stuff. You can use it for literally all sorts of things and it does not mess up the environment like other cleaning products do. It’s cheaper too.
Here are just a few ways of using it that I thought were useful.
- You can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your regular shampoo and wash your hair as usual. The baking soda removes all residue that styling products leave behind and makes your hair cleaner and more manageable.
- If you have a mozzie bite, you can make a paste of baking soda and a bit of water and cover the scratchy spot up. It stops itching.
- You can also give yourself a refreshing facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Gently rub in a circular motion to exfoliate your skin. Rinse clean. You can even use this every day. (It really works – I’ve tried it myself!)
Here’s a link for more ways to use baking soda http://www.care2.com/greenliving/51-fantastic-uses-for-baking-soda.html .
Try out this miracle stuff when you get a chance!