Toilet Brushes

Always buy/use a completely plastic toilet bowl brush.  The round or oval shapes ones on a metal frame will put dark scratches in the bowl as the brushes wear down.

Stickers or Sticker Residue

Super sticky sticker stuff…..

Say that 5 times really fast.

One of the more common questions we get is how to remove sticker residue. Often glassware comes with price tags that when you remove the sticker, the sticky part remains. Not very convenient when you are pulling out the 10th wine glass from the cabinet when you have a dinner party only to realize that the sticker has yet to be removed.

  • One the easiest solutions is to use WD-40; as it breaks down the sticker residue safely in most cases. It will leave an oily residue which is easily cleaned using soap and water.
  • You can also use a solvent like nail polish remover, but solvents can be more harmful on certain surfaces.
  • To remove sticky residue from something like clothes, use dry cleaning fluid, found in the laundry section of some department stores or your local janitorial supply store. Or you can just get it cleaned at the cleaners. Soap and water or detergent doesn’t break down the sticky residue very well.
  • If you have stickers on glass windows what ever you do, DO NOT use something abrasive like steel wool or an SOS pad, this can and will scratch some glass. You are far better off buying a flat razor which is meant for the job. Found at your local hardware store. Spray some water or Windex on the surface and scrape off the sticky residue with the flat razor. Use caution the handle can get slippery. I find using water or Windex helps the razor from gumming up too quickly with the sticky stuff and you can go longer before replacing blades.

One of my pet peeves is buying pictures which have stickers on the glass front (I won’t mention names…Winners and Homesense) its really frustrating to have to clean off the sticker. It takes longer to do that than hang the picture most times.  Sometimes I wet a cleaning cloth with water and just let it sit on the sticker for 20 minutes and usually it comes off okay.  My question is why can’t we put the price sticker on the back of the picture?…

Stickers on Clothes

To remove a sticky label that refuses to peel off a new piece of clothing, try this:

  • Spray the label with ordinary rubbing alcohol, or, if you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, use non-aerosol hairspray. Or use a dry cleaning fluild, which can be purchased at any janitorial supply store.
  • Blot with a thick (white) terry towel or gently scrape the label off the clothing with a paring knife, a butter knife or another straight edge, such as a credit card or a ruler.

Canvas Shoes

Canvas is made from hemp and is used for casual shoes and sneakers. Some “canvas” sneakers are made from cotton. Rubber is traditionally used for the sole. They are considered low-maintenance footwear.

Tools:

  • Nylon bristle brush or old toothbrush
  • Cleanser such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid or a “suede and fabric” shampoo
  • Nylon scrub pad
  • Baking soda
  • Plain paper
  • White cream shoe polish (for white canvas tennis shoes)

Manufacturers may suggest spraying the tops of new canvas sneakers with a fabric care spray before you wear them. Your best bet is to follow any care instructions included with your sneakers.

Technique:

  • If the sneakers are muddy, wait until they are dry before cleaning
  • Knock off any loose dirt by smacking the sneakers on the pavement or tapping the soles together over a waste basket or newspaper
  • Wipe them with a damp cloth to remove any remaining caked-on dirt
  • Remove laces
  • Rinse shoes with warm water inside and out
  • Scrub the canvas sneakers’ outsides, insides and liners gently with a toothbrush or nylon brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent
  • Rinse with clean cool water
  • If scuff marks remain, scrub gently with nylon pad. Rinse again
  • If the liners still retain foot odor, scrub them with a paste of baking soda and water
  • Wash laces in with a load of like-colored laundry
  • Stuff canvas sneakers with crumpled brown paper bags, paper towels or white office paper, not newspaper or colored paper as the ink can transfer onto the canvas
  • Let them air-dry along with the laces.  Do not dry them near a fireplace or heater. Direct heat breaks down canvas fabric and causes shoes to become dried out and brittle
  • When the shoes are thoroughly dry, replace inserts and laundered laces
  • Sneakers with mesh inserts can be cleaned the same way as plain canvas shoes
  • If stains persist on white canvas sneakers, lightly dab on white liquid shoe polish

Colored Canvas Sneakers and Special Detailing

When cleaning colored canvas sneakers, be sure to use a non-bleaching soap, and do a small spot test with your cleaning mixture to be sure it doesn’t fade or leach out color.

If your sneakers have leather detailing, dampen and clean the canvas as directed and use leather cleaner on any leather parts.

Washing Canvas Sneakers in a Washing Machine


I also have gotten good results by cleaning canvas sneakers in the washing machine, but most shoe manufacturers discourage machine washing sneakers since it can break down the adhesives used to glue the shoe together.

Hard Water or Soap Stains from Showers Stalls

I started using a small plastic squeegee in my shower to keep the hard water stains and soap stains to a minimum, although it didn’t last long (too cold to be cleaning the shower down after the water stopped).

You should clean hard water and soap stains away regularly.  The longer they sit, the harder they are to remove. If allowed to sit for long periods of time, the stain may become permanent.

A good home cleaning remedy is plain white vinegar and lemon juice.  It helps to loosen and remove hard water deposits from glass shower enclosures.  Apply a generous amount of cleaner and agitate with a nylon scrub brush and rinse off using a plastic squeegee.

Store bought cleaners listed below will remove stains on your surfaces.  Caution:  Use eye protection and gloves

A commercial acid based cleaner found in any janitorial supply store are what professional cleaning companies use to scour hard water deposits.

Lime-A-Way or CLR are products that remove hard water deposits, rust stains and soap scum. There are tub and tile cleaning products that remove soap scum and also contain sequestering agents and heavy duty acids such as phosphoric acids.

Glass shower doors become stained easily with hard water deposits. The lime scale attracts soap scum, dirt, mold and mildew. To remove these stains with this buildup, try cleaners made for hard water scale or lime removal such as Wink, Zud or Comet.

Anaerobic Resin

Anaerobic resin is most commonly known under the trade name Perma-lok. Used for locking the threads of bolts and nuts, it cures to a permenant bond in the absence of air.

Before glue cures, simply wash with mild detergent and water. Once glue has hardened the only way to break the bond of the glue is with shear brute force.

Urine stains from carpet

General Info:
Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains. This tip applies to all types of urine.

Tools & Chemicals:
Dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup.

Technique:

Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the carpet the greater the chances are of the stain setting.

In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). Vacuum excess dry materials or gently scrape up materials with a spoon.

Mix 1/2 tsp. of dish washing soap or fine fabric detergent into 1 (8 oz.)cup of warm water.

Apply a small amount, blot or tamp and repeat until the stain is removed. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Tamp down on the carpet, do not scrub as this may distort the texture of the pile.

Cover the stain with the towel and press down repeatedly to absorb the stain material and detergent.

Once the stain is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry white terry towel until all moisture is removed. Repeat this process several times to remove cleaning solution residue. (Residue can attract soils).

If the spot or stain turns brownish when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.

Precautions:
Never use a stronger concentration than is recommended. Never use laundry detergent or automatic dish washing detergents because they may destroy or dye some fibers.

White Linen Care

Here are some helpful hints for keeping white sheets looking good.

  • For cotton sheets, wash separately with regular detergent in warm or hot water. Use slightly less detergent than you normally would – this keeps sheets whiter, longer.
  • Cotton sheets can be put in the dryer or outside. The sun is a natural brightening and sanitizing agent – hang your sheets on the line to soak up the sun’s rays.
  • On linen or delicate white sheets use oxygen based bleach instead of chlorine bleach. Alternatively, you can use a natural whitening agent such as vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water.
  • Pressing or ironing sheets when they are slightly damp gets the best results. To avoid damaging any detailing such as raised stitching or embroidery; iron the back of the sheet on top of a soft, clean towel. Try using a spray bottle of water and a tablespoon of vinegar to iron out wrinkles.
  • Always store linens in an airy, dry closet with the shelves lined with paper. Also, avoid leaving your folded, fine linen stored for too long. The fabric can deteriorate along the creases.

Washing Machine Odors

This question was submitted from Ester

“My washing machine has a “wet stink” like you get on wet clothes if they’re left folded or crumpled for awhile. I’ve run a couple of loads of laundry with bleach, but the washer’s still stinky. What can I do to get rid of the odor?”

  • The first thing to do is to check to there are no mechanical problems with the washer.
  • Be sure there are no drainage problems or any problems with the actual operation of the cycles. Bleach should in fact kill any mildew so there may be a problem with water not draining completely from the washer or the drainage system.
  • We have also heard of people running a load with a cup or two of white vinegar to rinse out the machine.

Electric Can Openers

Always unplug the unit before cleaning. For can openers with a removable cutting mechanism, remove and wash in the dishwasher or by hand in the sink. If  is not removable, use an old toothbrush to scrub with dish detergent and hot water.