38 votes
Accepted

How to clean a burnt wall socket?

Do not try to clean a scorched receptacle even with the power off; the heat created takes the temper out of the metal and the receptacle would not pass a withdrawal force test, this is important ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
32 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Vacuum near the point of drilling Have someone to stand next to you with the nozzle of a (running) vacuum cleaner, and position it very carefully near the where the drill bit enters the wall. ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 2,757
30 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Get it wet! When drilling or cutting stone, using water to cool the bit will help cut faster and smoother and prolong the life of the bit. When drilling in the wet hole, you don't need a special ...
JPhi1618's user avatar
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22 votes

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

Since you are planning to do the teardown yourself, you could lay a tarp or sheets of plywood to make a place for nails to not get lost in the grass/dirt in the process of tearing it down - or remove ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 211k
21 votes

Santizing a vacuum cleaner by sucking up disinfectant

Either you trust the HEPA rating or you don't. If you do, you can continue to use the vac until you are ready to swap that filter media out, and then decide whether you want to sanitize. If you don't, ...
keshlam's user avatar
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20 votes
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Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

I've installed several systems in new construction projects up to about 6,000 s.f., one of which was a log home. (That was interesting.) No, you don't necessarily get better performance. It's all ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 135k
20 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

In addition to the halved tennis ball trick, when drilling walls, I usually use Post-It notes. Take one sheet, fold it horizontally away from the sticky side, then stick it to the wall just below the ...
Aleks G's user avatar
  • 459
19 votes
Accepted

Ok to put bleach in toilet tank?

This is perfectly normal practice. I have put a shot of bleach in toilet cisterns as regular maintenance for years. Just put in a small amount and leave a couple of hours before flushing. Do this two ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 1,286
18 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

A wet-capable vacuum cleaner If you only have a dry capable vac you can buy or build an interim canister that traps the water Any canister with a wall strong enough to resist being sucked flat will ...
Caius Jard's user avatar
  • 1,322
16 votes
Accepted

How do I clean sealant/silicone from a glass mirror?

Wait until it dries and use a razor blade to scrape it off.
RQDQ's user avatar
  • 723
16 votes
Accepted

Removed front closet doors and hardwood below is a different color

The rest of your floor has been stained a darker color and has also weathered with exposure to air. You have a few choices of how to handle this, listed here from hardest to easiest: Refinish the ...
Moshe Katz's user avatar
  • 2,696
16 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

Professional plumbers, like Richard Trethewey of This Old House, use a turkey baster to remove water:
Steve Wellens's user avatar
13 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

I am using this tool (Kärcher DDC 50). You put the drill through the hole on the right, and the battery-driven vacuum not only sucks the dust into the storage container but also sucks the entire tool ...
mrks's user avatar
  • 231
13 votes
Accepted

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

Dismantle the shed into the biggest chunks that you can move. Then do as much dismantling as possible on a driveway so that any nails will (a) be obvious and (b) be easy to sweep up afterwards.
Alastair Brown's user avatar
13 votes

Santizing a vacuum cleaner by sucking up disinfectant

If yours is a commercial model then it probably uses the venturi effect or compressed air to cause suction. This means that the sucked-up material does not touch any internal moving parts. If it is ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 6,089
12 votes
Accepted

How to clean rusty grill grates?

Put them in the grill and get them HOT! Then use a wire brush and scrub the scale and rust off. After that I usually coat them with olive oil but any cooking oil will work.
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
12 votes

Central Vacuuming: Is it worth it, and how does it compare to normal vacuuming?

Like anything else, can be done well or poorly. Having seen some done poorly, those are a waste of money. Short sharp turns, improperly arranged tees make keeping the system free of clogs a pain, when ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 211k
12 votes

Ok to put bleach in toilet tank?

I also would adhere to the "shot" of bleach is fine. This will not harm the tank or the pipes. The only other concern would be if you are on a septic tank. Bleach kills the beneficial ...
Rob West's user avatar
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12 votes
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How to clean bath spa nozzles?

Probably have to fill the tub with cleaning solution and let it run for a while. First stab would be a bleach solution to kill off any biofilm (don't go overboard, the fumes will be bad enough with a ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 211k
10 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Squirt bottle Wet the wall area just as you start, then as soon as the bit is seated, use one hand to squirt a small amount of water at the hole in frequent intervals. This will assure the stuff ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
10 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

A combination of my "vacuum near drill point" answer and @mrks' mini-vacuum Karcher device answer: You can get a (hopefully) universal vacuum cleaner collector attachment for collecting drilling dust: ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 2,757
8 votes
Accepted

How to clean a paint brush?

First I "paint out" the brush (try to paint scrap material, cardboard etc.) until the brush is too dry to paint. Then: Latex paints Assuming I have flowing tap water on site, I rinse the brush with ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Apartment dust mystery

For those who may have the same problem, the dust was fiberglass from inside the electric range. When burners were on, convection was sending tiny bits of it in the air.
JeanB's user avatar
  • 179
8 votes

Avoiding dust scattering when you drill

Cut a tennis ball in half. Drill a hole in the center of one half, slide the half over the drill bit, line up the drill and bit to where the hole is to be. Slide the half ball up against the wall and ...
JACK's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Why does my kitten's urine clean my carpet?

Urine (human and animal) contains ammonia, paricularly if it's left for a while, e.g. if you didn't notice it at first. Ammonia is used in carpet-cleaning products. In fact it's been used for stain-...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,566
8 votes
Accepted

How do I clean thick primer out of a paint brush?

The results I get for that product name indicate that it is oil based. As such, water cleanup won't do. You should (before painting, with a clean brush) dip your brush in paint thinner and wipe it out ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 211k
8 votes
Accepted

How to drain a toilet bowl?

I have done this for years. I just pour a bucket of water in the toilet bowl, pour it all at once so the force of the water is swift. For getting that coral like "growth" off, I use a pumice ...
Serengetilion's user avatar
8 votes

How to drain a toilet bowl?

You ask what you can do to push the water down. That is like pushing a wet noodle. I do it the easy way and use my shop vac (wet/dry). I clean it out first then place the correct filter in it. When ...
Gil's user avatar
  • 6,981
8 votes

Best way to clean up nails after demolition?

In addition to other answers, such as laying down a big tarp before starting the work, using a big magnet after, etc. go out after dark with a strong flashlight and sweep the area, possibly from ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 396
8 votes

Ok to put bleach in toilet tank?

If you search for "toilet tablets" you'll find a range of products designed for this purpose, with tank cleaning as a side effect of cleaning the bowl. Many of these products include bleach, ...
computercarguy's user avatar

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