Abrasive Cleaners

General Information :
Abrasive cleaners generally use some kind grit to boost their cleaning ability, along with detergents, acids, alkalis and other compounds. Some are in powder form while others suspend the abrasive in liquid. The quartz or silica that constitutes the grit will easily scratch and/or damage softer surfaces such as laminate, fiberglass, stainless steel, etc. Even on very hard surfaces such as porcelain, use caution. Over time abrasives will dull and scratch.

However, abrasive colon cleaners will often work where others fail. Remember to rinse well after use to remove any residue.

Liquid abrasive cleaners are generally more expensive but are more convenient to use.

Removing Ink and Crayon Stains from Clothing

After fighting your way through the back to school crowds to get all your school supplies for younger children, you’ll be getting the standard pen, pencil and crayon stains in clothes.  If you have older children or husbands the stains will be ink.  Leaving pens in laundry and having them burst, causes hours of extra work  to clean the ink stains from clothing and the dryer.  The best remedial action is to make the offender clean up the mess to be sure they are more careful checking pockets in the future.

Crayon is relatively easy to remove from fabrics. Your first instinct may be to scrape off the crayon, but please resist this urge! Instead, liberally coat the area with liquid detergent and let the garment sit overnight. Then, wash the item, following the care label instructions.

The simple and easy way  on how to remove crayon from walls is to use WD-40, it really works well on hard surfaces.

For dry cleanable items, regardless if it is a big mens clothing dress shirt or silk dress for a woman, it is best to leave the stain as is, and bring the item to a professional. The stain will be easier to remove if you don’t disturb it with a potentially damaging home remedy. If you’re finding pencil marks on your kids’ clothes, there’s a quick method of cleaning them up so they look as fresh as the first day of school. Believe it or not, you’re going to start by using the same method you used to get rid of pencil marks back in school … an eraser!  Use a clean white eraser carefully, rubbing lightly.  Then apply liquid soap or a tiny amount of ammonia, using one part ammonia with five parts water. (Remember, only use ammonia in a well-ventilated area and never mix it with bleach or vinegar.) Rinse and then launder.

Now for the dreaded ink stain. Using hairspray on an ink stain, which is sort of an “old wives tale”, was recommended in the past strictly for its alcohol content.  The alcohol or volatile solvent is just the way the goopy stuff is delivered to your hair, the solvent dissipates into the air leaving the “stuff” which makes your hair solid in hurricane force winds. So in a nutshell, hairspray is probably not the best idea for removing something like ink stains. I know the saying “Fight fire with fire” is popular, but “Fight ink stains with goopy hair varnish” is not likely to catch on any time soon.
To remove ink from clothes have terry towels or paper towels, dry-cleaning solvent or rubbing alcohol handy. Always read and follow the care instructions and any warnings on the garment label. First, sponge the area around the stain with the solvent or alcohol. Then apply the alcohol or solvent directly on the stain. Next, place the stain face down on clean white, cleaning towels. Apply alcohol or solvent to the back of the stain. Replace towels frequently.

Continue until no further ink is removed. Then rinse thoroughly. Rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent and launder in hottest water safe for fabric, with bleach safe for fabric. Always check for color fastness first.  Some ink on white fabric may be removed with a dye stripper. You should be able to find this in areas where package dyes are sold. For stains on colored fabrics, check for dye stability in a hidden area before using.
Remember, heat sets ink stains. Act quickly as a precaution check your laundry before putting it in the dryer.

Antique Baby Gown

Here is a question submitted by Eva:
How do I clean a 100 year antique baby gown?

Cleaning and preserving a 100 year old gown is not something that should be attempted by the consumer due to the risk of destroying the gown. However, there are several options available to the consumer.

If the gown is to be worn again, it can be restored to its original condition by a professional, but this will negate the antique value of the gown. You will have an antique gown that now looks new.

The gown can be cleaned and preserved in its current antique state by a professional. The gown will be clean, but any yellowing and other characteristics of an antique will be preserved. The gown will be packaged in a viewing chest designed for that purpose.

The final option, and the only one open to the do-it-yourself consumer, is to purchase a Christening Gown Preservation box. The gown can be placed in the box in its current condition. The box has a clear window for display. This will greatly retard any further deterioration of the gown, but will not entirely prevent it. Take a look at examples of Gown preservation kits at The Gown Medic.

Answered by Forum Expert Ed from Suncoast Preservtion Labs. For more info check out Ed Bio on the Ask A Pro page.

Paint from Brick

Brick is a very porous material. Many paints and coatings “soak in” to brick or concrete, and this can make them difficult to remove. If the paint is primarily on the surface, a good scrubbing with a mildly acidic cleaner works best. But if the paint has penetrated, you will have to do a heavy etching with muriatic acid to remove it. Working with Muriatic acid can be dangerous so make sure you read all the instructions so you don’t hurt yourself or the bricks.
There are some specialized coating removers that come in a paste form that work well for this type of application, but they are not widely available at this point in time. The Hydrostrip line from ICI or a product called Masonry Strip available from Napier Environmental Technologies are the products to look for. They are also sold under the Biowash.com brand name found in paint stores like Sherwin Williams, Cloverdale Paint, and major home centers like Home Depot etc. check www.Biowash.com for a 1-800 to locate the product near you.

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).

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


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


  • 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.

Contact Cement or Rubber Cement

Contact cement is very common. Usually applied to both surfaces, and allowed to semi cure to a tacky state, the surfaces are then pressed together for a very strong bond. It is commonly used for applying laminate.

  • When on your hands, rub them together, the contact cement will bunch up and fall off.
  • To remove from other surfaces, try rolling it by rubbing with an eraser, or break down the glue using acetone.

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