A little vinegar and baking soda shines up your life and makes it smell better too!

White vinegar and baking soda are two of the handiest things you can have in your house.

White vinegar and baking soda are two of the handiest things you can have in your house.

Yesterday I had an early meeting, I have a late meeting today, Economic Development Committee, 4pm. Today I will have to ask Brian Nakamura to quit his whining over the loss of Measure J – apparently, our finances are so improved that his is adding three new positions! Including Economic Development Director! 

I find housework more satisfying and productive than these damned meetings. After that meeting yesterday I came home to do some serious Fall Cleaning. Like I said yesterday, my apartment tells me when it needs attention – it stinks! Cleaning the washing machine was a huge improvement – it faces the front door, it’s the first thing you smell when you come in the apartment. But another source of foul odor in your house is your drains. Even if you lick your plates clean before you wash them, food junk gets in your drain, sticks to the sides of those pipes, and then becomes a Petri dish for all kinds of lovely slime molds.  Because our kitchen is open, this smell adds to the general ambiance of our apartment.

This will also slow your drains, but I wouldn’t wait that long – that’s a messy job, might take a snake or a plumber. It’s smart to keep those drains clean on an almost daily basis, and here’s how I do it – baking soda and vinegar. Yeah, you knew that, and you might know you need to do it at least once a week or it won’t have much effect.  You can’t let the junk build up in the first place. Last night, for example, we had some nice fish a friend of ours gave us, it was so good, it was hard to believe how unpleasant the smell was about an hour later. So, after I washed the dishes, I dumped about a quarter cup of baking soda down my kitchen drains and poured in a little blast of white vinegar.  I get both really cheap at Wal Mart, or Cash and Carry. I push the soda down through the drain stop, and make sure it gets into the p-trap area. Then I pour in just enough vinegar to make it bubble, not wash it away. I let it go like that for about a minute, then a put first hot, then cold water through the pipes. It’s instant, fish smell gone. The vinegar odor only lasts a short while.  

I also scrub my sinks with a paste of soap and baking soda, makes things really shiny and smells good.

This is a good maintenance regimen, but eventually slime will build up anyway.  About twice a year we take the pipes out from under the sink, take them out in the front yard and scrub the crap out with an old toothbrush. When you see it, you realize, your house is cleaner than you think, a little bit of slime really stinks up the place.




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