We (don't) wish you a very smelly Christmas!

Santa plumber Grate Seal

It is that time of year again when everyone is busy trying to finish as much work as possible, parents taking deep breaths before school holidays, planning vacations and generally just wrapping up another year. And all of this happening while they are planning for what is probably the most stressful holiday event of the year, Christmas. In this blog we’ll be covering a range of topics to help you in your home or business during the silly season.

If you’re like the team here at Grate Seal, your Christmas and the days immediately surrounding it revolve around entertaining in the home. If you’re the lucky one hosting this year, get ready for visitors, planned or otherwise, to descend from around the county or the world just to see you and/or your family.

That feeling you get when you see someone who has been such a special part of your life is something that can be difficult to put into words. And it is because of this, and the desire for everything to be perfect, pre-event stress levels can rise to dangerous levels.

The house has to be cleaned. Surfaces dusted. Clutter hidden away. Linen washed. Beds made. Yard sorted out, etc, etc, etc! Whether you have a big cleaning job, or one that among all your other pressures just seems intense, if you’re methodical and follow a plan, it can be done, and done well. Have a look at our blog A bit of planning makes cleaning less of a chore to get some great strategies that can make your life (and the job ahead of you) a lot simpler.

If you want to get stuck into the cleaning without using harsh, store-bought chemicals, we’ve listed a number of natural alternatives in our Simple Homemade Cleaners blog.

Once you’ve finished cleaning the visible parts of your home, it’s a good idea to take a look at those places visitors can’t readily see, but their noses can most definitely notice – your drains.

Drains can be a major source of bad odours in the home and a highway for insects such as mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches to come and go at will. The odours themselves are generally caused by bacterial build-up or venting (read more about them here), or they can be related to blockages as well.

Remember, the thing about odours is we can get used to them – even if you don’t notice a smell doesn’t mean no-one else can! (and they’ll probably be too polite to tell you) We’ve written about natural methods to clean your drains here that should help you eliminate those foul, musty drain smells.

There is a more permanent, maintenance free way of preventing drain odours and insect intrusions – with a Grate Seal. The Grate Seal is a high quality, Australian designed and made, one-way rubber valve that fits snugly into the most common domestic shower and floor drains.You can view our range of Grate Seal products here.

It is super easy to install as well; check out our video at the end of this blog to see how.

Now that everything is spick and span and smelling sweet you can move on to the ‘never stressful at all...’ tasks: decorating, buying gifts and the all important cooking.

Something yummy to try this Christmas

We’re qualified plumbers, and while we are pretty handy in the kitchen and especially on the BBQ we’re probably not your first port of call when it comes to laying out a festive feast. That said, we did stumble upon a recipe (made famous by Nick Nairn, but originally from The Three Chimneys restaurant in Scotland) for a really delicious pudding you might want to give a go this Christmas instead of a traditional one.

Marmalade Pudding


  • 150g fine brown breadcrumbs
  • 120g soft brown sugar
  • 25g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 120g fresh butter, plus extra for greasing the bowl
  • 8 tablespoonfuls well-flavoured, chunky marmalade
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 rounded teaspoonful bicarb soda plus water to mix


Grease a 1.7L (3 Pint) pudding basin

Place your crumbs and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Melt your butter and warm up the marmalade and then mix well into the dry ingredients. Whisk up your eggs until frothy and gently beat it into the mix until everything is incorporated evenly.

The last step is to dissolve your bicarb into a small amount of water - about a tablespoon should do it. Add this to our pudding mix and stir well.

Pour and spoon your mix into your pudding tin and pop a close-fitting lid on.


Place the pudding tin into a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure the water comes halfway up the side of the tin. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for 2 hours. Check the water level regularly and top it up when needed.


Turn out the pudding once it has cooled a bit (make sure it is still warm though!) and serve with fresh custard, cream or icecream.

Merry Christmas and thank you from Grate Seal!

Thank you for reading our Great Tips blog and if you have any questions about our products and how they can help you, please feel free to contact us here. From the team at Grate Seal, we’d like to wish you, you’re family and friend a joyful holiday season and prosperous 2019.

How to install a Grate Seal

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