DIY Cleaning Products: Drain Cleaner

 

It’s been about four years since I started blogging. My most popular post is my DIY Drain Cleaner recipe. I really had no idea it would be a popular post, I wasn’t even sure anyone would be interested. Thousands of views have proved me wrong!

I learned this home remedy from a late night TV show, about a million years ago. I have been meaning to make a new video for a while and it seemed like a natural thing to do, so here it is.

If you have a clogged drain, give it a try, you won’t be disappointed! I use this combination for regular drain maintenance about once a month. I do not purchase any chemical cleaners in our home, this recipe works great and is cheap and clean for the environment.

For bathroom sinks, I use the smaller amount, for larger drains like the shower and bath tub I usually double the amount given. My kids love to help with cleaning the drains, we call it “drain cleaning science”. I found out that the Cream of Tartar is a form of tartaric acid and is a bi-product of winemaking. Potassium bitartrate is derived from the crystals formed on the inside of the wooden wine barrels as the wine ages. These crystals are then refined into Cream of Tartar.

Who knew?

Here are my Amazon Affiliate Links so you can buy your supplies and get started!


I would love to hear how you like this recipe, here are some testimonials or leave me a comment!

“I know this works….I had very sluggish tub drains (very annoying), used this~~~worked great!!! We have a septic tank so I was ever so happy to find this safe way of unclogging!!!!”

“Great tips here! I like reading about natural cleaners! Thank you for sharing!”

“Your “recipe” for drain opener works great… after trying a number of things, I found this and mixed it up…. the first dose applied and I could see a difference. Through that week I used the rest of that first mix…WOW~~~ what difference… We have septic tank and I worry that the chemical store brands would harm it, so imagine how happy I am…will be using this every couple of weeks….. Thank-you for posting this”

10 Steps to a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom

entry door to bath

Everyone loves Chip and Joanna Gaines. Not a day goes by when I don’t see an article about them or a room that they have designed. They are a hot, hot topic on social media!

I find myself glued to the tv regularly watching their reruns on HGTV.

full bath view

Hometalk’s hashtag this week is #Fixer Upper Style. Each week Hometalk has a different trending topic on their website and social media. We bloggers love to keep track of the trending hashtags and post relevant material for maximum readership. Fixer Upper made the hot topic list, and this week we are posting about how to bring out your “Inner Joanna Gaines”.

Farmhouse bathroom before decorating by designerssweetspot.com
Bathroom Before

The guest bath in our new house is rather simple. It is a windowless room, with a standard cast iron tub and plastic tub surround. The previous owners updated the sink and vanity with a new pedestal sink and also up dated the toilet. Modern porcelain tile was added to the floor, but they left the dated wall tile. Other than that, there is really nothing special about this bathroom. It is rather lacking in character and design.

The recessed medicine cabinet was removed and the bath was staged with a vintage mirror. I know this because the medicine cabinet is sitting in our basement, and there is a giant hole behind the mirror where it used to be. I am not sure I love the old mirror, it’s rather hard to see yourself in that worn off mercury glass, but it is within the character of our old urban farm house and we will keep it for now.

fixer upper sign

 

So, how do you get a Fixer Upper Style Bathroom? It is easier than you think! There are a few simple steps to a beautiful trendy Joanna Gaines bath! Here are my top tips and tricks!

display above the tank

1)Use the bathroom you have. Not everyone can afford to gut their entire bath. Most people just use what they have got. This isn’t that bad, as you can see we haven’t made any structural changes to this average bathroom. Remove all your current decor and clutter from your bath to make room for some vintage style.

2)Paint your bath a beautiful powder blue. Fortunately for us, this room was freshly painted and we didn’t have to do this step. There are lots of beautiful pale blue shades out there, it is Joanna Gaines’ signature color. Almost all of her renovations have a shade of powder blue in them, it’s a wonderful choice for any bathroom.

crate shelf

3) Find one or two vintage wooden pieces to use for bathroom storage. This honeycomb crate came from a local antique mall. It was scrubbed and varnished and hung on the wall as is. There are holes in the screen, a crooked wire and many worn imperfections in the wood. The dark brown color contrasts nicely with the light blue walls and gives a rather sterile bathroom a bit of timeless character.

4) Add a galvanized container with faux greenery. This little galvanized bucket came from the craft store for about $1.00. Joanna often uses containers like this to stage her rooms. The faux greenery adds color and texture to the display.

Wooden towel holder_

5)Add some faux cotton branches. These branches came from the craft store as well, Joanna frequently uses branches like this for texture interest. Mine are sitting in a green mason jar along side the tissue box.

6) Add a sign or a wooden box with vintage graphics. The vintage box in this photo was originally used to hold hardware for horse shoe repair. It’s so interesting to read the label that you entirely forget about the ugly square tile behind it. Also, the deep brown color adds contrast and make the yellowed tile look warm and pretty.

butterflies and natural elements

7)Fresh contrasting towels make the room inviting.  I love these towels because they are a deeper shade of grey/blue that works great with the wall color. They also don’t show stains which is a plus if you have kids in the house. The towel bar here is not that big, so I used small and medium towels, the bath towel made it look crowded. The illusion of space in the bathroom is achieved with minimal clutter.

8)Look for some natural elements to add to the room. Joanna often uses vintage prints of birds or flowers in her rooms. I didn’t have any so I opted for a some curly willow sticks and a few butterflies to make the room have that farm house feel. I also used a sea shell for a soap dish. Repurpose flowers, branches, rocks or shells from the beach. These items can be changed with the seasons, I may add some thing more wintery next year.

display above the tank

9) Opt for darker cabinet hardware. We don’t have any cabinets in this bath, but if we did I would use black or dark bronze handles. Our door knob is just the right color for this room, and ties in with the vintage look. I would love to replace the sink faucet, toilet handle and tub faucets that are currently chrome with new fixtures in the dark bronze color to add contrast and have a more modern farmhouse feel.

full bath view

10)Add a stool for seating in a contrasting color. This little foot stool is a dark chocolate brown which balances out the room visually with the other wooden decor. A couple of blue towels add color and the loofa sponge adds texture and contrasts with the towels.

The white waffle weave shower curtain ads more light color and covers up the otherwise ugly shower and tub. My wooden handled makeup brushes are displayed in a brown vintage flower frog for more visual interest.

What do you think? It’s pretty simple when you break it all down. I love how it turned out, this room feels so chic and modern now!

I would love to see how your bathrooms turn out! Can’t wait to see how you got your own #Fixer Upper Style! For more ideas, follow the #fixerupperstyle hashtag on social media and Hometalk!

 

Bathroom Update on a Budget

 

green bath

Which room in your house do you hate the most? For me it was this guest bathroom. Just not my style. I disliked the colors and especially the writing on the wall. It just reminded me of the things I used to tell my kids when I was potty training them a million years ago.

downstairs bathBudgeting for updates is always an issue. Most folks just don’t have much to spare for a complete bathroom remodel. I am so excited to have finished this project with the budget still intact. Sometimes, things just work out the way you want them to. The downstairs bath was one of the ugliest rooms in the house, even though not everyone in my family disliked it as I did. Still,  I couldn’t wait to get started on it. The first thing this room needed was paint, paint, paint.IMG_0133

The dark wainscoting was the biggest problem, and as soon as the white paint started going on, I knew it was a tremendous improvement.  It took 3 coats of paint to cover the dark brown paint. I probably should have primed it first, but I am impatient so I didn’t. Oh, well.

It also took 2 coats of the pale grey to cover the garish green walls.wiring the chandelier

The grey walls are so soothing compared to the old green ones. The next step was to take down the shower curtain contraption that hung over the tub. With the old claw foot tub and faucet, we will never have enough water pressure to have a decent shower, and it surely wouldn’t be water proof, so we decided to remove it altogether and restrict the showers to the proper shower in the upstairs bath.

wiring the chandelier-2

 

I knew that my glass chandelier would be perfect over the tub. It had been in storage for over a year and it’s a miracle it wasn’t smashed in our recent move. I had gotten it FREE from a lady at our church who was moving and couldn’t take it with her. It was originally a hard wired fixture that my husband re-wired to plug into a regular electrical outlet. That worked great at our last location, however, here we have electrical issues.

Namely, there is one plug in the entire bath. So instead of undoing all of the electrical work he did previously on the chandelier, he came up with this brilliant solution. We simply removed the cover from the ceiling light, bought an adapter for a light socket that had an electrical plug, and plugged in the chandelier into it. I thought this was ingenious.

I knew there was a reason I married him. The extra cord was tucked behind the top of the ceiling fixture, you would never know it was a plug in chandelier!

Claw Foot Tub

The gold towel rod is actually a curtain rod that I got at the thrift store. I love using curtain rods for towels, they are so much bigger. When you have a large family, traditional towel bars are far to small, not to mention expensive.

My mother’s Currier and Ives Clipper Ship print is a very elegant addition to the bath.

Fabric Cube

I made this Milk Crate Fabric Cube  from a plastic milk crate I have had since college. It’s on wheels so it’s easy to scoot around for polishing your toes or putting on your shoes.

The soap is my own special batch, it smells completely amazing, and I love how colorful it is.

Pedestal Sink

The white medicine cabinet was here before we moved in, I have a love/hate relationship with it. Not sure if it’s permanent or not, I may end up trying something else in it’s place.

The chippy white dresser is one that I stenciled, you can read more about it here.

Orchid

 

The oil painting on the wall was a gift from my mother on one of her antiquing trips to England. I never tire of looking at it. My favorite Orchid lives happily near the window.

Sea shells and glass

For the summer, I brought out my collection of broken sea shells that we found on the beach in Alabama. They look so lovely in this setting, I don’t even notice that they are broken.

Have I mentioned that I see beauty in brokenness?

 

Toilette and accessories

The room still needs a few finishing touches, but I am pleased with how to turned out.

I would love to tell you I spent a small fortune updating this room. But, we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we ripped the walls all down to the studs, re-wired and re-plumbed, but we didn’t.

I would love to tell you we shopped for hours searching for just the right accessories, but we didn’t.

This budget renovation, didn’t cost us a thing. I used paint we already had, furniture we already owned, towels we already had, art borrowed from my mother, a free chandelier, broken sea shells and a chippy old vintage dresser.

And it all worked together beautifully. Imagine that?

Miracles do happen.

Here’s a panoramic view of the room:

Bath Panorama

I love technology, don’t you?

Time to find another room to update!

 

 

 

How to Install a Waterpick Shower Head

wpid-Photo-20150520221306386.jpg

We have been working on this project for days. Changing out the shower head sounded like such a simple thing. We got this beautiful Waterpik Shower head in the mail, compliments of the Water Pik folks.

We love these rain style shower heads, once you use one, you will never go back. They feel simply wonderful, the best thing is, they actually use less water than your average shower head. Nice, eh?

DSC_0268

Our set up was a little awkward. The shower head we had was too low for the taller members of our family. You can see where the original shower head was by the hole in the wall. It was also so close to the wall, that we couldn’t get underneath it without bumping into the wall of the shower.

Not a stellar design to be sure. Who comes up with these things anyway? Someone sure didn’t test out this shower when they installed it. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

Who wants a shower that no one can fit underneath?

open walls

When we decided to raise the shower up a few inches we were not expecting to run into any problems. Normally this would be easy, just a few inches of vertical pipe to install, but when we opened the wall, we discovered a leak and a poorly plumbed system. So we pretty much started over and had to redo everything.

crooked pipes

 

This awkward angle proved to be part of our problem. The PVC pipes were cracked and leaking at the joints. It also looked like whoever installed this didn’t use the proper glue, and didn’t attach them to anything solid. Basically, when full of water, the pipes were flopping about inside the wall, which is why the began to leak. Sometimes DIY is not such a good idea.

So, we dug into the project full force. A couple of days without water or shower and we are finally back in business. We replaced the pipes, straighten the angle out a bit, re-glued them properly and anchored them to the studs and cross pieces that we added for that purpose. I am happy to report that there have has not been anymore leaking.

AMEN!

shower arm

The shower head itself was easy to install once the pipe was in the right place. All you have to do is remove the old head and screw on the new one. We ended up buying this 12″ extender to put the shower head right over the middle of the shower, it was just a few dollars at our local home improvement center.

full bath

Moving the show head has made all the difference in the world. Our average shower has just gotten a budget overall. It looks and feels like a whole new designer shower unit.

The result, we all love the shower. Even the boys results are unanimous:

boy 1: ” Four stars, works like a dream!”

boy 2: “I love the feeling of the rain over my head.”

Boy 3:”the 7 different pulse settings are awesome!”

Boy 4:” bring on the rain!”

My sentiments exactly! Now to repair the wall board and paint. There will be more to come on this project!

Have a great day!

Five Dollar Bathroom Update

before

 

It’s time to get organized! I have seen so many posts recently about organizing, apparently it’s on everyone’s mind this time of year. We recently installed this $5.00 bathroom update in our bathroom and I promised I would let you know all the details, so here it is!

designerssweetspot.com

Our little Mid Century home is painfully short on cabinet space. There is practically ZERO storage in the 2nd floor bathroom. My temporary fix was to use a vintage tennis ball holder for towels in the corner. With company coming however, we knew this was not a practical solution.

sink

The only cabinet in the room is the one under the sink. It’s packed full of other things, and frankly is still not nearly enough storage for a large family.

We knew we weren’t going to be able to match the vintage style of this cabinet, pretty much any additional storage would do.

You might say we were rather desperate.

wall before

The only spot available to add storage was above the toilet. There were a few size restrictions with the space. We wanted something rather tall and slender, but not too large. It had to fit between the electrical switch (who in their right mind would put an electrical switch there???) and the shower stall.

Also, it couldn’t stick out further than the top of toilet tank or it would drive me plum crazy.

before

One trip to our local Habitat Restore shop produced this awesome value cabinet for a whopping $5.00 bucks. Have I mentioned that I LOVE that place????

It’s really a kitchen cabinet, designed for a microwave with the cut out for the electrical outlet at the back. This did not deter us at all.

Where else can you find a $5.00 cabinet? We love that this project was so inexpensive, and it’s great to re-purpose as much as possible. Why spend more?

I gave the cabinet a couple of coats of glossy white Rustoleum paint and removed the dated cabinet knobs.

lead

We hung the cabinet with 2″ wall screws, attaching it right to the joists by screwing through the back of the cabinet. I knew I was going to cover the screws up so I wasn’t worried about them being exposed.

The turquoise knobs are from Hobby Lobby. I loved them the moment I laid eyes on them and I thought they added some needed pizzazz to the cabinet.

The final step was to cover the back of the cabinet shelf with faux wood paper that I attached with the help of some Scotch 3M Command Strips. I can’t get enough of this paper. I have used it on so many projects.

The top shelf (behind the doors) gives us plenty of room for extra towels and supplies, and I love having a place to display things on the bottom shelf.

soap display

towels

I don’t think you would ever know that the rustic wood background was really paper. It is also from Hobby Lobby.

I had fun tying pretty ribbons in bows around the bath towels for display along with some of our homemade Candy Cane Soap.

Not a bad upgrade for $5.00!