Oobleck is a non-Newtonian substance made of water and cornstarch. When left to settle for a while, it resumes a solid state, but it can flow like other liquids once enough pressure is applied. It’s always fun playing with Oobleck but disposing of it is the only downside that most people face.
Most people mistake disposing of Oobleck by pouring it into the sink or drain only to find out the drainage is blocked. Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water. Due to the mixture’s nature, Oobleck forms a suspension, meaning it will separate to form cornstarch and water if left still for some time.
Therefore, If you pour Oobleck into the sink, it will separate from the original constituents and form clogs on the sides of the drainage. So, after the kids have had fun and the house is in a mess due to Oobleck, you must dispose of it carefully.
How to Dispose of Oobleck? The best and most effective methods of disposing of Oobleck include flushing it on the toilet, burying it deep in the ground, using a compost pile, or disposing of the normal trash. You can dispose of it in the drainage and apply pressure to push it to the dumpsite before it clogs.
Methods of Disposing of Oobleck
Let’s discuss the ways to dispose of Oobleck in detail.
1- Diluting the Oobleck – (Only for smaller Quantities)
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian liquid made of cornstarch and water. If it is left to settle for some time, it turns solid. You must add water to the oobleck mixture to maintain its liquid state. This will allow it to flow easily down the drainage even when you apply pressure.
The ratio of water added must be 4:1 and no less. After mixing it with enough water, pour it down the sink and run it with warm water. Do not stop diluting the Oobleck until it is completely washed down the drain. However, this method is only feasible if you dispose of less than 150 ml of Oobleck. Any more amount will lead to drainage blockage, and it’s tough to get rid of.
2- Let the Oobleck Dry and Crush it Away (Only for smaller Quantities)
This method is effective for disposing of small amounts of Oobleck. Since Oobleck solidifies when lefts in the open for some time, you can leave it away from the sun and let it dry completely. Once the Oobleck has dried, crush it into pieces or powdered form, then use a dry vacuum cleaner to get rid of it. The Oobleck remains powdered in the vacuum cleaner carrier bag until you are ready to dispose of it in the trash can.
3- Hosing It Down in the Backyard
As mentioned earlier, Oobleck is a biodegradable substance. Therefore, you can pour it outside and hose it down without the risk of adverse effects. Although it is biodegradable, it may leave residues in your backyard; hence you must hose it thoroughly to wipe it out. Hosing Oobleck thoroughly will make it spread a large surface area; thus, you will not see the residue.
4- Place it in a Plastic Bag and Dispose of It in Garbage Can
This is one of the simplest ways to dispose of Oobleck. You only need to find a plastic bag and pour Oobleck in it; seal the bag and dispose of it in the garbage bin. Ensure your plastic carrier bag has no air spaces to prevent Oobleck from leaking. If it drips down the garbage bin, it may cause a mess that will take more effort to cleanse.
5- Pile It in a Compost Heap
Oobleck is organic; hence you can sprinkle it as a layer in your compost pile or dispose of it in your compost heap. It is biodegradable; thus bacteria will break it down to provide nutrients in your compost. Moreover, you can spread Oobleck mixed with your compost manure to your plants without worrying about destruction.
Is Oobleck Biodegradable?
Yes. Oobleck is a biodegradable compound; hence it does not harm the ecosystem. It hardens when left in the open air; you can crash the dried substance and dispose of it in the trash can or bury it in the ground.
Can You Dispose of Oobleck in Flush?
The toilet flush system is part of the plumbing. Therefore, flushing oobleck through this system may lead to blockage as it may clog the sides of the pipes. However, you can still use the flush system to dispose of Oobleck, provided you have diluted it with warm water. After diluting it with warm water in a ratio of 4:1, pour it down as you would in the kitchen sink.
Can you Reuse Dried Oobleck?
Yes. Oobleck can be reused, provided you have dried it completely. After drying Oobleck, you can grind it to fine particles of sand. You can turn it into a liquid state by adding water.
After kids have played and experimented with Oobleck, do not leave it for the rest of the day. This is because it will accumulate mold and other bacteria. Thus, it may cause infections. Fortunately, you can dry it, to remove the moisture content. This allows you to reuse it as often as possible without the risk of thriving bacteria. You’ll need to replace it after using it for some time because it loses its efficiency after being reused time.
Why Does Oobleck Block Drain Pipes?
Oobleck is made of cornstarch and water. When left to settle for some time, it forms suspense of cornstarch and water. When Oobleck is disposed of in the drainage system, the cornstarch gets exposed to water. It forms a sticky substance (cornstarch is sticky and gummy when wet) that sticks on the sides of the drainage pipe, thus causing the blockage.
Cornstarch forms a cement-like substance that blocks the drainage pipe. Blocked drainage pipes call for emergency plumbing before it gets worse. Fortunately, you can prevent drainage pipe blocking if you avoid pouring Oobleck down the drainage system. However, small Oobleck (less than 150 ml) will not cause blockage in the drainage system.
How to Clear a Drain Which Oobleck blocks?
A blocked drainage system can be frustrating. If you used to dispose of too much Oobleck into the drainage system that caused the blockage, you could flush the clogs using hot water. After pouring hot water into the drainage system, use half a cup of baking powder and pour it after the hot water. Leave it to settle for minutes, then pour a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. Afterward, cover the drainage opening with a cloth to prevent the explosive reactions from shooting out. Leave the setup for an hour, then run the drainage with hot water. Repeat the process if the pipes are not unclogged in the first trial, or call a plumber to unclog the pies for you.
Is Oobleck Eco-friendly?
Yes. Oobleck is a biodegradable substance made of cornstarch and water. It does not affect the ecological system negatively.
How Do You Throw out Oobleck?
Place the mixture in a plastic bag and throw it in the dump site. If the amount is less than 150 ml, flush it using hot water in the sink. You may also hose it in a wide area using water.
Having fun and experimenting with Oobleck is enticing, but disposing of it is not. Although disposing of Oobleck is frustrating, it is an easy task. The method of disposal you choose depends on the amount of Oobleck you want to dispose of.
Follow the simple steps in the article and dispose of Oobleck. Although Oobleck is biodegradable, leaving it for more than one day without deposing may initiate mold and bacteria growth. These bacteria might be infectious; hence you must dispose of Oobleck.
My name is Ella Vicedomine and I’m the founder of this blog. The aim is to start this informational blog to guide people on how to dispose of waste things around in the house but in the right way.