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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): My Drain Just ......Stinks!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Drain Just ......Stinks!


I debated whether to even talk about stinking drains...I am such a meticulous housekeeper and cringe at the smell of my kitchen and one of my bathroom drains pretty much every morning when I walk by.  You see, I finally figured out that Belgium doesn't quite have the same plumbing building codes let's say we had in Germany....or the US.  As far as I know, there is no code saying you need to have an S-trap, U-trap or any alphabet trap in your plumbing that traps water and prevents the sewer smell from coming back up into your home....or for that matter, bathroom venting is unheard of mostly, so you open up a lot of windows, even in winter....to air your place out (and to keep the mold and moisture at bay...yes, Belgium is a wet and clammy country)...what is going on?....sigh.  So, here I was...burning candles....motion detector Air Wick sprays (yes, the PX over here has these)...and seriously CLEANING out the sink with bleach and such before we went to bed every night (no, you're not supposed to pour pure bleach down ANY drain)...not something I would normally do, this daily intensive cleaning regimen....but now that I understand it better, barring getting the landlord to redo the plumbing, I've come up with this.

I gathered from some other hausfraus that since bacteria will grow in your drains and collect over time, you have to regularly get some enzymes down there, that eat this bacteria and also regularly have some kind of water flow (so use your sinks daily to keep sewer gases from coming back your way).....once you get the bacteria under control, you'll only have to do this task about once a week.  I had already tried the vinegar (or lemon juice)/baking soda trick, but it only lasted so long.  So, of course I looked for products in our local supermarket...in French....deciphering which ones can be used for this purpose.  It turns out there is a whole slew of them, even some no-name brands....at the GB...and they do work.

My favorite that got rid of all the smells and turned my drains into shiny white pipes....it is called "Destop" OdorStop.  Try two capfuls once a week, and don't run the water for thirty minutes after pouring the gel into your drain...and that's it!

What quirky cleaning things have you found over here?  Anyone want to talk spiders?  I'll save that for another post...

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Helena said...

I just discovered your blog. It's great! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

September 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to post anything that you think would be relevant or helpful!

September 30, 2010 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger MooAtU2 said...

Wow... mind reader... This is eerie...

We just moved into our home in Germany, and have the same problem. I was JUST googling this yesterday in fact. I tried some really hot water. It's ok now, but today I bought some bleach. I'm a little apprehensive to try bleach because I know it's not good for certain types of plumping. Maybe I'll skip it and try the product you suggested. Thanks!

September 30, 2010 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

If you have a garbage disposal try grinding half a lemon - that should help for a few days. Another trick is to pour vinegar down the drain, which can eliminate odors.

October 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Sorry, Europeans don't do garbage disposals! This is the thing I miss the most over here! How can they not have stumbled on this? Old pipes? I don't know!

October 16, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

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