Tips from the pros

jannieNovember 27, 2008

I've had my home since 1981. Over the years,I have done my best to keep things together, in good repair, clean and pleasant looking. When my dishwasher broke, the repairman plumber recommended using only dry powder dishwasher soap, never liquids or gels. My bathroom tub drain kept clogging. The plumber said I should use only crystal (powder) drain cleaners, never the liquid kind. Hope these tips help somebody.

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Ahhh. How does this help? Is there a reason to use powder instead of gels or liquids? Something? When someone gives me advice, even though they are a bonified plumber I would like a detailed explanation from them.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 12:45AM
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Because he said so. Sorry I don't have the details.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 12:01PM
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jannie, I've heard the same thing about dishwashers but hadn't heard about the drain cleaners. The last time we used drain cleaners they ate a hole in the elbo joint of the drain, so try to avoid the commercial ones. Anyway, thanks for the tip :-)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 1:24PM
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I had the dishwasher repairman tell me the same thing. We had a problem with sporadic leakage and he said that the liquid can create too many suds which will cause it to leak out the sides. Since switching to powder I've never had that problem again.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:39PM
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I've read and heard that the powders are preferable as a cleaner because of the sandblasting effect on the dishes. However this will etch the dishes more easily too so it's not to be used on crystal or sensitive stuff. But then again, should you put that stuff in a dishwasher anyway? Also the better performers are the ones with enzymes.

All the pros I talk to say don't use drain cleaners. Use hot water (boiling) once a week or so and you won't have trouble. When you do, use baking soda and vinegar. And I've found mixing some salt in with the baking soda really helps clean the pipes. If I have a slow drain I'll start the hot water running and pour a box of salt down there slowly and it'll get better and better. A buddy was here one day and laughed at me until a few minutes later I had both faucets full blast and it was sucking everything down! He said he'd have to remember that. Never heard of it before. I said it just made sense to me since salt is a grit/abrasive and should clean it well, and it does.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:11AM
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I'll second the baking soda, followed by vinegar drain cleaner. It bubbles up and really cleans. Every time I clean my coffee pot by running a potful of vinegar through, I do my drains with soda and the hot vinegar. Keeps everything flowing nicely!

Next time I'll add some salt . . .

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:18AM
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My plumber also told me to run hot watew down every drain for about a minute, once a week. It helps get grease out of the pipes. I've been doing it for about four months, it seems to be helping. We don't have sewers in my area, just cesspools.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:25AM
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