Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks How to Clean Any Surface

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      brass
      polish brass with a paste made of equal parts salt and vinegar. or, sprinkle salt onto the surface and rub with a halved lemon.

      carpet and rug stains
      blot fresh spills with a clean cloth or paper towel. apply a little club soda or cool water and blot again. if the stain remains, add a couple drops of dish soap to a spray bottle filled with water.

      shake well, spray the stain, and work the lather into the spot with a toothbrush. follow with clean water. blot thoroughly with a clean towel.

      chrome
      wipe with vinegar or polish with a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp cloth or sponge.

      copper
      wipe with a paste of three parts salt and one part vinegar.

      electronics
      use the brush attachment of your vacuum to remove dust. rub smudges with a dab of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball.

      run the adhesive edge of a self-stick note between the rows of the keyboard to remove dust, hair, and crumbs. turn your key board over and tap on the desk a few times, amazing what will come out.

      fireplace
      wear safety goggles. open the flue so that stray ashes will rise up into the chimney, rather than out into the room. use a dustpan and brush to collect the ashes.

      use an art gum eraser (available at art supply stores) to remove soot marks from the fireplace surround.

      furniture
      dampen a soft cloth with cool black tea and wipe.

      hardwood floors
      steep two black tea bags in a quart of boiling water; let solution cool to room temperature, then mop the floor.

      mirrors
      spray cleaner onto a cloth and wipe. avoid spraying cleaner directly onto the edges of a mirror; the liquid may seep around the glass and onto the silvering, causing it to loosen and darken.

      marble
      clean spills immediately with a soft, damp cloth. avoid highly acidic cleaners such as vinegar or lemon juice.

      silver
      remove tarnish by placing silver in a large pot or bowl with two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons of baking soda, and a piece of aluminum foil. cover with boiling water and wait three minutes.

      rinse silver and dry well.

      stainless steel
      use stainless steel spray, or try a solution of baking soda and water. rinse well and buff to a shine with a chamois cloth.

      tile and grout
      clean with a paste of baking soda and water. for stubborn grime, mix two parts baking soda with one part laundry borax. scrub with a wet cloth and rinse well.

      upholstery
      spot-clean stains with foamy shaving cream. rub gently. remove residue with a clean, damp cloth.

      walls
      for walls that need more than a good floor-to-ceiling dusting, use a flat sponge wringer mop and two buckets: one filled with a solution of all-purpose cleanser and one with clean rinse water. tape a drop cloth to the floor edge of the wall before you start.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Tips-n-Tricks How to Clean Any Surface