Drano Disaster

The pungent stench of industrial strength solvent permeates our kitchen as I write these words. It started when Hope discovered standing water in our dishwasher. A drain problem, I guessed. I was on my way out to Kroger anyway to pick up a few things, so some Liquid Plumber was on the horizon.

The list: two packages of rice drink, cranberries, blueberries; a package of strawberries, organic bananas, five cans of V-8, seven bottles of yogurt drink, a package of candelabra style light bulbs (small base), and bottles of spring water. It was the Liquid Plumber that somehow missed the list and so, though the crisis was afoot, my short term memory being almost nonexistent, I completely forgot it until I returned home.

So, no sooner had I put away the groceries from my first trip when I was on my way out for a second trip, this time to CVS, hoping it was open on a Sunday night at 6:00PM.

It was. I headed for the cleaning supplies and housewares aisle. There was Drano and a CVS brand of de-clogger. I studied the labels. Drano was a dollar more, but came with an impressive array of warnings and emphatic statements attesting to its effectiveness. I headed for the door with the bottle of Drano and a small box of cat litter.

Home, I pulled a pan out of the dishwasher that was blocking my access to the drain. I rolled out the bottom shelf the full way and proceeded to apply the Drano, which, after two attempts, I was able to open, though it came with a human-proof cap. For clogs the bottle’s label instructs the user to pour half a bottle. I poured what seemed to be half and a little more for good measure. I stared at the standing water, waiting for the miraculous substance to expunge the clog. I waited. I waited some more.

“I think it may be working,” Hope said helpfully. I wasn’t sure.

Then, it dawned on me. Maybe it needed to go through the rinse cycle to open the drain. Maybe the drain only opened at a certain time during the dishwashing cycle. I tested my theory.

Turning the knob past ‘pots and pans’, ‘regular wash’, and a strange setting who’s name escapes me now that I’m sitting her and I refuse to go into the kitchen just to describe this particular detail, I set the dishwasher into motion. There was a pause for about twenty seconds and then I heard the whoosh of the water flowing out inside. I surmised that it wouldn’t take long to open the drain, but I was willing to wait a few minutes. And then I realized my folly.

Suds began to emerge out of the seams of the dishwasher door, where it hinges and meets the section that meets the floor. I pushed the dial past the rest of the long rinse cycle, past the dry phase, and off. I opened the dishwasher door. It was as if I had put laundry detergent in the dishwasher.

So, most of the evening for me has been spent fishing suds out of the bottom of the dishwasher and trying not breathe the fumes. A full rinse cycle later, I developed a fresh batch of the snowy white bubbles. I’m going to leave it overnight for lack of a better idea and basically I’m sick of fooling with it, so stay tuned.


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