Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

The Great Hair Conditioner Fiasco

The Three Stooges would’ve felt right to home here at the Funny Farm… This place features an ongoing three-ring circus.

Okay, backstory: When the weather’s warm so I can swim every day, I like to shower in the backyard hose. To that end, I keep bottles of shampoo and conditioner on the back porch. These have to be in containers with screw-on caps instead of the pump type, because in the heat, the liquids expand and work their way up the pump and squirt all over the table or pavement.

Since I buy these products in lifetime supplies from Costco, the stuff has to be transferred from the Costco-sized pump bottle to a smaller, more manageable container. Meanwhile, a bottle of conditioner has been sitting in the closet so long it seemed to have congealed: it had become so thick it wouldn’t come up out of the bottle’s pump. I added some water to it, but it’s so thick I can’t make it blend by shaking the bottle vigorously.

So. Now I have a brilliant idea.

What I should do is dump this stuff into a bowl and stir it up with my electric mixer.

🙂 Almost makes sense, doesn’t it?

Convinced, I schlep the gear into the kitchen and whip it up with the mixer. The result: it does whip up: a lot like whipped cream! With lovely soft fluffy peaks…

Oh well. A little air in the mix can’t hurt.

Now I try to insert this thick, gloppy “whipped cream” into an old conditioner bottle, using one of those flexible funnels that you can squeeze and sort of massage stuff through.

Bad idea.

Exceptionally bad idea.

The glop will not go through the funnel. Not on your life. But it will go all over the counter, all over the sink, all over the floor, and all over you!

Holy sh!t.


Now it dawns on me that this stuff really should not go down the kitchen drain. If ordinary cooking and meat fat will clog that drain, THIS stuff will block it like a chunk of cement.

But by the time this revelation appears, it’s toooooo late. The stuff is all over everything and slopped all around the sink and has gone down not one but both drains. And it’s not just gooey: it’s also slippery.

I carry the bowl out to the garbage can, therein to dump its contents. But my hands are covered with this gunk. To get into the alley, I have to pass through two gates, one of which is secured with a padlock. My fingers are so slippery I can’t even hold onto the key!

Finally I manage to get out there and dispose of the glop. But now we have the problem of the sinks and the drains…

Back in the house, I use up almost an entire roll of paper towels wiping the stuff out of the sinks as best as I can, and wiping it off the countertops and the floors. I carry the dirty bowl to the garage utility sink to try to wipe the remaining film of glop out of it, and so of course more of the stuff goes down that drain.

What. A. MESS!

At length (great length!), I manage to mop most of the goop off the house and off me. Result: the kitchen and the garage and my hands STINK of industrial perfume. GOD, how I hate the smell of industrial perfume. The stuff permeates every personal care product on the market, unless you’re willing to pay extra for less. And so far I haven’t found a fragrance-free hair conditioner that works on locks that cascade halfway down to your waist.

So…how much is this going to cost me in plumber’s bills???

I decided to try the baking soda/vinegar trick, though I have no reason to believe either of those substances cuts congealed hair conditioner.

In this maneuver, you pour about a half-cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow immediately with about a cup of white vinegar (any vinegar will do: the white stuff is cheapest). Let it sit while you bring a pot of water to a boil. Then pour boiling water down the drain.

Subjected all three drains to this treatment. Then filled each sink with hot tap water and ran the water through, putting the weight of many gallons into the drain. This should rinse out the baking soda (which can petrify in your drain when you pull this trick) and with any luck will push out at least some of the hair-conditioner gunk.

That exploit consumed most of yesterday afternoon. Too bad I didn’t have a video cam going: it would have made a very funny show.

Larry, Mo, and Curly: public domain
Steamy water tap: DepositPhotos, © nikkytok

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Author: funny

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  1. This post should only be read while listening to the Benny Hill theme.

  2. I’m a big believer in not taking medical advice from one doctor only (meaning, be sure a second or third doc says same thing about a major procedure, treatment, or diagnosis before taking it as gospel). I would check again with another plumber before taking what the last one said as gospel and not letting a tiny drop of grease going down the drain. But to each her own, right?

    • LOL! That could be true in normal parts of the country. Ah, but this is Arizona…

      What we have in the kitchen are several layers of questionable competence:

      a) Cabinetry and piping installed by a previous Happy Handyman owner;
      b) An undermount sink installed by a tile guy who seems not to have known that you can’t install undermount sinks with Mexican tile because the underlayment isn’t strong enough to support such a thing and will cause the tile to (yes!!) crack;
      c) A bizarre plumbing connection under said vast undermount cast-iron double sink, which kinks a bit (heh) and which has a tiny opening for its egress.
      d) Said egress is too small to accommodate a normal flow of water.
      e) A damned water-saving faucet that does not allow enough water to flow to accommodate the aged plumbing, which needs more water force to keep the pipes clear than is emitted by a damned water-saving faucet.

      And yea, verily, if you fail to wipe as much of the grease as you possibly can from the dishes, pots, and pans, you may be very sure indeed that you will be paying the plumber to root out the drain. Again. 😀

      We’re on a first-name basis, that plumber and me… This is one reason I do all my cooking on a grill: so I don’t have to wash pots and pans in that sink. Or put them in the dishwasher, which drains through the same minuscule outlet.

      So…yeah…it has proven to be true: the less grease goes down that drain, the fewer visits I get to enjoy from Geno the Plumber.

  3. Funny indeed!! Thanks for the laughs!!

  4. Oy! However – one would think that boiling water should be able to clear up any solidish chunks of conditioner?

    My mother called me one night about 10 years ago and was describing how she had cleaned out the fridge. And in the course of doing so, she would run the garbage disposal to wash down the sad leftovers found in the back of fridge.

    Then she moved on to the pantry, and pulled out boxes of dry goods, looking at dates. She found a box of instant mashed potato flakes that had expired 9 or 10 years ago – and – with an embarassed laugh – she admitted that she POURED the flakes down the disposal, while running water at the same time.

    And that’s the story of how my mother ended up buying a new garbage disposal unit 🙂

    • Ooops!

      Not to say “heeeeeee!!!!!” That is an amazing story. But really…who would know the instant potato flakes would be THAT instant? 😀

      I did something similar with the innards of a pumpkin on Thanksgiving day, with a raft of guests on their way to my house. Did you know there are plumbers who can be bribed to come clean out a drain on Thanksgiving? Don’t ask how much they charge…

  5. This sounds like something I would do. (Which is not necessarily a compliment.)

    Sigh. Live and learn, and mess a few things up along the way.

  6. Yeah, sounds like something I might do. And, though I haven’t done this particular thing, like some things I’ve done.

    Like MB, I thought immediately of the Benny Hill theme music. Odd, because I don’t think I’ve ever watched Benny Hill.

    Will keep my fingers crossed for your plumbing.

    • I think it’ll be OK. It’s not running slow, to speak of, so the stuff probably melted on through with the application of hot water. To say nothing of fizzing vinegar. 😀