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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2
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3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

How can I clean this metal box?

I have this metal box, I believe stainless steel. As seen in the following photos, this box has many grooves and details. These small grooves are filled with grime, dirt, gum, candle wax, smoke, some ...
1
vote
2answers
664 views

How do I remove spots from my new ceramic tiles?

I just laid dark brown ceramic tile in my kitchen. After grouting and cleaning I still have spots and round circles (from the cleaning bucket's bottom) on the floor. I have tried soap and water and ...
1
vote
3answers
136 views

How can we prepare a nicotine stained room for painting without dangerous chemicals?

We need something that will completely cover up nicotine stains. The previous owner smoked in the house for probably 30-40 years before we bought it. The walls in the living room are severely stained. ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

How do I remove the top sash of a medium size new double glazed window?

How do I remove the top sash of my new double glazed window to wash the outside (while remaining inside the house). I was able to lift the bottom and lean it inside the room and thoroughly clean it ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

What types of surfaces can I use ammonia or isopropyl alcohol for cleaning?

Consider just NH3 and C3H8O (isopropyl alcohol) for their cleaning ability, in liquid form, on common hard surfaces (glass, aluminum, stainless steel, finished wood, PETE, etc). The action is just ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I clean floor tile grout?

Someone I know had tile laid in their kitchen and was supposed to seal the grout after the work was done. This never happened and now they have dirty grout. What's the best way to make the grout look ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

How do I remove the gluey residue left by gaffer tape on glass

Rather stupidly I taped up round the edge of some windows (eight windows both inside and out) before painting the woodwork (I'm not accurate enough to do it without taping) using gaffer tape rather ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

How to remove markings from laundry sink

The laundry sink plug was blocked at one stage and did not drain properly. After the plug was unblocked there were markings which were left on the sides of the sink - see the image below: These ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Is there a way to get an oil stain off painted drywall?

Somehow oil or something got splashed on the painted drywall and now there are two stains present. I was wondering what tips people have to attempt to remove the stain, or is the simple solution just ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

How do I prevent my gable vents from clogging with ice?

This is the first time I have seen this happen in my 6+ years of owning my home. It is an older home (45+ years), but has gable vents on both ends (facing east and west). It has always vented well in ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I remove moss from an outdoor brick walkway?

I've got a brick walkway that has parts that are in shade most of the day. Our winters are wet and cloudy and during these times it's not uncommon for the shady parts of the walkway to grow a fair ...
1
vote
2answers
188 views

Cleanest way to empty shop vac?

I've been cutting a lot of MDF and using my shop vac on the dust collection port of my table saw. I've never been a fan of emptying my shop vac but this definitely makes it worse. You can't place ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Remove the smell of cigarette smoke from upholstery

I purchased a upholstered chair from a garage sale for cheap, and cleaned all the dog fur and other debris from it, however there is now a lingering smell of smoke from the chair. It has been ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Removing Yellow Bleach stain from laminate counter

I had a blue stain on my white laminate vanity. picked up some bleach based bathroom cleaning liquid, for a few things. Thought I would give it a try on the stain on the counter. I left it for a few ...
0
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I clear out limescale from inside a bath's pipes?

I have a bath which has accumulated limescale inside the piping system; it manifests itself as a very-slow running tap with a weak stream. The tap itself is removable, and I suspect the limescale is ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I safely clean my paver stone driveway?

I sprayed moss killer to prevent moss from growing between the cracks of my paver stone driveway. I tested a small area first to make sure it wouldn't stain the paver stones. It looked fine after ...
6
votes
6answers
16k views

How can I remove graffiti from painted walls?

How do I remove graffiti (spray paint and permanent marker) from a wall previously painted with oil-base paint (or perhaps nitro paint - not sure) without damaging the original paint? I've seen a ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

How can I clean an office chair?

I recently bought a new office chair. It smells strongly of whatever chemicals it was treated with in the factory it was made in. I tend to get allergic reactions to unwashed clothes, and I believe ...
7
votes
8answers
18k views

How do I clean a very dirty refrigerator?

I just got a new house and inherited a very moldy and mildewy refrigerator. My first though it to get some cleaning spray with bleach and just go to town, but I'm worried the bleach might damage the ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Is it safe to use apple cider vinegar / baking soda to remove mold on (soft) plastic?

Will the (soft) plastic be eroded or produce bad chemical due to the low / high pH?
0
votes
1answer
179 views

How do I source, remove, and prevent green mold on my aluminum windows?

I live north of the equator in a humid climate. The 2 north-facing windows pictured below only get direct light (lots of it) in the evening. We get a lot of rain. There is green mold growing from ...
5
votes
6answers
16k views

How often should I run a bleach and water solution through condensate lines?

How often do you need to run a bleach and water solution through the condensate drain lines (of a heat pump) to keep the bacteria away? What are the recommended parts (e.g. 1 part bleach, 10 part ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the easiest method to clean a bathroom floor that doesn't have a drain?

I recently moved to a new apartment and the bathroom does not have a floor drain. In my previous apartments, I used to pour/spray water on the bathroom floor while scrubbing with a brush and ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

How do I clean stains from rice pilaf from my off-white carpet and wall?

I spilled rice pilaf on my carpet and I don't know how to clean the stains it left. I picked up most of it, but as you can see, remnants of it still persist. It has now been sitting for about a day. ...
0
votes
5answers
714 views

Cleaning a very dusty garage

My garage is mainly used for storage and, over many years, has become full of dust, cob webs, etc. I would like to use an area for exercise, but am concerned about the amount of dust in the garage ...
1
vote
2answers
907 views

How do I fix sagging sofa back and seat cushions on a leather couch?

Around 18 months ago, I purchased a VRETA sofa bed - Mjuk black from IKEA for $1000. I have used this couch quite a bit either for watching TV, playing on my laptop or reading a book. As a result, ...
3
votes
8answers
30k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
14k views

How to clean rust in hard to reach points on a tool?

I have a cheap tool with some rust on it. It's probably cheaper to buy a new one than to clean it. But I wonder if is there any solution where I can drop it and retrieve it clean. Is there anything ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Is vinegar really an effective carpet cleaner?

I've been doing some research to find a way to clean cat urine from my carpet, and various sources say diluted vinegar works well. I've used vinegar as a weed killer, but I'm skeptical it will work ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

How to fix the chemical damage on my wood cupboard?

The cupboard had lots of oil, but I used "strong oven cleaner" to clean it. Now it has become black. I guess the surface has been damaged. How can I fix it?
1
vote
0answers
72 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 ...
16
votes
16answers
33k views

How do I remove Great Stuff foam from my hands?

I should have worn gloves but sadly I didn't. Now I have yellow stuff all over my hands. I got most of the stickiness to go away by using WD-40. Is there anything that will get this off without giving ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Removing Sand from blacktop

Recently my son's friends played a prank on our house. Specifically they dumped bags of sand on our basketball court in the backyard so that they could pretend to have a beach party. I am not sure how ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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? ...
1
vote
4answers
79 views

What's the best way to remove Sharpie ink from a varnished bar top?

I need to remove some Sharpie ink that has somehow got into a varnished bar top. I've tried scrubbing at it with various cleaning products but nothing seems to work. What should I try next?
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I remove water-based emulsion paint from paving slabs?

On painting the bedrooms in our new house, we've gotten some (mainly) water-based paint on some of the paving slabs on the patio. A little of it may be oil-based gloss we used for skirting boards, but ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

How can I reduce the amount of dirt in my attic without affecting its ventilation?

Our house is a 1930's suburban build on the outskirts of London, UK. It has its original roof complete with massive gaps between the roof tiles and no felt. While this does provide great roof ...
2
votes
2answers
588 views

Can I paint a deck when wet weather is forecasted?

I am planning on painting my mothers deck and I have a limited amount of time. I am planning on painting it on Saturday, but I saw there is forecast for rain. I am wondering if it would be better to ...
0
votes
0answers
27 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

How to remove dry water based urethane varnish from mirror?

I recently varnished an hardwood frame for a mirror with a water based urethane varnish. My painter's tape did protect most of the mirror's edges, but it failed for one or two spots. The varnish found ...
0
votes
0answers
223 views

How do I remove a lead stain from my windows?

I have lead around my windows and after a new lead installation there has been a stain there for over a year. I have tried window cleaner and multi-surface cleaner but no success. I had an 'easy ...
0
votes
0answers
83 views

I cleaned the fridge and it still smells. What part should I clean / replace?

My last tenant was, to put it mildly, a slob. I spent several hours cleaning the fridge pictured below, with a steam cleaner and various cleaning products until it looked nearly new. I then removed ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

How to quickly add soap to counter soap dispenser?

I've got granite counters with your basic top mounted soap dispenser. It really takes a half hour to get all of the soap into it. Unscrewing it is a HUGE pain and is faster but messy. Any way to ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

How can I restore my carpet's pile after too much cleaning product was used?

I recently moved into my new place and have found that my carpet on my landing is completely flattened. I was told by a carpet cleaning company that it has been caused by too much cleaning product ...
1
vote
2answers
223 views

Can I put the burner head in the oven during self cleaning?

My renter moved out an left a grimy mess. The filth on the stove top actually backed-up into the nooks and carnies of surface burner head, and seems almost impassible to clean. Since the surface ...