The Gaff Goddess: How to retrieve a favourite earring from the drain
Creaking stair? Stubborn stain? Panic not. Our new columnist has it sorted
In the blink of an eye, an earring can drop from your fingers and fall down the drain. Photograph: Getty
You’ve had a wonderful evening and now you’re slipping off a chic earring before you begin your skincare routine. In the blink of an eye, she drops from your fingers and you watch her fall down the drain. Visions of every outfit she matches so perfectly flash before your eyes.
Snap out of it! I am here to tell you she is not gone forever – you can have her back in a few simple steps.
Supplies needed: mop bucket and rubber gloves.
First off, do not run any more water. In fact, if you can locate your stopcock, switch your water off completely. You don’t want any surprises during your mission. Safe is chic, after all.
Before we begin a project like this, we need to understand what we are looking at. Pop your head under the sink and you will see pipes. The top section of the pipe that connects to the drain will either be in a U or S shape. This section is called a trap. Stunning!
Slide the bucket under the pipe work and we can get started. I always put on a pair of rubber gloves for extra grip here. Most pipe work under a sink can be loosened by hand but that extra friction is always fabulous
Do you see how it will carry the water leaving the drain down and then up again? Well, this is so it can trap some of this water and leave it sitting in the bend. This trapped water stops gases from the sewage system coming back into the home through the drain. What a doll.
Aside from trapping water, it also does a fabulous job of trapping jewellery, hairclips, eye pencil lids and so on that may fall down our sink drains. This is where your earring will be sitting.
So, how exactly do we get to her? First, grab a mop bucket or large container. You don’t want the water which the trap is holding to pour all over that great outfit. Slide the bucket under the pipe work and we can get started. I always put on a pair of rubber gloves for extra grip here. Most pipe work under a sink can be loosened by hand but that extra friction is always fabulous.
You will see a joint at either end of the trap. These look kind of like a Miu Miu plexi bangle: round with some raised parts added for grip. You’ll want to twist each joint anti-clockwise to loosen and remove. I find starting with the lower joint is best – go slowly and let the water seep out gently, then twist off the top part.
The whole trap should come away. Turn it upside down and the rest of the water and your earring should fall into the bucket. What a stunning state of affairs.
While your trap is off, give it a good clean as it can get clogged over time. In fact, if you have slow-moving water, it is most likely due to a blockage here so now you know how to get to it. Dry the trap off and reattach, making sure the joints are tightened well. Run the tap to ensure there are no drips.
Laura de Barra, aka the Gaff Goddess, is a property manager, author and She-IY enthusiast from Cork, now based in London