An idiot’s guide to…

Idiot's guide

An idiot’s guide to …will be a regular column in which I will try to solve those little mysteries of life, sometimes by trial and error, sometimes by putting my life on the line and sometimes by putting my patience to the test.

Readers can send tips, ideas and questions to me which I will then try to address. It can literally be anything from ‘How do they get the food into the tin if the tin is closed?’ (joke) to ‘How to break up with your girlfriend on Twitter’. Tweet me your ideas on @mystikmeerkat or email me at [email protected]

So. For months, wifey ignored my pleas for her to first scrape leftover food into the dustbin before putting the dirty dishes in the water. And lo and behold – after every cleaning session, the water drained from the sink slower and slower, eventually making municipality service seem like Usain Bolt. And then one evening the water stubbornly refused to go anywhere.

Now let’s get this straight – I am not really a DIY type of guy. First I bought a tub of white granular stuff which did not work. Not having much patience, I phoned my dad for some advice. “Yes, I got this stuff that works really well,”( he sounded apprehensive), “but you have to be careful,” he said ominously, “it … explodes”. I could hear he sounded reluctant for me to use his ‘method’ – it was caustic soda. And, said my dad, I must just pour a little into the drain followed by some cold water and then quickly stand away. (Of course he omitted the bit about using gloves and protective eyewear, but hey, we are MEN after all). I got some of the ‘stuff’ (it was brown and smelled putrid), promptly cleared the kitchen of the dog and the wife and poured a teacup full of caustic soda down the drain. I expected a teeny explosion, maybe a little bubbling out of the plug hole. Kabwoosh! The next moment I was in the middle of a biochemical attack somewhere in Kabul. I was lucky to only have had to throw away a new pair of jeans (or what was left of them) and sustained only a few burn marks. But it did work. Here though are four safer remedies for unclogging a clogged kitchen sink drain:

1. Repurpose a clothing hanger. (This also comes in handy when you break into a car but that is a subject for another time). Straighten the wire out. Make a little hook on one end and simply press down making sure you are not pressing the muck in deeper. Then hook up as much of the goo to the top as possible. Repeat. If it doesn’t work, curse.

2. Plunger. Place the whole cup over the drain hole. Plug all other holes with wet rags. Vigorously plunge 10 strokes. If it doesn’t work, curse.

3. Pour 1 cup bicarbonate of soda and half a cup of salt down the drain. Leave overnight and then pour two cups of boiling water down the drain. Repeat if needed. If it doesn’t work, curse.

4. Pour half a cup of bicarbonate of soda, followed by half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. Follow with hot water. Repeat if necessary. If it doesn’t work, curse.

Or else, curse and call a plumber…

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites Randfontein HeraldKrugersdorp News and Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Riaan van Zyl

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