It is so much fun playing and experimenting with Oobleck; the only downside is disposing of it afterward. Many people have made the mistake of pouring Oobleck down the drain and later find that their drains are blocked. Because Oobleck is a suspension, if you leave it for a while, the water and cornstarch will separate. If you pour it down the drain, it will separate inside your pipes, leaving a hard clump of cornstarch that clogs your drain.
5 Steps To Dispose Of Oobleck Safely;
- Dilute with hot water and pour it down the drain.
- Let it dry and vacuum it up.
- Oobleck is biodegradable; hose it down on the grass.
- Place it in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.
- Place it on a compost pile or in a compost bin (biodegradable).
So, the kids have had their fun, and there is Oobleck all over the house. It’s time to clean up the mess, but you have heard how Oobleck can cause drain pipes to block if you pour it down the drain. This article will discuss safe ways to dispose of Oobleck to prevent any damage from happening to your plumbing system.
How To Dispose Of Oobleck Safely In 5 Steps
Firstly, assess the amount of Oobleck that you need to dispose of to know which of the following 5 methods you should use;
1. Dilute The Oobleck
Mix water into the Oobleck until the consistency remains a liquid, even when you apply pressure to it. The ratio needs to be no less than four parts water to one part Oobleck.
Now you can go ahead and pour it down the kitchen sink while the warm water tap is running. While you pour it down, continue diluting the watery Oobleck with the running water until you have poured the entire batch down the drain.
Do not use this method if you have more than 150ml of Oobleck. The more Oobleck you have, the bigger the chances are of it clogging up your pipes.
2. Let It Dry Out
If only a small amount of Oobleck, you can leave it out in the sun to dry out completely. Once it has dried, crushed the Oobleck until it is in smaller pieces (preferably a powder form) and vacuum it up with your vacuum cleaner (do not use a wet vacuum cleaner).
The Oobleck will remain in powder form inside the vacuum bag until you are ready to empty the bag and throw it in the trash (in a plastic bag).
3. Hose It Down
Oobleck is a biodegradable substance; therefore, you can pour it directly onto your grass and hose it down. It will not cause any harm to your grass, but if you don’t want to see it make sure that you hose it down thoroughly.
By distributing the Oobleck over a bigger area of grass, you are less likely to see the Oobleck after you have sprayed it with water.
4. Pour It In A Plastic Bag And Place It In A Garbage
The simplest way to dispose of Oobleck is by pouring it into a plastic bag and placing it in your garbage bin. Make sure there are no holes in the plastic bag; otherwise, it will seep through to the bottom of your bin, causing an even bigger mess.
5. Add It To The Compost
You can sprinkle Oobleck over your compost pile or add it to your compost bin. As with the grass, Oobleck is biodegradable, so it will eventually be broken down by microorganisms and form part of the compost. It is safe to add compost containing Oobleck to your garden, and it will not harm your plants.
Can You Flush Oobleck Down The Toilet?
Your toilet is also part of your plumbing system, and therefore, if you were to try and flush Oobleck, it may get stuck in your pipes and cause blockage.
Instead of pouring it down the loo as is, dilute it with warm water like you would if you were pouring it down the kitchen sink (four-parts water (minimum) to one-part Oobleck).
Can You Reuse Oobleck After It Has Dried Up?
If your Oobleck has dried out completely, you can turn it into Oobleck sand by breaking it into pieces and crushing the pieces into fine sand. If you want to turn it back into the original Oobleck, add water until you get the consistency you want.
Oobleck can last longer when you dry it out after playing with it. It is when it is kept wet that the bacteria thrive and makes it go bad. This way, you can use the corn cornstarch repeatedly until you need to replace it with a fresh batch.
How Do You Clear A Drain That Is Blocked With Oobleck?
There is nothing as frustrating as a clogged drain. If you have made the mistake of pouring too much Oobleck down the sink and it has blocked the entire piping system, you can boil some water and pour it down the clogged drain.
After pouring the boiling hot water, measure half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain as well. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, then mix 1 cup of boiling water with 1 cup of white vinegar and pour that down the drain on top of the baking soda.
You will need to cover the drain with a wet cloth to keep the explosive reaction from shooting out of the sink. Allow the reaction to work for about 10 to 15 minutes and complete the process by pouring one more pot of boiling water down the drain.
You should unclog the pipes; however, if you find that it still isn’t completely clear, repeat the process or call a plumber to come and assist you.
Why Does Oobleck Clog Drain Pipes?
When you put cornstarch down the drain, it is exposed to water and turns into a sticky substance that clings to the pipes. Like rice, flour, pasta, or oatmeal, cornstarch also gets gummy when it is wet.
It becomes almost like cement, clogging up your pipes and causing a plumbing emergency. To prevent this from happening, rather refrain from pouring Oobleck down the drain unless it is a very small amount.
Having fun playing and exploring with Oobleck is one thing, but cleaning it up and disposing of it is a different story. Follow these simple steps to get rid of Oobleck safely and try to steer clear of pouring it down the drain. As the popular saying goes, “rather safe than sorry.”