Dirty drain cleaner and refresher: The shower drain gets abused pretty regularly, with dirt, hair, and any number of beauty products going down it daily. It’s no wonder it gets buildup that can cause odors and clogs. Cleaning it is not a fun job, to be sure, but it must be done. I recommend wearing gloves for this job to reduce the ick factor. You’ll want to clear it out by hand first before pouring anything down it, because pushing it down the drain will just cause problems farther down your plumbing. Of course, cleaning the drain regularly drastically reduces the ick factor when you do clean it out, so get in the habit to make this job less disgusting. Take the cap off the shower drain (you may need to use a sharp metal edge to pop it up). You’ll probably be greeted by a nice nest of tangled hair. Remove this immediately. Use the metal end of a bottle brush to feel around in the drain and grab any other clumps of hair. Then take a look down the drain. Does it need a scrubbing, or is it fairly clear? Chances are a biofilm (black slime) has accumulated on the edges. If it has, opt for the heavy-duty drain cleaner. If not, you can use the drain refresher recipe.
Heavy-Duty Drain Cleaner:
• 1 cup baking soda
• 1 cup vinegar
• 30 drops tea tree oil
• 2 cups boiling water
Pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by the vinegar and tea tree oil. Cover the drain and let this mixture foam for 30 minutes. Use a bottle brush (one kept specifically for this purpose) to scrub the sides of the drain. Then pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain. Follow with 15 more drops tea tree oil.
• 1 cup vinegar
• 1 cup boiling water
• 15 drops lemon essential oil
Pour the vinegar down the drain and chase it immediately with the boiling water. Follow with 15 drops lemon essential oil.
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