Hardware Tip of the Week: Restyling Tiling

By / Hardware Tips / Wednesday, 07 December 2016 05:00

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If your bathroom tile has started to look a little funky with age, you can rejuvenate it without a complete overhaul.
Sometimes, as grout gets old, a fine film covers the tiles.
To clear it away, rub the tiles with a mixture that’s one part muriatic acid to five parts water, then immediately dry it with a cloth.
Now, what do you do about that grungy grout? First try bleaching it, using an old toothbrush as an applicator.
If that fails, then consider staining it a dark color, using grout stain (in a pinch, you can also use shingle stain to get your desired color.)
Or, if you insist on white grout, try carefully scraping away the top layer with a small flat blade, then applying a tile sealer to keep it white longer.
Bonus Tips: Pressure Wash
Does your house need repainting?
Maybe a pressure wash will do instead. Whether such a wash will clean things up suitably or is used just
as a first step in surface preparation for painting, you must be careful to avoid damage.
If it can etch concrete, it surely can blast wood or vinyl. Spray nozzle tips are sized in degrees, with zero being most powerful. So, start from the highest number and work down -- being careful to spray downward, especially on siding and flashing.
This avoids lifting and driving water underneath (not to mention possibly blasting things off).
Make sure all windows and  doors are closed tight. Rent your pressure washer from Island True Value Tackle & Hardware today.
A Not-So-Shocking Idea Play it SAFE when working on wiring
Probably the most mysterious and scariest home projects involve electrical work.
Those people not familiar with electricity might expect lightning to come shooting out of sockets and
switches when you want to work on them.
That won’t happen...unless, of course, you start working around the
wiring when the power is still flowing.
Play it safe and get an inexpensive circuit alert voltage tester that lets you know if it’s okay to go to work.
Just place the tester on the wiring (or device) and if it lights up the wire is live.
This lets you know if you’ve turned off the wrong circuit breaker or fuse, or if there’s a problem with the breaker. Fix it before you do anything else.
Stain Remover:
New carpeting looks warm and inviting for a week or so, then kids, company, dogs, TV dinners and things like red wine take their toll.
New carpet certainly can brighten a home. It looks warm and inviting for a week or two, then kids, company, dogs, TV dinners and things like red wine take their toll. Soon your new carpet looks like a military drop zone.
Don’t fret, here are a few carpet-cleaning tips. For chewing gum, put ice cubes in a plastic bag and freeze the
gum in the carpet. When it’s hard, scrape it with a butter knife. For greasy stuff like lipstick, blot up the excess, then use dry-cleaning fluid.
For pet stains, blot any excess with paper towels, and then use a mixture of laundry detergent, ammonia and white vinegar. For shoe polish and ink stains, dab with paint thinner.
For fruit juice and soft drink spills, mix 1 teaspoon of both laundry detergent and white vinegar in 1 quart of warm water, and sponge well. For burns, trim off fibers, and, if needed, glue in some extras from the edges.
Cleaning: To whip up a special batch of our famous salt-and-turpentine cleaner, take 1-quarter cup turpentine and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of table salt.
Big families, hard water and heavy traffic can leave tubs and showers a real mess. If they're fiberglass rather than porcelain, that means lots of rubbing and scrubbing that often does nothing at all.
Though you've tried, that grungy mess just won't budge.
So what do you do?
Use a jackhammer? Dynamite? To whip up a special batch of our famous salt-and-turpentine cleaner, take 1-quarter cup turpentine and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of table salt. Mix well and then scrub with a stiff nylon brush. It's powerful, so be sure you've got plenty of ventilation. Don't rinse it away when you're through.
Rather, use paper towels to clean up the mess and air-dry them out. Before you give them a toss, wash it with soap, then a coat of car wax.
And, run into Island True Value Tackle & Hardware for your propane refill.


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