Water, Water Everywhere

Once an albatross, now a Cool Tool. Not even Nikki Minaj could make this siphon hose work as a necklace do...
Once an albatross, now a Cool Tool. Not even Nikki Minaj could make this siphon hose work as a necklace do…



When faced with water up to the lid of our old washing machine, and a choice between bailing with a Disney princess cup (the biggest we could find that would fit; the bucket would NOT) or letting the machine spill over with our girly tears, my daughter and I opted for Door Number Three: Science.

Here’s how we figured it out. Hang in there. If you follow along, you’ll be able to use this process yourself. {Also, you‘ll see it actually pays off to pay attention in school.}


Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink,” lament the forlorn, stranded sailors in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The sailors are lamenting this because they’re stranded at sea – which is full of (duh) seawater, and therefore unfit to drink.


This etching of the unhappy sailor with his albatross necklace, scholars now believe is the first recorded facepalm
This etching of the unhappy sailor with his albatross necklace, scholars now believe, is the first recorded facepalm.


In case you’re curious as to how that happened, one of them commits the heinous crime of killing an albatross, is punished by having to wear the dead bird around his neck, and things, well, just sort of circle the drain from there, if you’ll excuse the pun.

{You won’t, actually, so I’ll apologize now, shall I, while we work this drain thing into the ground.}


Speaking of drains, water, and an albatross around your neck — oh, come on: where else will you find a blog like mine? You know you LOVE me …

Not long ago, my teen was doing laundry…

…when the washer stubbornly refused to drain.

{Go on. Sit down. Get over the shock. Yes. My daughter DOES do the household laundry. Dishes, too. Ready to carry on? Okay…}

When she came to me, I gave the problem some thought. As I told the boys on the radio this morning, my first thought was: “There MUST be a Cool Tool for this …”

I COULD bail. Except nah. Because SCIENCE.


If FE= iron, does FEMALE= Iron Man
Yes. Yes it does.


Then it hit me: my youngest daughter had an aquarium – once – complete with gravel siphon to clean it. (See how I bring all this together?) I still have not been permitted to discard the empty tank and accoutrements, despite the fish long having shuffled off this mortal coil, so I‘ve long considered the kit and kaboodle an “albatross around my neck.”

Water+albatross+siphon hose=Archimedean Eureka moment.

{and yeah, this really IS how I think, sad to say…}

The siphon hose is basically set up so you create a vacuum with motion, rather than sucking on the opposite end with your mouth, which is a huge improvement over the way drug addicts try to steal gas out of your vehicle.

=====SPOILER ALERT:=======


  • Place the larger end of the siphon hose in the water; grip in firmly (your hands WILL be wet.)
  • Place the OTHER end in a large enough bucket to catch the runoff from the washer; remember, the water will come out here, and it will come out rather fast once it starts.
  • To begin the siphon, use a firm, fast back and forth motion — (sigh…) one I am SURE everyone over the age of 13 is familiar with…
  • Right. Exactly: as if you’re sandpapering a table. You guessed it.
  • At any rate, I do hope you’ve got the other end of the hose in the bucket when the water comes …

Because it will come quickly.

{Okay. I’m getting carried away.}

If you live in drought-stricken California, like I do? Recycle the water if you can.

DO NOT DRINK it, of course, if you’ve already added soap.

Be aware though, that soapy water is GREAT for misting plants and keeping pests away.

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