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.
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!
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