Cleaning Grout | Fast Tips

Cleaning Grout|fast tips

Cleaning grout can be a tedious task; one trick I have used in the past is to spray the grout after a shower using a homemade mixture of bleach: Dilute the bleach with water – 1 part bleach to 3 parts water – before cleaning with it. Bleach is especially good for removing mold and mildew. It kills the mold and disinfectants too. It also removes stains and discolorations from white grout. Do not use beach on colored grout – it can discolor the grout. Be careful when using bleach and any other cleaners, never mix cleaning chemicals especially those containing ammonia.

I also keep a plastic squeegee in the shower and do a quick squeegee of the walls and door to reduce the amount of hard water staining on the tile and grout.

Another quick option is to buy a Grout Pen which basically paints on a color to replace the dirty looking grout, but you have to clean first anyway before you can color the grout.

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Cleaning grout can be a pain but by doing some of the work on an ongoing basis it can make the task easier.

 

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Crystal Decanters

Decanters for wine and spirits are decorative vessels for storing and serving a wide variety of beverages.

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Wine can be permitted time to ‘breath’ before serving, and a leaded crystal decanter is far more stately than a Jim Beam or Jack Daniels bottle.  Often the decorative crystal or glass tops do not seal completely, and when used for alcoholic beverages, the alcohol can evaporate and leave stains, or even a hazy or cloudy appearance.

The first step is to place a thick towel in the bottom of the sink, as a sharp blow on a corner or edge might crack or chip the decanter.  Using warm water and soap fill the decanter and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to loosen any residue.  A bottle brush will allow you to gently scrub the bottom to loosen up tough stains.  Rinse the decanter thoroughly, as any remaining soap can taint the taste of future contents.  The decanter may look clean, and clear when wet, however the hazing or water stains, similar to a hard water deposits, may only be evident after the inside is dry.  Allowing a mild acid, such as white vinegar to sit in the decanter, again over night, usually will remove this film.  Some people use rice, rock salt, or baking powder to act as a bit of an abrasive that will aid in the removal of these stains as it is shaken or swirled around in the vinegar solution.  If the vinegar is not acidic enough to remove the film, a mild commercial acid such as CLR can be employed.  Limit the time that the CLR remains in the decanter, and give it a quick wash with regular dish detergent and water, ensuring a thorough rinse before drying the inside.

Some decanters have very narrow necks.  Roll up a good quality paper towel and slide it inside the decanter.  (A cheap paper towel might fall apart or leave lint inside) Spin it around to unroll it inside, being careful not to allow the paper towel to fall inside completely!  Remove the paper towel and let the decanter sit out overnight to dry completely, then fill it up with your favorite beverage to be displayed and served in style!

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Blue Dye (Ink) on Linoleum Floor

This question was submitted from Malanuk.

“I have blue dye on my new linoleum floor from a paper bag. What can I use to get it out?”

This is a tough one, we have had success and failure with this problem. Linoleum is, unfortunately, not very resilient (translation…stains easy).
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Try these techniques :

I would use a general purpose solvent or even rubbing alcohol, which is usually recommended to remove ink.

If it doesn’t wipe off, you may have to use a medium aggressive scrubbing pad (green).

Either way, using a strong chemical and scrubbing you will have to apply a wax to the floor to protect at least the area you cleaned. Remember always test a small area first before using a chemical or technique you have not used before on the surface you are cleaning.

Colored Chalk on Masonry and Concrete

Tools:

  • Soft cloth
  • Soft Scrub (mild abrasive cleanser)
  • Sponge
  • Stiff bristle brush
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Technique:

  • Brush and rinse off as much of the chalk stain from the surface with a sponge.
  • Remove the remaining chalk stain with a damp sponge and Soft Scrub.
  • With a clean damp sponge, remove any remaining Soft Scrub.

Construction Adhesive

Construction adhesive is used to secure wall panels, ceiling panels, or for extra strength in installing almost anything.  This stuff sticks to everything!

  • If you get it on your skin try to remove most of it with a paper towel, then remove the residue with turpintine or mineral spirits. Depending on the brand this does not always work.
  • If this fails, the top layer of your skin will eventually fall off, or you can speed the process by scrubbing your hands with a pumice stone.

Crayon from Clothes Dryer

WD-40 works well for removing crayon, as does as a product like Goo Gone. You may have some work ahead though since the heat from the dryer will have set the stain. Try using a green scotch brite scrubber pad, found on pot scrubbers in any grocer store. This pad is abrasive enough to remove the crayon without damaging the interior finish of the dryer.

Precautions:For all dryers we would recommend that you wipe down the interior of the dryer with a damp rag to remove any residue, and if you have a gas dryer leave the door open and allow it to air out for at least 24 hours before using. (This will help prevent your dryer from blowing up.)

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?…

Hardwood Floor Unfinished

Here is a recently submited question:

How do I clean and make a hardwood floor glossy without refinishing?

Information:

You can use a few different off the shelf products which both clean and add polish to the floor. You should be sure that you have really swept or vacuumed the floor well before using these products. Since they have solids in them (wax) and dust will affect the apperance.

You could also use a wood soap such as a Murphy’s Oil soap which will leave a bit of a sheen after cleaning. However the shine will not last with the above methods and you will have to constantly reapply them.

If you have hardwood that is very worn you may have to apply the cleaner/polish product a few times to get the shine up as the wood absorbs the wax.

Tools & Techniques:

Use a hardwood floor mop and a spray bottle to apply the cleaner/polish.
Spray only an area that you can effectively clean.
A hardwood floor mop looks like a dust mop only the fibers are shorter with a large surface area for polishing and cleaning.
If you don’t have a mop use something like a beach towel which will do an effective job of polishing, but is hard on the knees.