For questions relating to the removal of dirt, debris and other unwanted foreign material from various surfaces and porous materials, including methods, tools and supplies, and expected results.

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3
votes
10answers
41k views

How do I remove dried latex paint from carpet?

I dropped a brush while painting my office. We have brand new carpet and of course, I dropped the paint brush in a spot where there was no drop cloth >:( I thought since it's latex based paint I ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

How can I tell if soda blasting was really done?

We're restoring a fire-damaged house and hired a subcontractor to do smoke remediation, after we'd stripped the house down to the studs. The contractor was supposed to soda-blast all surfaces, clean, ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do my clothes smell when I dry them outside on line but they are fine when tumble dried?

When I tumble dry my clothes they smell fine. When I line (outside) dry them they smell quite bad, a musty stale smell. In both instances they have been taken out of washing machine quite quickly ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

How can I clean grease from a carpet?

Accidentally put a greasy material on my carpet. I tried to give it a dry clean, but no luck. What else could I do to remove that greasy stain?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Dust reduction and removal?

I have a room with west facing windows (I dont think the direction bears any importance to this question), but for some reason this room seems to accumulate dust on surfaces a lot faster than other ...
1
vote
4answers
712 views

How to get rid of spilled coffee scent?

Thought I managed to clean the coffee spill effectively; however, few days later the scent is still there. At this stage, what is a suitable way to removed coffee scent off a rugged floor?
4
votes
2answers
60 views

How do I clean up white dust and spots “blooming” on rubber?

I have a number of designer rubber hooks (Ikea) of varying colors hanging from the wall. The black and red hooks have white spots (not pictured) all over them. I have read that this whiteness ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Good way to clean Stainless Steel Railing

I have a stainless steel fence in my garden. Its near the sea and constantly looks dirty and old. I think the steel is a Stainless 316 as opposed to 304. What cost effective cleaner could I use or ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Shock treating a home, or rooms with ozone

I have an older home, complete with a damp basement and some musty smells around the house. We're in the process of renovating but that will probably take a while for us to get around to ripping out ...
1
vote
3answers
130 views

How do I clean oil stains in yellow marble?

How to clean oil stains from yellow (its natural color) marble?
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Proper methods for cleaning window sill

See photo. I'm not even sure I'm using the right terminology, because I don't know the name of this type of window. It's very hard to get these areas clean from the inside. Is it truly necessary to ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I treat brick efflorescence?

I have a new brick wall but large areas are becoming covered in white salty deposits; I want these removed - how can I do it? Update Thanks Niall. Just out of interest, can acid do damage to bricks? ...
0
votes
2answers
21 views

smoke smell from the chimney/fireplace?

With woodstove removed and not being reinstalled, how do we get rid of the burned wood smell in the fireplace/chimney?
2
votes
0answers
111 views

How do I clean stains from suction cups on a shower wall (enamel)?

There are two shower stalls I've used in the recent past at different locations, and I put different suction cup based hooks, holders, dispensers etc in each them. What I believe are enamel shower ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

How to clean pine wood floor (kitchen)?

I bought an older apartment with wooden floor, so I have no idea what kind of wood is it, what protection was used for it and what actually is that dirt. I was trying to clean it with soap water. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does my dishwasher detergent get stuck?

My dishwasher isn't working like it's supposed to. Everything seems to be working fine, but then after the machine stops, I open the door and see that my glasses and plates are suspiciously grimy. ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

How can I route an in wall dryer vent through double top plate?

I am looking to move the washer/dryer into the 1st floor walk in closet. Part of the process is putting in a dryer vent. I have seen some in wall vents for dyers and considering that as an option. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Spray bottle w/ vinegar solution…eventually makes spray bottle not work…why?

I bought two spray bottles intending on using it for cleaning solutions. I filled one with a 50/50 vinegar/water solution for household cleaning. After a few weeks of use, the pumping action on the ...
6
votes
10answers
15k views

How do I remove stuck (melted?) foam from under carpet on hardwood floor?

We just bought a house with lovely bright pink carpeting over hardwood floors, and tore it all up. The foam underneath was multi-colored, and the black spots appear to have melted to the floor. ...
7
votes
8answers
49k views

How to fix stinky bathroom sink?

It smells like really musty water, but the water itself does not smell or taste bad at all. Only happens when I run the water, so it doesn't make the room smell, just when you fill something up or ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

How do I clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer?

My vinyl siding is turning green from mildew and I have to clean it up this weekend. I let a friend borrow my pressure washer at the beginning of the summer, and he's out of the country for awhile. ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

How can I remove Algae from my hot water system?

I live in Christchurch, NZ in a cold drafty house with crap plumbing. Some time ago there was a storm which blew the lid off our header tank (which just sits on the roof) but I didn't notice it had ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

How to handle dirt caked in excavator bucket

I'm digging a basement with an excavator. It's been some rain, and so the dirt is caking in the bucket. I clean it when I have to, but it's a pain. Any tips for dealing with it?
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I use my wet-vac to shampoo my carpets?

I have an old Rainbow brand dry/wet vacuum that my mom got at a yard sale, similar to this model. My family grew up with this kind of vacuum at home, and it was useful not only for typical carpet ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the best way to polish an old brass bed?

I have an old brass bed frame with 15 years of tarnish and I've been trying to use Brasso, but the process is long and tedious. Does anyone know of an easier way to remove tough tarnish from brass?
17
votes
11answers
4k views

What should we look for when buying a fixer-upper house?

My fiance and I are considering buying a fixer-upper house rather than an apartment when we get married. Obviously things like location, neighbors etc. are important, but; what should we be looking ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

update/refresh kitchen cabinets

I have builders grade cabinets. They are smooth fronts (sort of modern) they are dark brown and not varnished or stained. I think sort of melamine front....definitely a man made product...so I can't ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I safely place an extension ladder on an uneven surface?

I'm a new first-time homebuyer who needs to clean out my gutters. They are jammed with fall leaves. My home inspector told me to get a ladder and a leaf blower to do the job. The only problem is ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Cleaning up very old oak and other hardwood roof beams

I am building a stone barn and have just acquired an assortment of very old oak and other hardwood beams (with nails, dirt, the lot) to be used to construct the barn roof. A lot of this wood is filthy ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

Is cleaning out the main sewer line a regular scheduled maintenance item?

I just had to have my main sewer line snaked, and the technician said it should be done once every 2 years. Is this really the case, or was he just trying to insure he has job security?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Can I use Murphy's oil soap to remove pine sap from composite decking?

Does anyone know of anyway to remove pine sap from composite decking? I saw some posts that recommended using Murphy's Oil Soap for removing it from wood decks. How to Remove Tree Sap from a Wood ...
4
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the best way to clean toilet bowl stains?

Bought a house a little over a year ago and it was previously a foreclosure and sat for a while. Because of that, it hadn't been cleaned for a while and developed some stains around the water line in ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to clean a dryer vent?

I posted this questions 6 months ago.. Why does it take my dryer 3 hours to dry a load of clothes? I checked the cycling thermostat and thermal fuse. They are operational. I have seen different ways ...
6
votes
5answers
9k views

How do I get rid of mold from the bottom of a bath mat (where the suction cups are)?

We have a bathmat that we use to line the tub when we bathe our daughter. After the bath, we remove the mat and suction it to the shower wall (which is some sort of frosted glass) I've noticed black ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Remove white stain from countertop

I moved into an apartment with new counter tops. I'm not sure what type they are, but I think they are formica. They also said "glaze." Which I'm guessing is some sort of laminate? Anyways, someone ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the best way to remove dried egg from a house?

Some troglodytes egg my house anywhere from every 1-6 months, and have been doing so for the last four years. They just did it again tonight, so I have a fresh supply of drying egg to now remove. My ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is dish washing liquid safe for cleaning an oven?

An awful lot of grease fell into the bottom of my oven during its last use. Afterwards, it made sense to use Dawn to clean the oven, as it cuts grease so well. After I did that, however, I thought to ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Stains on paneling

I have runs on my tongue and groove paneling. They were caused by an extremely high humidity level combined with the stain on the wood itself. The runs have been dry approx. 2 months. Any ideas about ...
12
votes
1answer
32k views

How should I clean and repaint a painted wooden deck?

My deck appears to have been painted with just a single layer of paint, which is now peeling off. I like the look of the paint (when it's in better condition, of course), and am uninterested in ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

In layman's terms how much pressure is 4000 psi?

4000 psi sounds like a lot. That's what some pressure washers can go up to. Just how much pressure is that? What are some real world examples that would help explain that kind of pressure?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

is there such a thing as a pipe brush?

I've used Drano/Liquid Plumbr Foam to clean the bathroom sink drain, but that never cleans enough. There's always scum left over. I think I can clean it better if I follow up the Drano with a brush. ...
7
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I remove an oil stain from my concrete driveway?

Anyone have tips for removing oil stains from a concrete unpaved driveway? The spill was from a leaking car, now fixed, and they are a few months old. There are so many products and spurious reviews ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Cleaning Up Matted Down Foliage In Tight Space

This is my bulkhead area after the winter. I didn't really get a chance to get in there and clean out all the leaves before the snow came in, so I'm stuck with all the compressed dead leaves and ...
-1
votes
1answer
249 views

How can I prevent grease buildup on a dishwasher door?

I have noticed significant grease buildup on the bottom of my Whirlpool dishwasher's door. The dishwasher was purchased brand new in the early 2000s. I have heard that someone has already tried ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Strange odor in home

We have an unusual odor in our house. It doesn't smell like garbage, or anything rotten, just a sharp pungent smell as soon as you enter the house. It almost smells like stained wood that has got wet. ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

How can I undo damage done to a newly tiled floor?

I feel I was (ill-)advised to clean my new beige, mat ceramic tiled floors using this recipe: 3 parts heated vinegar to 1 part water, brush solution in very vigourously with stiff floor-brush then ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Removing a mold stain (not mold) from carpet

** Everything I tried searching was about how to remove mold. Just to be clear, I need to remove the mold stain not the mold itself. This is actually for a car, but carpet is carpet right? I believe ...
2
votes
2answers
446 views

How can I remove oil/ATF from a newly paved driveway?

I had my asphalt driveway repaved this spring, and of course my car has started leaking - ATF in this case. How can I remove it?
1
vote
1answer
101 views

How to and how much to clean the HEPA filter?

I'm trying to clean this HEPA filter from my vacuum cleaner by washing* it and even though I've managed to get most of the dirtiness out, there's still some left sticking to the corners between each ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

How do I properly prepare newly-finished drywall for priming?

What is the minimum amount of dust that can be left on a wall before it adversely affects primer application? If it has to be completely free of dust, how do you get it all? Taking a damp rag over ...