Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Life Hacks Episode 3

Well here we are again at another episode of Life Hacks. In this series I give you a heap of quick and easy tips designed to make your life just a little bit quicker and easier. If you are the kind of person who still types www at the beginning of every web address you visit, then pay attention because this series is for you. (Little side note and nothing to do with today's episode, stop typing www at the beginning of every web address, seriously you just wasted 3 seconds of your life by doing that. You'll get to exactly the same place if you just start typing the address after the www. Go ahead and try it, I'll stand here and wait for you.)

For episode 2 click here

Now today's life hack is something that I know everyone has to deal with, and that is preventing clogged drains in your kitchen. Thanks to our laziness, most of us just tip every little bit of fatty, dirty, food infested water straight down the sink, and then curse our stupid plumbing when it all comes flowing back into the sink after you turn the tap on full.

I told you you can't flush an entire pumpkin down the sink!

Now there are many ways that you can actually prevent all that nasty fatty scrappy gunk from being washed down your sink. You can always tip fluids out into the garden, or go out and buy a tiny strainer for your sink, or you could use something that you probably already have in your kitchen and are about to use to scrub out your pot anyway. 

So to safely empty a dirty pot of crud into your sink without blocking your drain, you will need the following

1 pot full of scummy water (or a whole sink full of dirty dish water)
1 steel wool
1 rubbish bin

Now I Googled steel wool before I wrote this because I'm never sure if these life hacks will translate into other countries, but I'm very happy to find out that Australia isn't the only country that sells steel wool. So way to go the rest of the world, you can do this too! However the type of steel wool you use may end up producing different results, I have used a very coarse steel wool that is already well loved, so there is plenty of room for the water to drain out of it while the scum and crud stays put.

So to save your drain and your sanity, plug up your drain with a piece of steel wool BEFORE you start emptying the water out. If you are emptying a pot, this is simple, just plug up the hole. If you are doing this while the sink is already full of water, it is still simple, just make sure you use two hands, one to pull the plug out, the other to jam the steel wool into the drain hole.

Voila! one plugged up sink hole, and a perfectly timed drop of water splashing into the sink. How awesome is that?

Note that I have taken a photo before anything is tipped down the sink, because truly that is a nasty sight. Once you have emptied all the water, take the steel wool over to your rubbish bin and shake all the crap out into the bin where it belongs. If you are a squeamish person who can't stand the thought of actually touching a dirty scrubber feel free to use gloves while you do this, or even better find someone else to do it for you. 

The beauty of emptying out water in this manner is that while it saves you from having to unclog your drain in the future, it also helps keep our waterways cleaner and reduces the amount of work that water treatment plants have to do once your dirty water reaches them. It truly is a green tip you can feel good about doing it.

Well there you have it, another short cut for you done and dusted. I'll be back again tomorrow with our next episode of Spotlight on Mental health, and for once it isn't a family member i begged to write something for me so be sure to tune in tomorrow for that. 
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