Sink drain cleaner

Dec 16, 2003
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Don't laugh, try lots and lots of boiling water. Wash the pipe through with a kettle or two.Whilst pipes are hot plug the end and fill with boiling water and let stand for a few minutes, If you have any kinked pipes you can easily remove kinks or kinks at pipe turns whilst hot.

Wash through again with two or three more kettles of boiling water. Have tried loads of stuff, boiling water works every time. If you wash through at the end of your time in the van you will prevent any problems of food and grease build up in the pipes.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Buy a bag of washing soda (Sodium Carbonate) from your local supermarket, costs less than one poun for a kilo bag.

In a plastic jug, take about 50 gms (2 ounces) of Washing Soda and dissolve in 1 litre of boiling water. You should wear glasses to stop splashes getting in your eyes, not a dangerous chemical but it's better to be safe.

Then plug the end of the caravan drain and fill with the washing soda solution - leave to soak for 5 or 10 minutes and then flush with clean water.

The washing soda will remove smells, grease, tea, coffee, and soap deposits, just like Mr. Muscle but at a fraction of the price.

Also very good for shower drains, home washing machine, stained tea pots and the like - just wash out with lots of clean water.

Robert
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The best product I have found for this situation is Fenwick's 'Fendox'. As it is designed for caravan use, there are no worries about damaging the pipework and it really does sort the problem out very quickly and easily.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Hi RogerL,

Do you really use Caustic Soda? Sure you don't mean Washing Soda?

Washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate, an alkali, and just strong enough to dissolve grease.

Caustic Soda is Sodium Hydroxide, and is about 1000 times more alkaline than Washing Soda - and there are very rigorous handling requirements - it will instantly strip the natural grease from your hands if you splash some on your hands - and if you get a splash in your eyes there's nothing the hospital can do.

If you are using Caustic Soda - please stop and switch to the weaker Washing Soda.

Robert
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Robert

I've used Caustic Soda (currently "Jeyes Kleen Off Super Strength Caustic Soda") for cleaning sinks at home and in the caravan for decades. It's only used in small amounts.

Like ALL products, the instructions and warnings need to be read and adhered to.

Thanks for your concern.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Roger,

It's good that you're already aware of the safety issues.

I was concerned that you may have bought pellets of Sodium Hydroxide and that you were making the solution up yourself - just don't try this unless you've been properly trained - but the dilute solution is still potentially dangerous.

Regards, Robert
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Robert

I've only ever bought it in pellet form, I didn't realise it was available in other forms.

Yes, I am making up the solution myself, always adding pellets to water NEVER vice-versa.

It's on general sale on most High Streets. I'm concerned if you're suggesting that it should not be on sale to the public
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Hi Roger,

Sodium Hydroxide is the most powerful alkali you can buy, and as you know will boil water if you add water to a clump of solid pellets.

In the same way that I wouldn't expect to see concentrated sulfuric acid on general sale, I really didn't expect to hear that solid Sodium Hydroxide was available.

Gloves and eye protection should be worn when using sodium hydroxide, since there is a high danger of causing chemical burns, permanent injury or scarring, and blindness.

The caustic part of Caustic soda means "burning", and will etch glass and rapidly dissolves aluminium - careful in the caravan!

A PVC apron is also recommended when concentrated solutions or the solid form are used, and it dissolves cotton and wool fabrics.

It should be stored well away from strong acids such as battery acid - if mixed a very strong reaction occurs.

It can create enough heat to ignite flammables (such as alcohols), so it should be added slowly in bio-diesel processing - sodium hydroxide is dissolved in methanol to make sodium methoxide and this reacts with the vegetable oil to make the "Fatty acid methyl ester" bio-diesel fuel and the unwanted glycerol - making bio-diesel could be a cottage industry, except for the dangers in handling the chemicals.

Robert
 
Dec 16, 2003
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About thirty years ago a plumber explained how at home he always used boiling water down sink plug holes before grease and dirt buit up to much. Once a month a kettle or two of boiling water kept the problems away.

All this chemical stuff concerns me, finding the small tubes clogging from the sink on our first van 20+ years ago. After using a plunger with little effect and with no drain cleaner I remembered the plumbers words.

Problem solved in a gurgle and flash with a kettle or two of boiling water.

Our last Bessacarr came with "slow" drainage from the the two sinks and shower. Boiling water solved the problem and the smell then noticed by its absence!

No chemicals, no extra bottles or packets to carry!
 
May 25, 2005
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I fully agree with the 'boiling water' technique! Use it all the time both at home and in the caravan. It is an oldfashioned way of cleaning but, hey, sometimes these are the best! No unpleasant whiffs and relatively free (unless you count the fuel for boiling).
 

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