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
votes
4answers
16k 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
4k 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
5k 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
104 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
238 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
7k 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
2k 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
18k 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
194 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
14k 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
5k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
7k 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?
3
votes
4answers
3k 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
9k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
56 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
413 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
57 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
87 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
478 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
207 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
0answers
222 views

Cleaning an IGLOO Freestanding Ice Maker water box

An IGLOO Freestanding Ice Maker (Model # ICE102C-SILVER) has water box which the instruction state should be cleaned. The inside of the box is not accessible in either the empty nor the fill ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I clean my jetted whirlpool tub?

The master bath of our new house has a jetted whirlpool tub. We haven't used it yet, since the previous owners were, um, lacking hygiene. Is there a good way to clean it out without taking the whole ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Did I ruin my bathroom faucet during descaling?

I wanted to descale my bathroom faucet (for taking showers), so I put some vinegar on a tissue and put it on the faucet. I left it for 7-8 hours and when I wake up my faucet looks like this: It ...
8
votes
9answers
17k views

How do I get leftover tape stickiness off of plastic surfaces?

Okay...there's kind of a long story behind it, but I have left-over stickiness on the front of my alarm clock because it was bright, and I didn't notice a switch on it. It's from scotch tape that's ...
3
votes
5answers
370 views

How can I clean water stains off my shower stall?

It is all glass (transparent) but has become translucent because of salt stains (slightly hard water). What is the best way to clean without using harsh chemicals? My toddler is allergic to harsh ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

How can I remove a potent smell from leather?

We just bought two used leather chairs. They are in great condition, but they have a very distinct (rather unpleasant) smell to them.... Is there any safe way to remove this smell without damaging ...
0
votes
0answers
423 views

How can I clean the condenser coils on my Maytag freezer

The freezer part of the refrigerator in my kitchen is warm and I've come to realize the coils are quite dusty. But Maytag (and, I guess, Whirlpool) freezers don't have flat coils that I can easily ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

What should I place at the bottom of my couch to prevent miscellaneous items from going under it?

I know this is a silly question, but I was wondering if there was a simple solution to preventing items from sliding under our couch. We have a hardwood floor with a slightly raised couch on it. ...
0
votes
4answers
152 views

How do I clean marks from masking tape glue on my windows?

During the Hurricane Sandy, we placed tape on our windows in case the glass would break. The problem is, after removing the tape, it left a disgusting glue mark that it became impossible to remove. It ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Precaution before getting a whiteboard: carpet stains?

I'm considering getting a nice large whiteboard for my living room. The problem is: I've got a light-coloured carpet in the room and I'm afraid if the whiteboard marker ink leaves stains on the carpet....
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I remove cat spray smell from the exterior of the house?

My in-laws have a cat problem. The neighborhood cat is spraying the outside of their house and evidently it really stinks. How can they get rid of the smell?
0
votes
0answers
128 views

How can I clean very old wax from vinyl baseboards?

I have tried some of the homemade solutions recommended on the internet but nothing has helped remove old wax from the vinyl baseboards. I've tried baking soda/vinegar/dish soap combos. I don't want ...
0
votes
2answers
214 views

Getting melted Tupperware and Play-Doh out of an oven

A child has managed to melt a Tupperware container full of Play-Doh to the bottom of an oven. How might I clean such a mess and get the oven back into operation? Though desirable, replacing the oven ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

How do I remove mildew from walls and ceilings?

My bathroom has some mildew on the walls and ceilings, and I desperately want to get rid of it. How can I remove it?
1
vote
1answer
680 views

How do I clean a cheap blow torch?

I have one of those cheap Mapp gas + nozzle torches I'm using for sweat sodering and the tip clogged up today. How do I go about cleaning it?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to white spray paint bath window for privacy?

What are tips to paint on privacy for bathroom windows? White spray paint sounds easy, but would make it harder to clean the window, would it not? Pros: Privacy with natural light. Window shades ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I clean gutters?

I am trying to clean the gutters of my house. Is there any special ladder that I need to use to do that? Do I also need some other tools? Any reference link or pictures will be highly appreciated. I ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I get stains out of a pine table?

I have a light pine dining table. After we got married, we left an orchid from the wedding on the table while we went on honeymoon, giving it a bit of water before we went. Didn't realise the pot wasn'...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

How can I unstick my ash dump door?

I recently had my fireplace inspected and started using it again. I went to clean the ash out and noted I had an ash dump door. This door appears to be stuck. I expect to be able to open it from the ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Should I be concerned about respiratory hazard from leftover/lurking silica sand from abrasive blasting (sandblasting)?

I know the media itself is a respiratory hazard while blasting (I'm told the silica sand itself breaks apart from the blasting and becomes dust-like). The area will be ventilated. However, I worry ...
-1
votes
1answer
156 views

What could be causing the copper green smells in my house when the furnace turns on?

We just re-did the rotting siding on my t1-11 sided fireplace. We replaced siding and covered it with hardi-plank. The problem is, when my furnace turns on, air is pulled from the fire place and the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

What I do about mouse droppings in basement ceiling where I can't reach?

I had a mouse infestation a while ago - they were coming in from dryer and exhaust vents too close to the ground. I trapped the mice and fixed the vent/exhaust situation to prevent more from entering....
2
votes
1answer
459 views

How can I get the fireplace smoke smell out of my house?

I recently got a new apartment with a wood burning fireplace. One of the first nights I had a fire and was sure to open the damper. After the fire was over, I went to bed but left the damper open. ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

What is the least labor intensive way to clean these brass door knobs?

I have 14 of these to clean and am hoping there is some quick way to clean 30 years of accumulated kitchen muck off them. Brasso occurred to me. But I'm wondering if there is some solution I can ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Cleaning the stone of a hot-stone grill with a detergent

The user manual of my current hot-stone grill (Severin brand) reads that the stone may be cleaned under running water only and that no detergent shall be used. However, this way it can't be trully ...
1
vote
1answer
516 views

How long should I wait before using my electric oven after using WD-40 on the element mounting screws?

I had some rusted mounting screws that were holding the heating element in my electric oven. I sprayed them with WD-40 and got the element replacement put in. I have wiped the area down. How long ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

How to get rid of mold on drywall

This bedroom was converted from a garage attached to the house. There's some black mold where the bed used to be. What's the best way to get rid of it?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the best way to get superglue off a Corian countertop?

My kids and I have spilled superglue onto a Corian countertop in our kitchen, I've heard you can buff out scratches and such from these, but I'd rather avoid scraping and buffing if possible. Is ...