Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Power of White Vinegar

We have.been making some small-scale renovations to The Little Stone House, initially because we wanted to make sole changes to suit our tastes, but now, because we will be selling it soon.
Part of this process--most of it, in fact--has been a makeover of our two bathrooms.

What we have below is the results of an experiment.  Part of the bathroom makeovers has been cleaning up the sinks and replacing the hardware, rather than replacing the whole sink.  (We shopped around.  Sinks aren't cheap, and we both have kind of "chi-chi" tastes!)  Over the Holiday weekend, we went to pick some things up at the hardware store, including a new j-trap (the piece below.)  The products on the market now in the big hardware stores are unbelievably flimsy feeling!  Even the "metal" pieces feel like they will crack and fall apart rapidly.  This piece was crusted about an inch deep with...drek!  When we couldn't find an acceptable replacement, I said to my boyfriend, "Let's try this."

I came home, took the old piece of pipe, and submerged it in white vinegar. We just left it there. Yesterday, he was able to scrape out the crud, and look at this piece now! Just white vinegar. Nothing else. No toxic chemicals. Nothing went into the trash that didn't need to. The monetary savings were nominal, but the savings in headaches and needing future replacements, I'd say, were immense!

Next time you need to replace something in your house, take a moment or two to think about alternatives: Can it be cleaned up instead?  Can you make do?  Is there a low-or no-waste way to make the repair?  (etc.)  Obviously, you always want to make sure you are not cutting corners and doing things that are unsafe, but there is a wealth  of DIY information out there these days.

Happy fixing!

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