UK diy (uk.d-i-y) For the discussion of all topics related to diy (do-it-yourself) in the UK. All levels of experience and proficency are welcome to join in to ask questions or offer solutions.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default Detergents and cleaners FAQ

I've mostly written a cleaning FAQ, explaining the different types of
detergents and other types of cleaners. I've been wondering if its
quite DIY or not, and have reached a tentative conclusion.

First, its prime use would be household cleaning, ie not diy.
Second, cleaning is actually an important part of DIY, so it would in
fact be useful and relevant for DIY as well.

OK, time to post it and see what people think....




Detergents and Cleaners FAQ
---------------------------



Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use.

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate, a synthetic detergent. This is a nearly universal low cost
human cleaning detergent. It is mildly irritant, mildly skin drying,
very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much
publicity, there have been concerns about its safety. Nearly all
commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price,
brand, marketing, etc.

Quality washing up liquid: much better on skin than the cheapie stuff,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used
as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little oil in for drier skin and
hair.

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. More drying and irritant to skin than any
washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve
their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at hotter
temps. Most contain various additives such as optical brighteners etc,
and powdered cardboard filler.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve, causing poor
washes and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which irritates
skin.

Dishwasher detergent: most powerful detergent, requires hot water to
work, the most irritant to skin. skin contact best avoided.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices.



Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or
drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to evaporate.
Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints. Not very versatile.

- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. One of
the higher cost solvents. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place
dry cleaned goods in a closed car.

- alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits.

- Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanl. almost identical properties to
alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.

- paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects. Dissolves oils.

- diesel:

- acetone, aka nail varnish remover:

- cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents

- Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue

- nitromors: stong alkali? paint and varnish stripper

- turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents

- petrol

- orange solvent (?) aka sticky stuff remover (?) - is this orange oil?

- glo-fuel for model aircraft: various mixtures exist, contain methanol
and oils, toxic and explosive.

- carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now
banned from domestic use due to toxicity.



Oils
----

- Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax.

- clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted

- penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, sometimes frees rusted parts,
dissolves oils, dissolves bath grease, leaves oil film behind.

- WD40: a penetrating oil mix, also repels water.



Abrasives
---------

- scouring pads

- Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as toilet cleaner

- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron

- sand: ditto. Also blasted for paint and rust stripping

- melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:

- wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all
modern surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters.

- scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.

- brass wire brush: for cleaning suede and soiled clothes. Causes
damage, dont overdo it.

- steel wire brush: not for general household use. Will remove paint,
plaster, skin, soft mortar. A rotary wire brush in a drill is very
fast: in an angle grinder even more so.



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas.
Discolours and damages many fabrics. A mild environmental toxin. Kills
bacteria and moulds. Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is
bleach plus detergent.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids the downsides of chlorine
bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be used in
laundry.

Soap and sun: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach marks and discolouration not removed by Cl2 or O2 bleaches.
It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should be kept
wet or damp.



Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. What is in
them, ammonia?



Limescale removers: (from weakest to strongest)
-------------------

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires boiling and long
immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of scale. Available from
any chemist.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of hot taps. Restores shine. Heat the
tap first.

Sulphamic acid: most popular ingredient in limescale removing toilet
cleaners

Sulphuric acid: stronger but costs more

Phosphoric acid: toxic

Hydrochloris acid: powerful and fast, avoid contact with skin, eyes,
metal, mortars, lime paints and tile grout.

?: where does phosphoric acid belong in this strength ranking?



Specialist cleaners
-------------------

- wax based paint cleaners etc

- Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. HCl acid cleaner/etcher for concrete
and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages brick fireskin, excellant
toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and eyes.

- oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and
brick cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but
non-damaging.

- fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate
items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some
brands of cat litter are fuller's earth.

- vinegar: resurfaces copper, it etches the surface off, leaving fresh
clean copper. The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten. Diluted vinegar is
also an old favourite for cleaning glass, often applied with paper
rather than cloth.

- stain devils for ballpoint ink: I had no result with it at all. Olbas
oil worked very well.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings



Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection.

- caustic soda: cleans ovens. Toxic, irritant, can cause serious eye
injury.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda - a mild safe alkali, with many
uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.



Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can be enough to go through
skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is not used. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park!)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, minor risk of burn injuries.



More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store. The materials discussed in the book are
mostly out of date, but there is lots of useful stain removal
information, and lots of cooking recipes.




Remaining Questions:
--------------------
What are the many things missing from here?
More info on some of the solvents would be welcome
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Where does phosphoric acid fit in the strength list?
Can pressure washers be used to dig holes in the ground?

  #2   Report Post  
Andrew Gabriel
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article . com,
writes:
I've mostly written a cleaning FAQ, explaining the different types of
detergents and other types of cleaners. I've been wondering if its
quite DIY or not, and have reached a tentative conclusion.

First, its prime use would be household cleaning, ie not diy.
Second, cleaning is actually an important part of DIY, so it would in
fact be useful and relevant for DIY as well.

OK, time to post it and see what people think....


Thanks. I've got to pop out shortly and can't do it justice,
but here are a few initial comments inline.

Detergents and Cleaners FAQ
---------------------------


How about "Cleaners and Solvents FAQ"? (Detergents are cleaners)

Detergents and soaps
--------------------


This section could do with explaining surfactants, and then
go on to the difference between soaps and detergents.

Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.


I don't think I've ever seen a soap-based washing up liquid, but
maybe that's because I don't buy cheapo ones. Probably wouldn't
work very well in hard water on shiny or glassware items.

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. More drying and irritant to skin than any
washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve
their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at hotter
temps. Most contain various additives such as optical brighteners etc,
and powdered cardboard filler.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve, causing poor
washes and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which irritates
skin.

Dishwasher detergent: most powerful detergent, requires hot water to
work, the most irritant to skin. skin contact best avoided.


Alkali based -- can dissolve amphoteric metals such as aluminium.

Could also mention that both washing powder and dishwasher detergent
are good at removing organic based stains in other situations, like
tea stains and grease from stainless steel sinks, and **** from the bog
as mentioned in another thread.

Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or
drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to evaporate.
Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints. Not very versatile.


Evaporates leaving no residue (important in some situations).

- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. One of
the higher cost solvents. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place
dry cleaned goods in a closed car.


I think CoSH has effectively removed all products containing
this from the market now. (Tippex thinner hasn't been 1-1-1
trichloroethylene for very many years now.)

- alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits.


Meths does leave a residue (the purple dye, whose name I forget).

Oils
----


- WD40: a penetrating oil mix, also repels water.


Also a good solvent.


Will carry on reading the rest this evening.
--
Andrew Gabriel
  #3   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 26 Apr 2005 04:47:42 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

I've mostly written a cleaning FAQ, explaining the different types of
detergents and other types of cleaners. I've been wondering if its
quite DIY or not, and have reached a tentative conclusion.


Yes, certainly is for DIY, at least as we know it, Jim.
By the way, in my comments I assume the role of someone who does not
know the answer, even if I do.

First, its prime use would be household cleaning, ie not diy.
Second, cleaning is actually an important part of DIY, so it would in
fact be useful and relevant for DIY as well.

OK, time to post it and see what people think....




Detergents and Cleaners FAQ
---------------------------


Intro - what it's going to cover: Categories, composition, uses,
warnings etc. Who it's aimed at.

Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use.


recommended appropriate?
Keep to washing up with it? Good for cleaning oily hands. If using
proprietary 'oily hand cleaner' I use dishwasher detergent, to clean
*that* off after, finished with 'gentler' soap (if I can be bothered).

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate, a synthetic detergent. This is a nearly universal low cost
human cleaning detergent. It is mildly irritant, mildly skin drying,
very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much
publicity, there have been concerns about its safety. Nearly all
commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price,
brand, marketing, etc.


safety in which way? toxic / environmental?

Too much emphasis on chemical name.

Quality washing up liquid: much better on skin than the cheapie stuff,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.


Does quality equate to price? if not how do we tell.
I have heard it advised to use baby soaps to avoid dry skin, instead of
fancy shower liquids.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used
as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little oil in for drier skin and
hair.


Ecover??? never heard of it. What kind of oil? Are you sure its ok to
use paint stripper as a shampoo?

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. More drying and irritant to skin than any
washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to improve
their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at hotter
temps. Most contain various additives such as optical brighteners etc,
and powdered cardboard filler.


quote some brand names as examples (Persil...). Is it the case that
liquid ones do not have enzymes. My wife has separate enzyme stuff for
bad stains (Bio-wash or some such).

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve, causing poor
washes and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which irritates
skin.


Could never see the point of them. What is their claim to fame?

Dishwasher detergent: most powerful detergent, requires hot water to
work, the most irritant to skin. skin contact best avoided.


3 kinds, powder (obsolescent?), liquid (nearly obsolescent?), tablets
(what are they all about!)

Dishwasher 'finishing' liquid....

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices.


Amusing but not strictly true. You could have a whole section on
removers for specific stains like grass, biro, rust marks.

Carpet cleaners/odour killers/ machines for...

Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or
drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to evaporate.
Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints. Not very versatile.


One of my staples. Wouldn't be without it for getting rid off gooey
residues. Does have strong smell; wife makes me use it outside. Never
noticed as a severe skin irritant. Have used it to get sticky Araldite
off my hands, but always wash the spirit off after (it does pong).

- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. One of
the higher cost solvents. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place
dry cleaned goods in a closed car.


1,1,1 is a bit techie. Thought it was banned now. As apprentice I had a
spell in the printed circuit shop where it was used in large open baths
to soak the 'resist' off the PCBs after exposure to UV. Must have
inhaled loads of it - health & safety made them close it down
eventually.

- alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits.


What is the difference between these?
Meths isn't much good for degreasing, except for minute smears. It can
be used for drying things out (e.g. wet watch mechanism) as it absorbs
water.

- Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanl. almost identical properties to
alcohol.


Is that why its called alcohol? :-)

Screen wash, head cleaner.


- paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects. Dissolves oils.


Smelly, cheap. Repels people.

Useful for blowlamps and paraffin stoves. :-)

- diesel:


Has it a cleaning use?

- acetone, aka nail varnish remover:


solvent for polyurethane(?) foam (i.e. what comes out of pressurised
cans).
Think it dissolves perspex. Nail varnish remover is diluted surely? Not
nice on skin.

- cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents


Tar remover (as sold in motor accessory shops) - the only stuff I found
which, well, removes tar.

- Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue


- nitromors: stong alkali? paint and varnish stripper


Very good at too, but very messy to use. Beware fumes.

Eats through the tin after 15 yrs (don't ask!)

- turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents


Turps burns with an amazingly smokey flame. I believe very expensive
compared to subs.

subs = white spirit?

- petrol


A cheap and much under-rated solvent for cleaning oily hands, but wash
off straight away. Somewhat flammable!! See Jizer below.

- orange solvent (?) aka sticky stuff remover (?) - is this orange oil?


Do you mean Jizer, as sold for engine cleaning? Very efficient for in
situ engine cleaning. Spray it on with garden sprayer, leave a while
then hose down (it's water soluble) perhaps with pressure washer!

- glo-fuel for model aircraft: various mixtures exist, contain methanol
and oils, toxic and explosive.


What it for apart from the obvious?

- carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now
banned from domestic use due to toxicity.


CTC used to be sold as Thawpit and Dab-it-off.

Oils
----

- Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax.

- clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted


Is it recommended as a paint stripper then? dilute with what?

- penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, sometimes frees rusted parts,
dissolves oils, dissolves bath grease, leaves oil film behind.


But not much use as a lubricant as it soon dries out

bath grease??? there are surely more appropriate bath cleaners, such as
"Jiff Bathroom Cleaner"

- WD40: a penetrating oil mix, also repels water.


Allegedly gets your car started (never seen it work tho).

Abrasives
---------

- scouring pads

- Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as toilet cleaner

- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron


Is that same as lava stone? If so, it's used for scrubbing hard skin off
feet.

- sand: ditto. Also blasted for paint and rust stripping

- melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:

- wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all
modern surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters.


Brillo pad - makes a revolting messy lather and goes rusty.

A relatively new one which we now use a lot is a scouring thing made of
a ball of stainless steel ribbon. It gets burnt-on stuff off of ovenware
and seems to do little or no damage to enamelware in the process - and
it doesn't go rusty. Never touched a brillo pad since discovering it.

- scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.


Youngsters might ask what a razor blade is, or how on earth you get them
out of the razors they use these days (electric man, meself!).

- brass wire brush: for cleaning suede and soiled clothes. Causes
damage, dont overdo it.

- steel wire brush: not for general household use.


Special short wire version for de-pinning files - essential tool.

Are we straying into Tools FAQ her? Or perhaps could have sub-heading;
Cleaning Equipment?

Will remove paint,
plaster, skin, soft mortar. A rotary wire brush in a drill is very
fast: in an angle grinder even more so.

Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt.


i.e. dual use, cleaning and bleaching.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas.


As per warning on label - never put down loo at same time as Harpic.

Can you still get Harpic?

Discolours


err, isn't that the idea of a bleach :-)

and damages many fabrics.


Good point. Not so well known.

A mild environmental toxin. Kills
bacteria and moulds. Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is
bleach plus detergent.


Didn't know that - wondered what was in it.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids the downsides of chlorine
bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics.


So why is it called a bleach?

Oxygen bleach can be used in
laundry.


My folks used to use peroxide to free ear-wax. Probably not recommended!

Soap and sun: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach marks and discolouration not removed by Cl2 or O2 bleaches.
It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should be kept
wet or damp.


If you are going to get so techie as to quote Cl2, you might as well say
it's the UV wot does he bleaching.

Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. What is in
them, ammonia?


I wouldn't say the ones we use produce noxious fumes. May be a bit
scented. Probably some ammonia in Windowlene. Can you still get
household ammonia?

Household ammonia used for cleaning jewellery rings I think.

Limescale removers: (from weakest to strongest)
-------------------

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires boiling and long
immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of scale. Available from
any chemist.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of hot taps. Restores shine. Heat the
tap first.

Sulphamic acid: most popular ingredient in limescale removing toilet
cleaners

Sulphuric acid: stronger but costs more


And dangerous stuff for untrained hands. (a.k.a. battery acid). Will
dissolve metal, amongst other things, and release hydrogen.

Phosphoric acid: toxic


Never seen that outside a chemi lab

Hydrochloris acid: powerful and fast, avoid contact with skin, eyes,
metal, mortars, lime paints and tile grout.


Hydrochloric. Gives off choking HCl fumes. Also dangerous.

?: where does phosphoric acid belong in this strength ranking?


Kettle Descalers - do they warrant a separate entry?

Specialist cleaners
-------------------

- wax based paint cleaners etc


You mean as in car colour restoring?

- Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. HCl acid cleaner/etcher for concrete
and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages brick fireskin, excellant
toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and eyes.


What is "brick fireskin"?

In "toilet limescale remover" I would think the specialist jell types
are better, in that they don't run straight down the pan - not tried HCl
tho.

- oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and
brick cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but
non-damaging.


.... to surface, not if ingested.

- fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate
items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some
brands of cat litter are fuller's earth.


Yes. What IS Fuller's Earth, chemically?

- vinegar: resurfaces copper, it etches the surface off, leaving fresh
clean copper.


never knew that.

The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten.


I know what a liquid lunch is, but that is a bit extreme. :-)

Diluted vinegar is
also an old favourite for cleaning glass, often applied with paper
rather than cloth.


I believe the (conductive?) 'black' in the newsprint neutralises any
static charge meaning that you don't finish up with the glass covered in
tiny dust particles. In my experience crumpled newspaper is the *only*
way of adequately cleaning glass prior to picture framing. Que 24 other
ways...

- stain devils for ballpoint ink: I had no result with it at all. Olbas
oil worked very well.


There are Stain Devils (TM, I think) for just about any stain. Meths
gets ballpoint ink off (at least when freshly marked).

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings


If you have any valuable ones, don't try it at home. Picture cleaning
and restoration is a craft that takes years to learn. There is a lot
more to it than spit'n'polish.

Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection.

- caustic soda: cleans ovens. Toxic, irritant, can cause serious eye
injury.


.... possibly due to the solution exploding in your face if not mixed in
the correct order? NEVER add water to the crystals, always the other
round, and a few at a time. Use rubber(?) gloves, plastic apron,
goggles. Again proprietary stuff with added 'cling' is prob more
effective.

hot caustic soda was the only thing that would shift the gunge built up
on our chip fryer, and then not entirely.

Thought drain unblocking was main domestic use for caustic soda? Don't
use aluminium utensils (or other metal except SS?)

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat.


When (and why) should it be used for clothes? - also dissolves Al.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda - a mild safe alkali, with many
uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths


Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb


Our family boil em up in Persil. An overnight soak in Persil is a good
way to clean teapots.

Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.


Used for wiping over fridge innards. Claimed to stop odours.

Water cleaners:
---------------


My water's pretty clean already thanks :-)

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can be enough to go through
skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is not used. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park!)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, minor risk of burn injuries.


Excellent for removing nicotine stains from ceilings (once had a heavy
smoker inhabiting the room). Steam it till its dripping wet; it then
just wipes off.

More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store. The materials discussed in the book are
mostly out of date, but there is lots of useful stain removal
information, and lots of cooking recipes.


Is she out of copyright now?

Remaining Questions:
--------------------
What are the many things missing from here?
More info on some of the solvents would be welcome
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Where does phosphoric acid fit in the strength list?
Can pressure washers be used to dig holes in the ground?


Only if it's for a pond. :-)

General comments:

A useful and enlightening FAQ, thank you for raising your head over the
parapet.

As is, it has too many very short sentences, and some things are stated
'as a fact' with no explanation.

It's a great start, but will need the rough edges smoothed off. If
possible try to expand the punchy points into proper sentences - I know
it's a chore that takes a long time, but it will give it more credence
and be easier to follow (well that's my view). I'm off on 2 weeks hols
at the end of the week so you won't see much of me in the thread till
mid-May. Good luck with the remainder.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
  #4   Report Post  
Peter Parry
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 26 Apr 2005 04:47:42 -0700, wrote:

I've mostly written a cleaning FAQ, explaining the different types of
detergents and other types of cleaners.


Good effort, thank you. Some suggestions:-

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used
as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little oil in for drier skin and
hair.


Almost completely ineffective as a detergent for cleaning anything
other than skin (I assume it is passable on that - I've never tried
it)

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic and/or
drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to evaporate.
Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints. Not very versatile.


Safe to use on most plastics - denatures latex rubber gloves in
minutes.

- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. One of
the higher cost solvents. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place
dry cleaned goods in a closed car.


Now banned except for a few industrial uses by the Montreal Protocol
(Ozone depleter) and unavailable. No longer used in dry cleaner or
Tippex.

- paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects. Dissolves oils.


Causes corrosion.

- acetone, aka nail varnish remover:


Nail Varnish remover usually also contains Lanolin or similar

- nitromors: stong alkali? paint and varnish stripper


Methylene Chloride?

- orange solvent (?) aka sticky stuff remover (?) - is this orange oil?


d-Limonene (1-methyl-4-isopropenyl-1-cyclohexene)

- glo-fuel for model aircraft: various mixtures exist, contain methanol
and oils, toxic and explosive.


Doesn't this contain Ether as well?


Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids the downsides of chlorine
bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be used in
laundry.


Not as effective as a bactericide or disinfectant as Chlorine bleach


Limescale removers: (from weakest to strongest)
-------------------

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires boiling and long
immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of scale. Available from
any chemist.


Also available at much lower price in most Indian Food stores.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of hot taps. Restores shine. Heat the
tap first.


Distilled vinegar - wine and cider vinegars are pretty useless.

Phosphoric acid: toxic


Used in food so not that toxic.

Hydrochloris acid:


Hydrochloric

--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
  #6   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Cleaners and Detergents FAQ 2
-----------------------------





Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaner
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
More information




Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use.
Its speed makes it useful for washing carpets, saves much labour.

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate, a synthetic detergent. This is a nearly universal low cost
human cleaning detergent. It is mildly irritant, mildly skin drying,
very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much
publicity, there have been concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all
commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price,
brand, marketing, etc.

Quality washing up liquid: much better on skin than the cheapie stuff,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used
as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable oil in for drier
skin and hair. Palm oil is favoured for hair.

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin
than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to
improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at
hotter temps. Most contain various additives such as optical
brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with
bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve, causing poor
washes and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which irritates
skin.

Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent,
alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to
skin. Skin contact best avoided.

Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices. Stain removers designed for a limited range of
stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars.

Household soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally
superfatted, meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited
to general household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ.
In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for
household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not often
seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at ethnic
supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, you
slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate which
type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are not
widely available, not widely used, and not the best type of cleaning
product available.



Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics,
and/or drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Very
irritant to skin, slow to evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss)
paints and uncured epoxy resin. Not very versatile.
- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No
longer sold. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place dry cleaned
goods in a closed car.
- alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind after it evaporates.
Removes fresh ballpoint ink.
- Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanl. almost identical properties to
alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.
- paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One
of the safer solvents
- diesel:
- acetone, aka nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt
can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it.
- cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other
solvents have failed. Removes tar.
- Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue
- nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes
- turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents.
See white spirit
- petrol: flammable and explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches.
- orange oil: aka limonene, sticky stuff remover.
- glo-fuel for model aircraft: various mixtures exist, containing
methanol, oils, solvents, etc. Flammable, explosive, very toxic, fumes
can be fatal.
- carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now
banned from domestic use due to toxicity.
- pipe weld solvent:



Oils
----

- Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax. Available from superdrug, boots, supemarkets etc
- clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted with oil or soap and
water. Available from superdrug, boots etc
- penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, help free rusted parts,
dissolves oils, dissolves bath grease, leaves oil film behind.
Penetrating oils make poor lubricants.
- WD40: a penetrating oil mix, also repels water.



Abrasives
---------

- plastic scouring pads
- metal scourers
- Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as toilet cleaner
- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron
- sand: ditto. Also sand blasting strips paint and rust
- melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:
- wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all
modern surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters.
- scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.
- brass wire brush: for cleaning suede and soiled clothes. Causes
damage, dont overdo it.
- pumice:
- metal balls: used to clean inaccessible places. Insert balls and
cleaning liquid, whizz em round, remove balls. Typically used for
inaccessible places, eg very narrow necked vases etc



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas.
Discolours and damages many fabrics. A mild environmental toxin. Kills
bacteria and moulds.
Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is bleach plus detergent.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids the downsides of chlorine
bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be used in
laundry. Not as powerful as chlorine bleach.

Soap and sun: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach marks and discolouration not removed by chlorine or oxygen
bleaches. It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should
be kept wet or damp.



Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. What is in
them, ammonia?



Limescale removers:
-------------------

Limescale removers are all acids. Many are potentially dangerous and
should be treated with some care. Many will attack metals, skin, cloth,
and so on. They are here listed from weakest to strongest. The first 2
are safe to handle, and even eat, the others are not, and skin should
be rinsed if contact occurs.

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires boiling and long
immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of scale. A common food
additive. Available from any chemist, typically at a fraction of the
price of brand name supermarket descalers. Multipurpose appliance
descalers are normally citric, since it is safe on a wide range of
materials. Citric is also used for washing machine descaling, but is
not altogether effective.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of taps. Restores shine. Heat the tap
first with boiling water. Wash any remaining vinegar off after the job
is done.

Sulphamic acid: most popular ingredient in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.

Phosphoric acid: ?: where does phosphoric acid belong in this strength
ranking?

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast, avoid contact with skin, eyes,
metal, mortars, lime paints and tile grout. One of the higher risk
cleaners, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale from glass, but care must be taken to keep
it off metal, wood etc. This can be done by wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.



Specialist cleaners
-------------------

- wax based paint cleaners etc

- Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. Hydrochloric acid cleaner/etcher for
concrete and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages a brick's
fireskin, very fast toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and
eyes.

- oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and
brick cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but does not
damage the items being cleaned. Toxic residues should be washed away
with plenty of water.

- fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate
items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some
brands of cat litter are fuller's earth.

- vinegar: resurfaces copper by etching the surface off, leaving fresh
clean copper. The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten. Diluted vinegar is
also an old favourite for cleaning glass, best applied with newspaper
rather than cloth.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but not
available in litre bottles

- ammonia: used for cleaning jewellery

- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey. From car accessory shops.

- jewellery dips

- Brasso

- Silvo

- stain devils for ballpoint ink: I had no result with it at all. Olbas
oil was quick and effective. Not recommended.



Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber(?) gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again
proprietary stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda - a mild safe alkali, with many
uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.



Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can be enough to go through
skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is avoided. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park!)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, minor risk of burn injuries.
Removes nicotine.



Stains:
-------

Firstly the general purpose stain removers:
Washing powder: the most versatile stain remover is biological washing
powder. Soak the stain overnight.
Bleach: will remove many stains, but discolours and rots natural
fabrics and dyes.
Dry cleaning solvents: will remove many stains from most fabrics and
hard surfaces
Cellulose thinners: dissolve many things - might dissolve what youre
trying to clean though


Ballpoint pen ink:
- alcohol
- olbas oil
Blood:
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water (I think! not sure)
Chewing gum on carpet:
- fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and use the bag
to freeze the gum.
The gum will now break apart.
Cup ring marks:
-
Egg:
- always use cold water to wash egg off, heat will set it in place.
Epoxy resin
- white spirit
- it will peel off with a fingernail from some surfaces
- or pare it down with a knife
Foam, polyurethane squirty type:
- acetone
Limescale:
- see the limescale section
Nicotine
- steam cleaning
Paint, emulsion:
- if unset, water and washing powder or washing up liquid, and rub
with a cloth.
Several water changes may be needed.
- if set but soft: soak in dilute ecover overnight, then rub and wash
repeatedly.
- if set and hard: first, crefully break the paint up to help it to
come out much quicker.
A kitchen knife can do this. Then use a suede brush to remove the
remains.
Suede bruhes do damage fabric, so take care to only brush exactly
where the paint is.
- oil type paint removers may soften the paint and allow it to be
washed out by machine
- if all else fails, small paint marks can often be successfully
disguised temporarily with
a fine tipped black marker pen, or permanently with a button,
brooch, patch, decorative
motif, etc.
Paint, lime:
- hot water and washing powder
- vinegar.
Paint, oil based gloss:
- white spirit
Plastic glue:
- acetone
****:
- biological washing powder
Superglue:
- cyanoacrylate debonder, nitromethane
Stubborn stains:
- cellulose thinners will remove a lot of stains, but also damage some
things.
Tea & coffee
- soak overnight in bio washing powder
- bicarb
Toilet scale:
- limescale removing toilet cleaner containing hydrochloric acid. This
is by far the most
effective. It will need applying several times of the amount of
scaling is significant.
Unknown stains:
- Use the general purpose stain treatments above, starting with an
overnight soak in
biological washing powder.
varnish:
- olbas oil
wax:
- olbas oil
- apply blotting paper, iron. Repeat. The paper soaks up the molten
wax.
- wash in boiling water with dishwasher detergent
Wine, red:
Wine, white:
Yellowed cotton:
- bleach sometimes works. If not:
- dip in soapy water, hang in the sun while wet. Allow a day or 2, and
keep it moist.
Very effective, though slow.



More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store. The materials discussed in the book are
mostly out of date, but there is lots of useful stain removal
information, and lots of cooking recipes.




Remaining Questions:
--------------------
What things are missing from here?
More info on some of the solvents would be welcome
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Where does phosphoric acid fit in the strength list?
Whats Jizer?
Other stain devils and similar?

  #7   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Cleaners and Detergents FAQ 2
-----------------------------





Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaner
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
More information




Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use.
Its speed makes it useful for washing carpets, saves much labour.

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate, a synthetic detergent. This is a nearly universal low cost
human cleaning detergent. It is mildly irritant, mildly skin drying,
very cheap to make, and although not currently receiving much
publicity, there have been concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all
commercial skin washes and shampoos contain it, regardless of price,
brand, marketing, etc.

Quality washing up liquid: much better on skin than the cheapie stuff,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic. Can also be used
as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable oil in for drier
skin and hair. Palm oil is favoured for hair.

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin
than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to
improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at
hotter temps. Most contain various additives such as optical
brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with
bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve, causing poor
washes and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which irritates
skin.

Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent,
alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to
skin. Skin contact best avoided.

Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices. Stain removers designed for a limited range of
stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars.

Household soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally
superfatted, meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited
to general household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ.
In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for
household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not often
seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at ethnic
supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, you
slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate which
type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are not
widely available, not widely used, and not the best type of cleaning
product available.



Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics,
and/or drug-like. Ensure good ventilation.

- white spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Very
irritant to skin, slow to evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss)
paints and uncured epoxy resin. Not very versatile.
- 1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No
longer sold. Adequate ventilation essential. Never place dry cleaned
goods in a closed car.
- alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind after it evaporates.
Removes fresh ballpoint ink.
- Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanl. almost identical properties to
alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.
- paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One
of the safer solvents
- diesel:
- acetone, aka nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt
can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it.
- cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other
solvents have failed. Removes tar.
- Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue
- nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes
- turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents.
See white spirit
- petrol: flammable and explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches.
- orange oil: aka limonene, sticky stuff remover.
- glo-fuel for model aircraft: various mixtures exist, containing
methanol, oils, solvents, etc. Flammable, explosive, very toxic, fumes
can be fatal.
- carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now
banned from domestic use due to toxicity.
- pipe weld solvent:



Oils
----

- Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax. Available from superdrug, boots, supemarkets etc
- clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted with oil or soap and
water. Available from superdrug, boots etc
- penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, help free rusted parts,
dissolves oils, dissolves bath grease, leaves oil film behind.
Penetrating oils make poor lubricants.
- WD40: a penetrating oil mix, also repels water.



Abrasives
---------

- plastic scouring pads
- metal scourers
- Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as toilet cleaner
- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron
- sand: ditto. Also sand blasting strips paint and rust
- melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:
- wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all
modern surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters.
- scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.
- brass wire brush: for cleaning suede and soiled clothes. Causes
damage, dont overdo it.
- pumice:
- metal balls: used to clean inaccessible places. Insert balls and
cleaning liquid, whizz em round, remove balls. Typically used for
inaccessible places, eg very narrow necked vases etc



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas.
Discolours and damages many fabrics. A mild environmental toxin. Kills
bacteria and moulds.
Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is bleach plus detergent.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids the downsides of chlorine
bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be used in
laundry. Not as powerful as chlorine bleach.

Soap and sun: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach marks and discolouration not removed by chlorine or oxygen
bleaches. It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should
be kept wet or damp.



Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. What is in
them, ammonia?



Limescale removers:
-------------------

Limescale removers are all acids. Many are potentially dangerous and
should be treated with some care. Many will attack metals, skin, cloth,
and so on. They are here listed from weakest to strongest. The first 2
are safe to handle, and even eat, the others are not, and skin should
be rinsed if contact occurs.

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires boiling and long
immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of scale. A common food
additive. Available from any chemist, typically at a fraction of the
price of brand name supermarket descalers. Multipurpose appliance
descalers are normally citric, since it is safe on a wide range of
materials. Citric is also used for washing machine descaling, but is
not altogether effective.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of taps. Restores shine. Heat the tap
first with boiling water. Wash any remaining vinegar off after the job
is done.

Sulphamic acid: most popular ingredient in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.

Phosphoric acid: ?: where does phosphoric acid belong in this strength
ranking?

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast, avoid contact with skin, eyes,
metal, mortars, lime paints and tile grout. One of the higher risk
cleaners, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale from glass, but care must be taken to keep
it off metal, wood etc. This can be done by wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.



Specialist cleaners
-------------------

- wax based paint cleaners etc

- Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. Hydrochloric acid cleaner/etcher for
concrete and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages a brick's
fireskin, very fast toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and
eyes.

- oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and
brick cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but does not
damage the items being cleaned. Toxic residues should be washed away
with plenty of water.

- fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate
items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some
brands of cat litter are fuller's earth.

- vinegar: resurfaces copper by etching the surface off, leaving fresh
clean copper. The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten. Diluted vinegar is
also an old favourite for cleaning glass, best applied with newspaper
rather than cloth.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but not
available in litre bottles

- ammonia: used for cleaning jewellery

- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey. From car accessory shops.

- jewellery dips

- Brasso

- Silvo

- stain devils for ballpoint ink: I had no result with it at all. Olbas
oil was quick and effective. Not recommended.



Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber(?) gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again
proprietary stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda - a mild safe alkali, with many
uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.



Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can be enough to go through
skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is avoided. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park!)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, minor risk of burn injuries.
Removes nicotine.



Stains:
-------

Firstly the general purpose stain removers:
Washing powder: the most versatile stain remover is biological washing
powder. Soak the stain overnight.
Bleach: will remove many stains, but discolours and rots natural
fabrics and dyes.
Dry cleaning solvents: will remove many stains from most fabrics and
hard surfaces
Cellulose thinners: dissolve many things - might dissolve what youre
trying to clean though


Ballpoint pen ink:
- alcohol
- olbas oil
Blood:
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water (I think! not sure)
Chewing gum on carpet:
- fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and use the bag
to freeze the gum.
The gum will now break apart.
Cup ring marks:
-
Egg:
- always use cold water to wash egg off, heat will set it in place.
Epoxy resin
- white spirit
- it will peel off with a fingernail from some surfaces
- or pare it down with a knife
Foam, polyurethane squirty type:
- acetone
Limescale:
- see the limescale section
Nicotine
- steam cleaning
Paint, emulsion:
- if unset, water and washing powder or washing up liquid, and rub
with a cloth.
Several water changes may be needed.
- if set but soft: soak in dilute ecover overnight, then rub and wash
repeatedly.
- if set and hard: first, crefully break the paint up to help it to
come out much quicker.
A kitchen knife can do this. Then use a suede brush to remove the
remains.
Suede bruhes do damage fabric, so take care to only brush exactly
where the paint is.
- oil type paint removers may soften the paint and allow it to be
washed out by machine
- if all else fails, small paint marks can often be successfully
disguised temporarily with
a fine tipped black marker pen, or permanently with a button,
brooch, patch, decorative
motif, etc.
Paint, lime:
- hot water and washing powder
- vinegar.
Paint, oil based gloss:
- white spirit
Plastic glue:
- acetone
****:
- biological washing powder
Superglue:
- cyanoacrylate debonder, nitromethane
Stubborn stains:
- cellulose thinners will remove a lot of stains, but also damage some
things.
Tea & coffee
- soak overnight in bio washing powder
- bicarb
Toilet scale:
- limescale removing toilet cleaner containing hydrochloric acid. This
is by far the most
effective. It will need applying several times of the amount of
scaling is significant.
Unknown stains:
- Use the general purpose stain treatments above, starting with an
overnight soak in
biological washing powder.
varnish:
- olbas oil
wax:
- olbas oil
- apply blotting paper, iron. Repeat. The paper soaks up the molten
wax.
- wash in boiling water with dishwasher detergent
Wine, red:
Wine, white:
Yellowed cotton:
- bleach sometimes works. If not:
- dip in soapy water, hang in the sun while wet. Allow a day or 2, and
keep it moist.
Very effective, though slow.



More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store. The materials discussed in the book are
mostly out of date, but there is lots of useful stain removal
information, and lots of cooking recipes.




Remaining Questions:
--------------------
What things are missing from here?
More info on some of the solvents would be welcome
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Where does phosphoric acid fit in the strength list?
Whats Jizer?
Other stain devils and similar?

  #10   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 26 Apr 2005 12:19:51 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
On 26 Apr 2005 04:47:42 -0700, in uk.d-i-y
wrote:

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka


Too much emphasis on chemical name.


only mentioned it once. IMHO it needs to be there because IME people
will always say 'ah yeah but its not in my superfancy luxury shampoo.'
They need to see for themselves that it is, and learn that its by no
means the best for the job.


Much better in FAQ2 now that there is into before these big chemi names
hit the reader.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to


One of my staples. Wouldn't be without it for getting rid off gooey
residues.


can you tell us specifically what it removes? I've never got anywhere
with it. I find its terrible on skin, some people get big red painful
areas from it, takes weeks to clear up.


Specifically it lifts dried on self adhesive labels; the ones that you
can't even scrape off without a struggle. Wet the label with it and
leave a few minutes, it will then peel off and you wipe the residue away
with a rag wetted with white spirit (anyone know what it is
chemically?).

Do you mean Jizer, as sold for engine cleaning? Very efficient for in
situ engine cleaning. Spray it on with garden sprayer, leave a while
then hose down (it's water soluble) perhaps with pressure washer!


no idea: would that not be soda?


No. It is a petrochemical type thin liquid, sold in motor accessory
shops as engine cleaner degreaser. Same as "Gunk" which does not seem to
be around anymore, at least in my area. It leaves the dirty oily dirt in
a state where it can be hosed off. It is water soluble.

If I have time before going away will look to see if label has more
info.

- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron


Is that same as lava stone? If so, it's used for scrubbing hard skin

off
feet.


not pumice, but undercooked brick. Similar. No longer fashionable.


Yes, I meant pumice-stone block. Definitely not fashionable.

I believe the (conductive?) 'black' in the newsprint neutralises any
static charge meaning that you don't finish up with the glass covered

in
tiny dust particles. In my experience crumpled newspaper is the

*only*
way of adequately cleaning glass prior to picture framing.


not heard that explanation before.


I was shown the technique in a "Framers Workshop". That's a workshop
around here where you use their workshop and equipment to frame your own
pictures. You just pay for the glass and frame you use - they advise and
help you do it - quite brilliant.

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this


Is she out of copyright now?


I presume so, she was publishing books a century ago.


I meant that if so you could lift some of it.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me


  #11   Report Post  
Andrew Gabriel
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Phil Addison writes:
On 26 Apr 2005 12:19:51 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
On 26 Apr 2005 04:47:42 -0700, in uk.d-i-y
wrote:

Liquid soaps: Most goods sold as liquid soaps are not, they are in
nearly every case sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka


Too much emphasis on chemical name.


only mentioned it once. IMHO it needs to be there because IME people
will always say 'ah yeah but its not in my superfancy luxury shampoo.'
They need to see for themselves that it is, and learn that its by no
means the best for the job.


Much better in FAQ2 now that there is into before these big chemi names
hit the reader.

- white spirit: very irritant to skin, very slow to


One of my staples. Wouldn't be without it for getting rid off gooey
residues.


can you tell us specifically what it removes? I've never got anywhere
with it. I find its terrible on skin, some people get big red painful
areas from it, takes weeks to clear up.


Sounds like some sort of super-sensitivity to it, which can happen
with some people for just about any chemical you choose to pick.
I and others I know do get it on us at times without any noticable
affect at all. Actually, I used to use it to wash dirty oil and tar
off my hands after fixing my car many years ago, although I probably
wouldn't do that nowadays.

Specifically it lifts dried on self adhesive labels; the ones that you
can't even scrape off without a struggle. Wet the label with it and
leave a few minutes, it will then peel off and you wipe the residue away
with a rag wetted with white spirit (anyone know what it is
chemically?).


There seem to be two types of label sticky in common use.
One is softened by water, and the other with white spirit.
In both cases, the sticky fails to soften much with the 'other'.

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this


Is she out of copyright now?


I presume so, she was publishing books a century ago.


Actually, Mr Beeton compiled it and wrote most of it. He knew
it would sell better in his wife's name though. ;-)

--
Andrew Gabriel
  #12   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:43:24 GMT, in uk.d-i-y Phil Addison
wrote:

Do you mean Jizer, as sold for engine cleaning? Very efficient for in
situ engine cleaning. Spray it on with garden sprayer, leave a while
then hose down (it's water soluble) perhaps with pressure washer!


no idea: would that not be soda?


No. It is a petrochemical type thin liquid, sold in motor accessory
shops as engine cleaner degreaser. Same as "Gunk" which does not seem to
be around anymore, at least in my area. It leaves the dirty oily dirt in
a state where it can be hosed off. It is water soluble.

If I have time before going away will look to see if label has more
info.


http://www.h-e-d.co.uk/debJizer.htm made by Deb Products Ltd

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
  #13   Report Post  
Peter Parry
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 27 Apr 2005 08:40:42 +0100, Peter Riocreux
wrote:


I don't know if this comment is based on experience or prejudice, but
IME it works just fine as a dishwashing detergent.


Experience, and the reports from a team of workers who have to use it
at one commercial site.

--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
  #14   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Phil Addison wrote:
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:43:24 GMT, in uk.d-i-y Phil Addison
wrote:


re jizer:

If I have time before going away will look to see if label has more
info.


http://www.h-e-d.co.uk/debJizer.htm made by Deb Products Ltd


thanks, I now have at least a rough idea of what it is, oily solvents.
Paraffin or diesel would do similar job, those are the traditional
options for vehicle degreasing, and than steam cleaning. Emulsify them
in water and the resulting muck might even be water suspendable.


NT

  #15   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 27 Apr 2005 08:22:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:43:24 GMT, in uk.d-i-y Phil Addison
wrote:


re jizer:

If I have time before going away will look to see if label has more
info.


http://www.h-e-d.co.uk/debJizer.htm made by Deb Products Ltd

thanks, I now have at least a rough idea of what it is, oily solvents.
Paraffin or diesel would do similar job, those are the traditional
options for vehicle degreasing, and than steam cleaning. Emulsify them
in water and the resulting muck might even be water suspendable.


Its ages since I've used paraffin but I'm sure Jizer is a lot different,
not least in that after rinsing off the parts dry clean, whereas
paraffin IIRC leaves a greasy film. Anyone that does car oily car
repairs would be well advised to give it a try. I also use it as a
cleaning bath for smaller dismantled car parts. I don't have a steam
cleaner big enough for car steaming so can't comment on that.

RS have more description here http://tinyurl.com/e467h, also seems a bit
cheaper.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me


  #16   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 17:19:35 GMT, in uk.d-i-y Phil Addison
wrote:

On 27 Apr 2005 08:22:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:43:24 GMT, in uk.d-i-y Phil Addison
wrote:


re jizer:

If I have time before going away will look to see if label has more
info.

http://www.h-e-d.co.uk/debJizer.htm made by Deb Products Ltd

thanks, I now have at least a rough idea of what it is, oily solvents.
Paraffin or diesel would do similar job, those are the traditional
options for vehicle degreasing, and than steam cleaning. Emulsify them
in water and the resulting muck might even be water suspendable.


Its ages since I've used paraffin but I'm sure Jizer is a lot different,
not least in that after rinsing off the parts dry clean, whereas
paraffin IIRC leaves a greasy film. Anyone that does car oily car
repairs would be well advised to give it a try. I also use it as a
cleaning bath for smaller dismantled car parts. I don't have a steam
cleaner big enough for car steaming so can't comment on that.

RS have more description here http://tinyurl.com/e467h, also seems a bit
cheaper.


I've checked the label and find the current one I have is a different
brand but the same principle as Jizer. It is Hyperclean from Comma Oils
http://www.commaoil.com/Product%20Pa...hyperclean.htm

Not much of a description on their site (and valeting - well really!)
but I have the 1 litre can which still has the shop sticker on it at
£3.49. Spraying it on with a garden spraybar is quite economical and
easy to reach around (and under) the sump. It does clear that thick
sludge quite well.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
  #18   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

raden wrote:

I've prolly got some safety data sheets on some of these, is it worth


including some relevant bits ?

(or maybe the RS site has a library of them)


I would assume there would be details and instructions on the product
container, unless it were 30 years old. Maybe if this is online it
could be linked to, since it gives more info on each specific chemical:
what do you think?


NT

  #19   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v3
------------------------------





Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaners
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
Less likely candidates
More information




Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use.
Its speed makes it useful for washing carpets, where it saves much
labour.

Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a
detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate. This is a nearly universal low cost human cleaning detergent.
It is very mildly irritant, mildly skin drying, very cheap to make, and
although not currently receiving much publicity, there have been
concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all commercial skin washes and
shampoos contain it, regardless of price, brand, marketing, etc. Such
products are not well suited to general cleaning since they contain
oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.

Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic.
Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable
oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured
for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found,
but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once
castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin
than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to
improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at
hotter temps. Most contain various additives such as optical
brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with
bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials, so
is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving
poor washes, and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which can
irritate skin.

Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent,
alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to
skin. Skin contact best avoided.

Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices. Stain removers designed for a limited range of
stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder bars.

Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted,
meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general
household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ.
In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for
household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often
seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian
supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and
you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate
which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are
not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are
now available.
Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.

Sugar soap: A soap, it has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely
not edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap
don't affect houseold paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long
as theyre rinsed off properly.
Washing painted walls is often an effective way to rejuvenate them and
avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with
fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller colour. It is important
not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of
the chipped area at all. This method can often make a tatty wall look
good again in 60-90 minutes.

Best detergents for general use: if we must pick one for all uses, it
would have to be a mixture of cheap soap washing up liquid and
biological washing powder. This mix gives both speed and thoroughness,
as well as a wide array of stain removers all in one.



Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics,
and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.

White spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Slow to
evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints and uncured epoxy
resin.
Lifts dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and wait a
few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag wetted
with white spirit.
Safe on most plastics, but denature latex rubber gloves.

1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No
longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation
essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.

Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind
after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.

Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to
alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.

Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One
of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and
engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its
flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot
water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of
paraffin.

Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the
least flammable petrochemicals: a naked flame will usually not light
it.

Acetone, aka nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane (squirt can)
foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld it. Nail
varnish may contain other ingredients.

Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other
solvents have failed. Removes tar.

Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue

Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes

Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents.
Turps substitute is white spirit.

Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches. Not
recommended for indoor use.

Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. More volatile than
paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with
most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air,
so it should only be used in very small quantities, with ventilation,
and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of outside, not
indoors.

Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil.

Carbon tetrachloride: powerful general purpose solvent, narcotic, now
banned from domestic use due to toxicity.

Pipe weld solvent:



Oils
----

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
dirt. Penetrating oils make second rate lubricants.

WD40: a penetrating oil mix, repels water.

Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax. Available from superdrug, boots, supemarkets etc. Strong
but pleasant smell.
To remove ballpoint ink, apply the oil to a cotton bud and wipe the
stain with it.

Clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted with oil or soap and
water. Available from superdrug, boots etc. Similar actions to olbas
oil.



Abrasives
---------

- plastic scouring pads

- metal scourers

- Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as toilet cleaner

- bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron. Not
often used.

- sand: ditto. Also sand blasting strips paint and rust

- melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:

- wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all
modern surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters.

- scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.

- brass wire brush: for cleaning suede and soiled clothes. Causes
damage with just one use, so use as little as possible.

- pumice: used for removing hard skin and cleaning obstinate marks from
skin. It does this by scraping the skin surface. This tends to promote
the formation of thick hard skin. It is perhaps ironic that this is
what it is mainly used to treat.

- metal balls: used to clean inaccessible places, eg very narrow necked
vases etc. Insert balls and cleaning liquid, whizz them around, and
remove balls. More versatile than bottle brushes, but less effective.



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt. The remaining bleached dirt acts as a lodging place for more
dirt, hence items cleaned only with bleach get dirty quickly. Bleaches
are useful when all other attempts to remove the dirt have failed.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas
(chlorine was much used for chemical warfare in WW1). Discolours and
damages many fabrics, particularly natural fabrics and natural dyes. A
mild environmental toxin. Kills bacteria and moulds.
Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is bleach plus detergent.
You can thus make it yourself for a fraction the cost, but only if you
know which detergents are safe with bleach and which are not. I use the
cheapie washing up liquid with it if I ever want thick bleach, but
there is no guarantee against an acid formula being sold in future, so
I cannot assure you of its safety in every case.
If you ever encounter unpleasant or choking fumes from bleach, leave
the building immediately. Do not wait to work out what happened, people
have died that way.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids all the downsides of
chlorine bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be
used in laundry. Not as powerful as chlorine bleach, and not such an
effective antibacterial.

Sun and soap: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach discolouration not removed by chlorine or oxygen bleaches.
It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should be kept
wet or damp. The uv in sunlight also has a sterilising effect.



Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. Contain
ammonia.



Limescale removers:
-------------------

Limescale removers are all acids. Many are potentially dangerous and
should be treated with some care. Many will attack metals, skin, cloth,
and so on. They are here listed from weakest to strongest. The first 2
are safe to handle, and eat if pure, but the others are not, and skin
should be rinsed if contact occurs. Never use acids and bleach
together, as toxic chlorine gas is produced.

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires hot water, preferably
boiling, and long immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of
scale. A common food additive. Available from any chemist, typically at
a fraction of the price of brand name supermarket descalers.
Multipurpose appliance descalers are normally citric acid, since its
safe on such a wide range of materials. Citric is also used for washing
machine descaling, but is not altogether effective.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of taps. Restores shine. Heat the tap
first with boiling water. Wash any remaining vinegar off after the job
is done. Distilled vinegar is stronger than wine and cider vinegars.

Phosphoric acid: used in some acid products.

Sulphamic acid: the most popular acid in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast. Stomach acid is 0.2-0.3%
hydrochloric acid, and can digest a wide range of substances. Avoid
contact with skin, eyes, metal, mortars, lime paints, and tile grout.
One of the higher risk cleaners, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale / watermarks from glass, but care must be
taken to keep it off the metal, wood etc. This can be done by using
toilet cleaner, which is thickened, and wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.



Specialist cleaners
-------------------

- wax based paint cleaners etc

- Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. Hydrochloric acid cleaner/etcher for
concrete and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages a brick's
fireskin, very fast toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and
eyes.

- oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and
brick cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but does not
damage the items being cleaned. Toxic residues should be washed away
with plenty of water.

- fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate
items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some
brands of cat litter are fuller's earth.

- Jizer - dissolves greasy engine deposits, can then be washed off with
water.

- vinegar: cleans and resurfaces copper by etching the surface off,
leaving fresh clean copper.
The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten. Diluted vinegar is also an old
favourite for cleaning
glass, best applied with newspaper rather than cloth.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but not
available in litre bottles

- ammonia: used for cleaning jewellery

- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey.
From car accessory shops.

- jewellery dips

- Brasso

- Silvo: converts tarnished silver back to silver.

- stain devils for ballpoint ink: I had no result with it at all. Olbas
oil was quick and effective. Stain devil not recommended.

- Coke: coca cola and pepsi contain dilute phosphoric acid, which will
clean.... what?

Milk: cleans leather

Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Alcohol in
the paste will help to remove tarnish.



Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection. Do not mix
alkalis with acids, rapid reactions may occur, spitting acid or alkali.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again proprietary
stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda - a mild safe alkali, with many
uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.



Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can sometimes be enough to go
through skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is avoided. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park!)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, minor risk of burn injuries.
Removes nicotine, wallpaper, grease,
Small marks can be steam cleaned with a kettle or pan of water. Beware,
steam burns badly.

Lance: A lance on the end of a hose can remove a lot of dirt from
paths, drives, patios, cars etc. However performance does not compare
to pressure washers, which boost the water pressure considerably.



Stains:
-------

Firstly the general purpose stain removers:
Washing powder: the most versatile stain remover is biological washing
powder. Soak the stain overnight.
Bleach: will remove many stains, but discolours and rots natural
fabrics and dyes.
Dry cleaning solvents: will remove many stains from most fabrics and
hard surfaces
Cellulose thinners: dissolve many things - might dissolve what youre
trying to clean though


Ballpoint pen ink:
- alcohol
- olbas oil
Blood:
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water (I think! not sure)
Chewing gum on carpet:
- fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and use the bag
to freeze the gum.
The gum will now break apart.
Cup ring marks:
- clean with bio washing powder
Egg:
- always use cold water to wash egg off, heat will set it in place.
Epoxy resin
- white spirit
- it will peel off with a fingernail from some surfaces
- or pare it down with a knife
Foam, polyurethane squirty type:
- acetone
Fruit:
- salt water, according to Mrs Beeton.
Grease marks:
- wipe/rub with paraffin or dry a cleaning solvent.
- wash with hot water and washing powder
- wash with boiling water and washing soda
- dishwashers are powerful degreasing machines for any items not
admaged by the heat or detergent.
- Mrs Beeton recommends: purified bullocks blood, absorbent pastes,
and even common soap,
are applied to the spot when dry. When the colours are not fast, use
fuller's-earth or
pulverized potter's-clay, laid in a layer over the spot, and press
it with a very hot iron
Label adhesive, from self adhesive labels:
- wet with water, let soak a few minutes, peel or rub off.
- wet the label with white spirit and wait a few minutes. Peel off any
remaining label.
Wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit.
Limescale:
- see the limescale section
Nicotine
- steam cleaning
Paint, emulsion:
- if unset, water and washing powder or washing up liquid, and rub
with a cloth.
Several water changes may be needed.
- if set but soft: soak in dilute ecover overnight, then rub and wash
repeatedly.
- if set and hard: first, break the paint up, this will often remove a
lot of it.
A kitchen knife can do this. Then use a suede brush to remove the
remains.
Suede brushes do damage fabric, so take care to only brush exactly
where the paint is.
- oil type paint removers may soften the paint and allow it to be
washed out by machine
- if all else fails, small paint marks can often be successfully
disguised temporarily with
a fine tipped black marker pen, or permanently with a button,
brooch, patch, decorative
motif, etc.
Paint, lime:
- hot water and washing powder
- acids
Paint, oil based gloss:
- white spirit
Plastic glue:
- acetone
****:
- biological washing powder
Superglue:
- cyanoacrylate debonder, nitromethane
Stubborn stains:
- an overnight soak in bio washing powder solution frequently works.
- cellulose thinners will remove a lot of stains, but also damage some
things.
Tea & coffee
- soak overnight in bio washing powder
- soak in bicarb solution
Toilet scale:
- limescale removing toilet cleaner, ideally containing hydrochloric
acid. HCl is by far the
most effective. It will need applying several times if the amount of
scaling is significant.
Unknown stains:
- Use the general purpose stain treatments above, starting with an
overnight soak in
biological washing powder.
Varnish:
- paint strippers
- olbas oil
- while still wet, water and detergent for water based, or white
spirit for spirit based
Vehicle grease and dirt: see grease
wax:
- apply blotting paper, iron. Repeat. The paper soaks up the molten
wax.
- wash in boiling water with dishwasher detergent
- alcohol
- olbas oil
Wine:
- washing powder
- white grape juice can loosen red wine stains, then wash with washing
powder.
Yellowed cotton:
- bleach sometimes works. If not:
- dip in soapy water, hang in the sun while wet. Allow a day or 2, and
keep it moist.
Very effective, though slow.



Less likely candidates:
-----------------------

Some cleaners are just best avoided...

Blood: Mrs Beeton recommends purified bullocks blood for removing
grease spots.

Saliva: While not one of the favourite household cleaners, its fairly
effective, and is used in quite a few households. Next time you visit
your friend, see if you can work out what has been drool cleaned.

Fire is also used as an occasional specialist cleaner, but not
recomended for general household use.

Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
containes ether which is an early and rather risky general anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful solvent,
but the negative outcomes may somewhat outweigh the benefits.

****: yes, dirt itself is recommended for cleaning by.... Mrs Beeton
again. To clean the char off scorched linen, she recommends: 1/2 pint
of vinegar, 2 oz. of fuller's-earth, 1 oz. of dried fowls' dung,
1/2 oz. of soap, and the juice of 2 large onions. Thank god for the
onions.

Mercury: Used in cleaning powders for silver in Victorian times.
Mercury vapour is quite toxic, and the mercury makes the silver weak
and brittle.



More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store, and reproduced online. Many materials
discussed in the book are outdated, but there is lots of useful stain
removal information, and lots of cooking recipes.




Remaining Questions:
--------------------
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Other stain devils and similar?
What does coke clean or do?
What else do steam cleaners remove or do?

  #21   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.

On 28 Apr 2005 13:24:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

White spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Slow to
evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints and uncured epoxy
resin.
Lifts dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and wait a
few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag wetted
with white spirit.


Its also been said on here that warming with a hair dryer lifts these
labels

Acetone, aka nail varnish remover:

This is dangerous wording as it will encourage people to use it instead.
The remover *contains* acetone - not the same thing.

Lighter fluid:

Used by philatelists to make water marks on stamps visible.

Oils

and lubricants?

What about silicone grease as used for assembling rubbery things, and
compression polypipe fittings

Spray on silicone for lubricating curtain runners (and other plastic
moving parts)

3-in-1 oil - more of a penetrating oil

- metal scourers

You missed my stainless steel one. Its made by Spondex.

Under dishwasher detergent - add that it corrodes some steel cutlery,
makes glass go cloudy?

- metal balls:

aka ball bearings?

Chlorine bleach:

Is it bleach + toilet cleaners (the acid them) that generates HCN(?)
cyanide gas (or is it chlorine?), hence the warnings not to do it on the
containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under
limescale).

Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners.


Produce noxious fumes. Contain ammonia.


Really? never noticed that.

- Jizer -

and similar such as Hyperclean (Comma Oils)

The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten.

drunk surely. Ingested better.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but not
available in litre bottles


No its not. It might work, at your risk, but certainly not the best.

- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey.
From car accessory shops.


Eh? Autoglym is a cutting/polishing paste for restoring paintwork. An up
market t-cut.

- Silvo: converts tarnished silver back to silver.

Nope, that's the dip. Silvo and brasso are both abrasive cleaners.

Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Alcohol in
the paste will help to remove tarnish.


maybe that's what is in Silvo.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again proprietary
stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.


last sentence belongs elsewhere

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.


*Dissolves* aluminium generating H2. Didn't you do the milk top in
washing soda experiment at school?

Milton - mild bleach used for sterilising baby's bottles etc


Steam...
Removes nicotine,

only from smooth surfaces as per my post. ie won't get it off your
fingers. don't try!

Stains:

act quickly before they set in

Blood:
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water (I think! not sure)

yes (probably). also if you just rinse it off before it dries it wont
stain in the first place.

Chewing gum on carpet:
- fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and use the bag
to freeze the gum.
The gum will now break apart.


so if its on smaller items, put it in freezer?

Cup ring marks:
- clean with bio washing powder


Proprietary "ring-away" works well.

Grease marks:
- wipe/rub with paraffin or dry a cleaning solvent.
- wash with hot water and washing powder
- wash with boiling water and washing soda
- dishwashers are powerful degreasing machines for any items not
admaged by the heat or detergent.


put absorbent cloth over grease mark and warm with an iron. I think this
is standard advice for candle grease.

Paint, emulsion:


was once posted here that freezing hardens it then crumble off (as per
chew gum)

Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
containes ether which is an early and rather risky general anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful solvent,


for what?

but the negative outcomes may somewhat outweigh the benefits.


****:

Do we have to use the vernacular?



Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
  #22   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Phil Addison wrote:

I've checked the label and find the current one I have is a different
brand but the same principle as Jizer. It is Hyperclean from Comma

Oils
http://www.commaoil.com/Product%20Pa...hyperclean.htm

Not much of a description on their site (and valeting - well really!)
but I have the 1 litre can which still has the shop sticker on it at
=A33.49. Spraying it on with a garden spraybar is quite economical and
easy to reach around (and under) the sump. It does clear that thick
sludge quite well.

Phil



thanks, added it to the list. Hopefully the humour section will make it
a bit more readable too.


NT

  #23   Report Post  
Ian White
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Phil Addison wrote:
sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.

And a few more comments-on-comments...


Acetone, aka nail varnish remover:

This is dangerous wording as it will encourage people to use it instead.
The remover *contains* acetone - not the same thing.


Most nail varnish removers now contain oil, so will make the cleaning
problem worse.


Chlorine bleach:

Is it bleach + toilet cleaners (the acid them) that generates HCN(?)
cyanide gas (or is it chlorine?), hence the warnings not to do it on the
containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under
limescale).


They generate chlorine gas. "Cyanide" is an urban myth.


Chewing gum on carpet:
- fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and use the bag
to freeze the gum.
The gum will now break apart.


so if its on smaller items, put it in freezer?

For the carpet, an electronics freezer spray (Maplin, Rapid Electronics,
Farnell, RS etc) is much more effective than an ice bag.



Paint, emulsion:


was once posted here that freezing hardens it then crumble off (as per
chew gum)

Same applies.



--
Ian White
  #24   Report Post  
Andrew Gabriel
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Phil Addison writes:
Blood:
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water (I think! not sure)

yes (probably). also if you just rinse it off before it dries it wont
stain in the first place.


Plain soap and water will work for a while even after it dries.
However, eventually the red blood cells break down releasing their
iron, and that's much harder to remove. The thought just occured
to me (although I've never tried it) that a rust remover such as
phosphoric acid might work once that's happened.

--
Andrew Gabriel
  #25   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 29 Apr 2005 08:59:58 +0100, in uk.d-i-y Ian White
wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.

And a few more comments-on-comments...

Chlorine bleach:

Is it bleach + toilet cleaners (the acid them) that generates HCN(?)
cyanide gas (or is it chlorine?), hence the warnings not to do it on the
containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under
limescale).


They generate chlorine gas. "Cyanide" is an urban myth.


Its a fair cop, I stand corrected. Quite glad its not true.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me


  #29   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Phil Addison wrote:
sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.
On 28 Apr 2005 13:24:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:


newly incorporated material snipped


Oils

and lubricants?

What about silicone grease as used for assembling rubbery things, and
compression polypipe fittings

Spray on silicone for lubricating curtain runners (and other plastic
moving parts)

3-in-1 oil - more of a penetrating oil


do those have cleaning uses?


Under dishwasher detergent - add that it corrodes some steel cutlery,


Are you thinking of old copper steel cutlery?


Chlorine bleach:


containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under
limescale).


It is under the chlorine bleach entry, so maybe I'm misunderstanding
you.


Spray and wipe cleaners:


Produce noxious fumes. Contain ammonia.


Really? never noticed that.


they add perfumes to try to disguise it as much as poss.


The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten.

drunk surely. Ingested better.


I cant think of a scenario where someone is liable to drink it, but it
is relatively easy for it to get into food.


- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but

not
available in litre bottles


No its not. It might work, at your risk, but certainly not the best.


Its what a fine art restoration expert said, so maybe we need some good
references.


- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial


Eh? Autoglym is a cutting/polishing paste for restoring paintwork. An

up
market t-cut.


autoglym is a brand name for a range of products.


Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Alcohol

in
the paste will help to remove tarnish.


maybe that's what is in Silvo.


.... or autoglym?


- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains.

Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk

cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the

other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again

proprietary
stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.


last sentence belongs elsewhere


i dont understand


- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes

and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly

solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.


*Dissolves* aluminium generating H2. Didn't you do the milk top in
washing soda experiment at school?


ok, will try again there. I used w soda in an aluminium machine for 10
years with no problem, so need to convey the right level of dissolve.


Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
containes ether which is an early and rather risky general

anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful

solvent,

for what?


everything, anything, brains, liver...


****:

Do we have to use the vernacular?


its just what it is: a better suggestion? Turd? I'll try that

cheers,
NT

  #30   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 29 Apr 2005 04:48:04 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Phil Addison wrote:
sorry, bit cryptic comments, out of time.
On 28 Apr 2005 13:24:07 -0700, in uk.d-i-y
wrote:

newly incorporated material snipped


Oils

and lubricants?

What about silicone grease as used for assembling rubbery things, and
compression polypipe fittings

Spray on silicone for lubricating curtain runners (and other plastic
moving parts)

3-in-1 oil - more of a penetrating oil


do those have cleaning uses?


OK, perhaps not appropriate.

Under dishwasher detergent - add that it corrodes some steel cutlery,


Are you thinking of old copper steel cutlery?


Dunno - whatever some of ours is made of, they have got pits in them.

Chlorine bleach:


containers. If so prob worth restating it here (as well as under
limescale).


It is under the chlorine bleach entry, so maybe I'm misunderstanding
you.


Yes, saw that after. Some duplication there?

Spray and wipe cleaners:


Produce noxious fumes. Contain ammonia.


Really? never noticed that.


they add perfumes to try to disguise it as much as poss.


ok

The liquid runoff is toxic if eaten.

drunk surely. Ingested better.


I cant think of a scenario where someone is liable to drink it, but it
is relatively easy for it to get into food.


Oh - ISWYM. However, I did say I am commenting from POV of 'ignorant'
reader (not difficult;-) so think it needs clarifying - it sounds wierd
as written.

- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings, but

not
available in litre bottles


No its not. It might work, at your risk, but certainly not the best.


Its what a fine art restoration expert said, so maybe we need some good
references.


Maybe he meant 'next' best if you don't have proper restorers
facilities? My cousin is a restorer, but won't see him for at 3 weeks.

- Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial


Eh? Autoglym is a cutting/polishing paste for restoring paintwork. An

up
market t-cut.


autoglym is a brand name for a range of products.


OK, haven't come across the glass one.

Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Alcohol

in
the paste will help to remove tarnish.


maybe that's what is in Silvo.


... or autoglym?


- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains.

Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk

cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the

other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Again

proprietary
stuff with added 'cling' is probably more effective.


last sentence belongs elsewhere


i dont understand


Just reading that para, the "Again proprietary stuff with added 'cling'
is probably more effective" it does not seem to refer to anything. More
effective than what? What is this proprietary stuff? What do you mean by
'added cling'? (I know, but don't assume readers will - otherwise there
is no point in a FAQ if they already know!)

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes

and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly

solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium.


*Dissolves* aluminium generating H2. Didn't you do the milk top in
washing soda experiment at school?


ok, will try again there. I used w soda in an aluminium machine for 10
years with no problem, so need to convey the right level of dissolve.


It causes pitting - obviously the level depends on many things. fact -
it will dissolve the old ally foil milk bottle tops completely (if you
can find any). Don't know effect on Al alloys.

Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
containes ether which is an early and rather risky general

anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful

solvent,

for what?


everything, anything, brains, liver...


I still don't get it. Why are you mentioning this at all? Everything
else you mention what its good for. AFAI (the ignorant reader) knows its
only of use to aero-modellers.

****:

Do we have to use the vernacular?


its just what it is: a better suggestion? Turd? I'll try that

cheers,
NT


Signing off for 2 weeks - have fun with it.

Phil
The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq
Remove NOSPAM from address to email me


  #31   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Phil Addison wrote:
On 29 Apr 2005 04:48:04 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:


newly incorporated material snipped again



Under dishwasher detergent - add that it corrodes some steel

cutlery,

Are you thinking of old copper steel cutlery?


Dunno - whatever some of ours is made of, they have got pits in them.


that also raises the q of whether its due to the detergent. I simply
dont know.


- saliva: still the best cleaner for fine art oil paintings,

but
not
available in litre bottles

No its not. It might work, at your risk, but certainly not the

best.

Its what a fine art restoration expert said, so maybe we need some

good
references.


Maybe he meant 'next' best if you don't have proper restorers
facilities? My cousin is a restorer, but won't see him for at 3

weeks.

He was quite clear about it, saying it was still the best cleaner for
the old oil paintings he was doing. He was restoring a huge collection
of enormous paintings for an estate, so clearly at least someone thinks
hes an expert - but thats about all I know.


Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc.

Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic,

narcotic,
containes ether which is an early and rather risky general

anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful

solvent,


for what?


everything, anything, brains, liver...


I still don't get it. Why are you mentioning this at all? Everything
else you mention what its good for. AFAI (the ignorant reader) knows

its
only of use to aero-modellers.


Its the humour section. It isnt good for anything, as its just too
dangerous. a mixture like that will dissolve all sorts, but what
exactly seems moot. Life is more important than cleaning.


Signing off for 2 weeks - have fun with it.


you too


NT

  #32   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v4
------------------------------





Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaners
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
Less likely candidates
More information




Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use. Do not use it in
washing machines.
Its speed makes it useful for hand washing carpets, where it saves much
labour.

Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a
detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate. This is a nearly universal low cost human-cleaning detergent.
It is very mildly irritant, mildly skin drying, very cheap to make, and
although not currently receiving much publicity, there have been
concerns about its toxicity. Nearly all commercial skin washes and
shampoos contain it, regardless of price, brand, marketing, etc. Such
products are not well suited to general cleaning since they contain
oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.

Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic.
Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable
oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured
for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found,
but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once
castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin
than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to
improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at
higher temps. Most contain various additives such as optical
brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight soak with
bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic materials, so
is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving
poor washes, and clothes with a residue of washing powder, which can
irritate skin.

Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent,
alkaline, requires hot water to work, the most irritant detergent to
skin. Skin contact best avoided. The detergent gradually attacks some
types of glass, making it go cloudy in time.

Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices. Note that stain removers designed for a limited
range of stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder
bars. Use washing powder instead.

Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted,
meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general
household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ.
In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for
household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often
seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian
supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and
you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate
which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are
not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are
now available.
Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.

Sugar soap: A soap, has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely not
edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap don't
affect houseold paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long as
theyre rinsed off properly.
Washing painted walls is sometimes an effective way to rejuvenate them
and avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with
fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller tint. It is important
not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of
the chipped area at all. Less is more in this case. This method can
often make a tatty wall look respectable again in 60-90 minutes and no
materials cost.

Best detergents for general use: if we must pick one for all uses, it
would probably be a mixture of cheap soap washing up liquid and
biological washing powder. This mix gives both speed and thoroughness,
as well as a wide array of stain removers all in one.



Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics,
and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.

White spirit: aka turps substitute. Petroleum distillates. Slow to
evaporate. Dissolves un-set oil based (gloss) paints and uncured epoxy
resin.
Lifts many dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and
wait a few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag
wetted with white spirit.
Safe on most plastics, but not on latex rubber gloves.

1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No
longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation
essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.

Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind
after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.

Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to
ethyl alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.

Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One
of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and
engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its
flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot
water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of
paraffin, often with a little colouring.

Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the
least flammable petrochemical cleaners, a naked flame will usually not
light it.

Acetone, an ingredient in nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane
(squirt can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld
it. Nail varnish may contain other ingredients such as lanolin, oil
etc.

Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other
solvents have failed. Removes tar.

Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue

Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes

Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents.
Turps substitute is white spirit, turpentine is a plant oil.

Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce intense headaches. Not
recommended for indoor use.

Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. More volatile than
paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with
most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air,
so it should only be used in very small quantities, with ventilation,
and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of outside, not
indoors. Prone to causing headache or migraine.

Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil derived
from oranges.

Carbon tetrachloride: general purpose solvent, narcotic, now banned
from domestic use due to toxicity.

Pipe weld solvent:



Oils
----

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
dirt. Penetrating oils make second rate lubricants.

WD40: a penetrating oil mix, repels water.

Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax. Available from superdrug, boots, supemarkets etc. Strong
but pleasant smell.
To remove ballpoint ink, apply the oil to a cotton bud and wipe the
stain with it. Olbas oil is not usually a first choice cleaner at
=A33:50 per 30ml, but for ballpoint it is well recommended.

Clove oil: strips paint, irritant, use diluted with oil or soap and
water. Available from superdrug, boots etc. Similar actions to olbas
oil. Not often used as a cleaner, but occasionally effective and
useful. If you have no olbas or clove, try eucalyptus oil.



Abrasives
---------

Plastic scouring pads: widely used for cleaning dishes. Can usually be
cleaned in a dishwasher to remove insanitary muck build-up.

Metal scourers: there are traditional wire wool scourers, and more
modern stainless steel ribbon balls.

Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as a toilet cleaner

Bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron. Not
often used.

Sand: ditto. Also sand blasting strips paint and rust

Melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:

Wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damages all modern
surfaces and finishes. Effective rust remover for cutlery, but will
scratch and mark the metal. Causes metal splinters. Cause rust stains
wherever theyre stored. Not recommended for general use.

Scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on toughened glass.

Brass wire brush: aka suede brush. For cleaning suede and soiled
clothes. Causes damage with just one use, so use as little as possible.

Pumice: used for removing hard skin and cleaning obstinate marks from
skin. It does this by scraping the skin surface. This tends to promote
the formation of thick hard skin. It is perhaps ironic that this is
what it is mainly used to treat.

Metal balls: aka ball bearings used to clean inaccessible places, eg
very narrow necked vases etc. Insert balls and cleaning liquid, whizz
them around, and remove balls. More versatile than bottle brushes, but
less effective. Any non abrasive denser than water pieces can be used
for this task.



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt. The remaining bleached dirt acts as a lodging place for more
dirt, hence items cleaned only with bleach get dirty quickly. Bleaches
are useful when all other attempts to remove the dirt have failed.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases toxic chlorine gas
(chlorine was much used for chemical warfare in WW1). Toilet cleaners
are usually acid. Discolours and damages many fabrics, particularly
natural fabrics and natural dyes. A mild environmental toxin. Kills
bacteria and moulds.
Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is bleach plus detergent.
You can thus make it yourself for a fraction the cost, but only if you
know which detergents are safe with bleach and which are not. I use the
cheapie washing up liquid with it if I ever want thick bleach, but
there is no guarantee against an acid formula being sold in future, so
I cannot assure you of its safety in every case.
If you ever encounter unpleasant or choking fumes from bleach, leave
the building immediately. Do not wait to work out what happened, people
have died that way.

Milton: dilute chlorine bleach. Milton solution is 1% bleach, 16.5%
salt. Tablets are Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate. Kills bacteria, fungi,
viri and spores. Tablets can be used to disinfect drinking water, 1
tablet in 32 litres.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids all the downsides of
chlorine bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be
used in laundry. Not as powerful as chlorine bleach, and not such an
effective antibacterial.

Sun and soap: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach discolouration not removed by chlorine or oxygen bleaches.
It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should be kept
wet or damp. The uv in sunlight also has a sterilising effect.



Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick and easy hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. Contain
ammonia, plus perfumes to disguise the smell. Ventilation recommended.



Limescale removers:
-------------------

Limescale removers are all acids. Many are potentially dangerous and
should be treated with some care. Many will attack metals, skin, cloth,
and so on. They are here listed from weakest to strongest. The first 2
are safe to handle, and eat if pure, but the others are not, and skin
should be rinsed if contact occurs. Never use acids and bleach
together, as toxic chlorine gas is produced.

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires hot water, preferably
boiling, and long immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of
scale. A common food additive. Available from any chemist, typically at
a fraction of the price of brand name supermarket descalers.
Multipurpose appliance descalers are normally citric acid, since its
safe on such a wide range of materials. Citric is also used for washing
machine descaling, but is not altogether effective.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of taps. Restores shine. Heat the tap
first with boiling water. Wash any remaining vinegar off after the job
is done. Distilled vinegar is stronger than wine and cider vinegars.
Also cleans wood.

Phosphoric acid: used in some acid products.

Sulphamic acid: the most popular acid in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast. Stomach acid is 0.2-0.3%
hydrochloric acid, and can digest a range of substances. Avoid contact
with skin, eyes, metal, mortars, lime paints, and tile grout. One of
the higher risk cleaners, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale / watermarks from glass, but care must be
taken to keep it off the metal, wood etc. This can be done by using
toilet cleaner, which is thickened, and wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.



Specialist cleaners
-------------------

Wax based paint cleaners etc

Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. 30% Hydrochloric acid cleaner/etcher for
concrete and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages a brick's
fireskin, very fast toilet limescale remover, dangerous to skin and
eyes.

Oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and brick
cleaner. Toxic. Less powerful than the acid type, but does not damage
the items being cleaned. Toxic residues should be washed away with
plenty of water.

Fuller's earth: dry powder sometimes used to clean very delicate items
such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent. Some brands of
cat litter are fuller's earth.

Jizer, Hyperclean etc - dissolves greasy engine deposits, can then be
washed off with water.

Vinegar: cleans and resurfaces copper by etching the surface off,
leaving fresh clean copper.
The liquid runoff is toxic if ingested, so ensure it doesn't get onto
food. Diluted vinegar is also an old favourite for cleaning glass, best
applied with newspaper rather than cloth.

Saliva: used for cleaning fine art oil paintings, but sadly not
available in litre bottles

Ammonia: used for cleaning jewellery

Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey.
From car accessory shops.

Jewellery dips

Brasso

Silvo: abrasive silver cleaner.

Stain devils ballpoint number 1: I got no result with it at all. Olbas
oil was quick and effective. Stain devil not recommended.

Coke: coca cola and pepsi contain dilute phosphoric acid, will
clean.... what? car battery terminals, ?rust?

Milk: cleans leather

Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Alcohol in
the paste will help to remove tarnish.

Gilt Frame cleaner: Take sufficient sulphur to give a golden tinge to
about 1 1/2 pint of water, and in this boil 4 or 5 bruised onions or
garlic. Strain off the liquid and let cool. Wash the frames with a soft
brush, and when dry it will come out as bright as new.



Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
In the worst cases blindness can result. Use eye protection. Do not mix
alkalis with acids, rapid reactions may occur, spitting acid or alkali.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. One of the high risk cleaners,
follow instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles. Proprietary
products containing thickener will be more likely to stay where put,
thus be more effective on non horizontal surfaces.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium, and can even dissolve it in some cases.
For washing, a teaspoonful in the machine is good. For drain
unblocking, half a cup of soda in hot water works well, but use eye
protection as it may spit alkali when mixing, and eyes are particularly
vulnerable to alkalis.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, bicarb - a mild safe alkali,
with many uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.

Lime: greasy and dirty laundry may be cleaned by soaking in lime water.
Lime's claims to fame are its cheapness, around =A36 for a 25kg bag from
any builders merchants, and its wide range of uses. The lime water is
made with 1/2 lb. of lime to every 6 quarts of water which has been
boiled for two hours, then left to settle, and strained off when clear.
Each article should be rinsed in this liquor to wet it thoroughly, and
left to soak till the morning, just covered by it when the things are
pressed together. This is another one of Mrs Beetons recipes, and an
old laundry technique. It works, but how it compares to modern
detergents I wouldnt know. The lime reacts with grease to form soap.



Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: The pressure of these can sometimes be enough to go
through skin.
Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or brick paths. Can
damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is avoided. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work. (I once got water on all 4 at once: thankfully I never got out of
the car park)
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for many as well. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose
cleaning. Heat damages some materials, and can occasionally shatter
glass. Minor risk of burn injuries. Removes nicotine from walls,
removes grease, strips wallpaper, cleans tile grout,
Small marks can be steam cleaned with a kettle or pan of water. Beware,
steam burns with more severity than boiling water.

Lance: A lance on the end of a hose can remove a lot of dirt from
paths, drives, patios, cars etc. However performance does not compare
to pressure washers, which boost the water pressure considerably.



Stains:
-------

Prompt action increases the likelihood of removing the stain, dried
stains are not as easy to remove.

Firstly the general purpose stain removers:
Washing powder: the most versatile stain remover is biological washing
powder. Soak the stain overnight.
Bleach: will remove many stains, but discolours and rots natural
fabrics and dyes.
Dry cleaning solvents: will remove many stains from most fabrics and
hard surfaces
Cellulose thinners: dissolve many things - might dissolve what youre
trying to clean though


Ballpoint pen ink:
- alcohol
- olbas oil: apply a drop toa cotton bud, wipe off the ink.
- it is also possible to use perfume, hairspray or aftershave as
solvent, but articles should then be washed right away.
- dry cleaning solvents
Blood:
- remove while wet with a cloth and cold water
- if not dried long, rub repeatedly with soap and water. Keep rinsing
the cleaning cloth to
avoid spreading the loosened stain.
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water
Chewing gum:
- for carpet, fill a bag with ice cubes, add a tablespoon of salt, and
use the bag to freeze
the gum. The gum will now break apart.
- for clothes, put them in the freezer to make the gum brittle. Act
quickly when frozen as it
will thaw rapidly.
- spray on freezer spray, and crumble the frozen gum off.
Cup ring marks:
- clean with bio washing powder
- ring-away
Egg:
- always use cold water to wash egg off, heat will set it in place.
- bio washing powder and cold water
Epoxy resin
- white spirit
- it will peel off with a fingernail from some surfaces
- or pare it down with a knife
Foam, polyurethane squirty type:
- acetone
Fruit:
- fruit and wine-spots: dip in a solution of sal ammonia or alcohol,
and rinse.
- salt water, according to Mrs Beeton.
Grease marks:
- wipe/rub with paraffin or a dry cleaning solvent.
- wash with hot water and washing powder
- wash with boiling water and washing soda
- dishwashers are powerful degreasing machines for any items not
damaged by the heat or strong detergent.
- rub with yellow soap and rinse in hot water
- Mrs Beeton recommends: purified bullocks blood, absorbent pastes,
and even common soap,
are applied to the spot when dry. When the colours are not fast, use
fuller's-earth or
pulverized potter's-clay, laid in a layer over the spot, and press
it with a very hot iron
Ink, fountain pen: dip the part into hot water, then spread it smoothly
on the hand or on the
back of a spoon, pour a few drops of oxalic acid or salts of sorrel
over the ink-spot,
rubbing and rinsing it in cold water till removed.
Label adhesive, from self adhesive labels:
- wet with water, let soak a few minutes, peel or rub off.
- wet the label with white spirit and wait a few minutes. Peel off any
remaining label.
Wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit.
- warm with a hairdryer and peel the label off
Limescale:
- see the limescale section
Nicotine
- steam cleaning
Paint, emulsion:
- if un-set, water and washing powder or washing up liquid, and rub
with a cloth.
Several water changes may be needed.
- if set but soft: soak in dilute ecover overnight, then rub and wash
repeatedly.
- if set and hard: first, break the paint up, this will often remove a
lot of it.
A kitchen knife can do this. Then use a suede brush to remove the
remains.
Suede brushes do damage fabric, so take care to only brush exactly
where the paint is.
- oil type paint removers may soften the paint and allow it to be
washed out by machine
- freeze the item and the paint may crumble off more easily.
- spray on freezer spray, and crumble the frozen paint off.
- if all else fails, small paint marks can often be successfully
disguised temporarily with
a fine tipped black marker pen, or permanently with a button,
brooch, patch, decorative
motif, etc.
Paint, lime:
- on clothes: hot water and washing powder
- on walls: hot water and sugar soap, as this doesnt cause problems
for the next paint coat.
- acids
Paint, oil based gloss:
- white spirit
Plastic glue:
- acetone
Rust:
- oxalic acid will remove iron stains from some materials. However
iron compounds act as a
self mordanting dye with some fabrics, and on these it is not
removable, even by bleach.
****:
- biological washing powder
Superglue:
- nitromethane, aka cyanoacrylate debonder
Stubborn stains:
- an overnight soak in bio washing powder solution frequently works.
- cellulose thinners will remove a lot of stains, but also damage some
things.
Tea & coffee
- soak overnight in bio washing powder
- soak in bicarb solution
Toilet scale:
- limescale removing toilet cleaner, ideally containing hydrochloric
acid. HCl is by far the
most effective. It will need applying several times if the amount of
scaling is significant.
Unknown stains:
- Use the general purpose stain treatments above, starting with an
overnight soak in
biological washing powder.
Varnish:
- paint strippers
- olbas oil
- while still wet, water and detergent for water based, or white
spirit for spirit based
Vehicle grease and dirt: see grease
wax:
- apply blotting paper or absorbent cloth and iron. Repeat until
cleared. The paper soaks up the molten wax.
- wash in boiling water with dishwasher detergent
- alcohol
- olbas oil
Wine:
- washing powder
- white grape juice can loosen red wine stains, then wash with washing
powder.
- dip in a solution of sal ammonia or alcohol, and rinse.
Yellowed cotton:
- bleach sometimes works. If not:
- dip in soapy water, hang in the sun while wet. Allow a day or 2, and
keep it moist.
Very effective, though slow.



Less likely candidates:
-----------------------

Some cleaners are just best avoided...

Blood: Mrs Beeton recommends purified bullocks blood for removing
grease spots.

Fire is also used as an occasional specialist cleaner, but not
recomended for general household use. Gas burners are sometimes used to
clear paths of weeds.

Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
contains ether which is an early and rather risky general anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful solvent,
but the negative outcomes may somewhat outweigh the benefits.

Mercury: Used in cleaning powders for silver in Victorian times.
Mercury vapour is quite toxic, mercury is toxic to eat, and the mercury
makes the silver weak and brittle. Not an ideal cleaner then.

Saliva: While not one of the favourite household cleaners, its fairly
effective, and is used in quite a few households. Contains enzymes.
Next time you visit your friend, see if you can work out what has been
drool cleaned.

Turd: yes, dirt itself is recommended for cleaning by.... Mrs Beeton
again. To clean the char off scorched linen, she recommends: 1/2 pint
of vinegar, 2 oz. of fuller's-earth, 1 oz. of dried fowls' dung,
1/2 oz. of soap, and the juice of 2 large onions. Thank god for the
onions.

Urine: It had to make the list somewhere. In Tudor times clothes were
boiled in urine and wood ash on wash day. Lovely. The 2 react to make a
form of soap, and both are cleaners in their own right. It need hardly
be said that one should not skimp on rinsing.

Hydrofluoric acid: removes most types of dirt. Unfortunately it also
removes whatever the dirt is on, hands, finger bones, pretty well
everything. It is also difficult to store, since it attacks and eats
even the most unreactive of storage materials, glass. Best stored in
glass coated in liquid paraffin, preferably anywhere but here.



More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store, and reproduced online. Many materials
discussed in the book are outdated, but there is lots of useful stain
removal information, and lots of cooking recipes.

The Google uk.d-i-y archive:
http://tinyurl.com/65kwq

The UK.D-I-Y FAQ:
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/



Remaining Questions:
--------------------
Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Other stain devils and similar?
What does coke clean or do?
What else do steam cleaners remove or do?
? sal ammonia -c?
?spirits of sorrel
Most "substances" from e.g. RS from loktite to IPA now come with a
product data sheet listing contents and warnings / hazards. Root around
the RS site=20
swarfega
tough hand clean jobs, wash pdr.

  #34   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Heres the latest version. Any more input welcome.


NT



Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v5
------------------------------




Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaners
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
Less likely candidates
Untested claims
More information
Safety data sheets
Need a section title for




Detergents and soaps
--------------------


Cheapo washing up liquid: probably the fastest detergent, but the least
powerful. Removes most things, very quickly. 15p/litre. It is simply
liquid soap. Dries skin.
Will wash clothes in 2 minutes in cold water, but can not remove
everything, so not recommended for continued use. Do not use it in
washing machines, it creates a greasy film that makes them pong.
Its speed makes it useful for hand washing carpets, where it saves much
labour.
A good lubricant for sash window runners. May be wiped onto just dried
paint to prevent sticking and allow prompt reassembly.

Liquid soaps: Almost all products sold as liquid soaps are really a
detergent called sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate, aka sodium laureth
sulphate, plus various additives. This is a nearly universal low cost
human-cleaning detergent, and a known mild irritant. Nearly all brands
contain it. Such products are not well suited to general cleaning since
they contain oils and fats, and are a relatively high price per litre.

Quality washing up liquids: much better to skin than the cheapie ones,
remove more types of dirt. But not as fast acting as the low cost soap
type.

Ecover washing up liquid: much better on skin than other washing
liquids. Can strip some household paints. Non toxic.
Can also be used as body wash and shampoo: mix a very little vegetable
oil in for drier skin and hair. Palm oil and castor oil are favoured
for hair. (Engine oil is superb on hair, as many mechanics have found,
but not advisable due to possible toxicity. Engine oils were once
castor oil, so there is some similarity between the 2.)

Washing powder: more powerful than washing liquids, effective
degreasing with hot water. Alkaline. More drying and irritant to skin
than any washing up liquid. Biological powders also contain enzymes to
improve their cleaning action at 40C, but the enzymes stop working at
higher temps. Washing powders various additives such as stain removers,
optical brighteners etc, and powdered cardboard filler. An overnight
soak with bio powder can remove a wide range of stains and organic
materials, so is a good first line of treatment for unknown stains.

Washing powder tablets: take time to dissolve, thus give less cleaning
time than powders. Also some brands fail to dissolve in time, giving
poor washes, and clothes with a residue of irritant washing powder.

Dishwasher detergent, powders and tablets: most powerful detergent,
alkaline, requires hot water to work well. The most irritant detergent
to skin, skin contact best avoided. The detergent gradually attacks
some types of glass, making it go cloudy in time.

Dishwasher detergent, liquid: I know nowt about em.

Wonder / miracle / magic cleaners / stain removers: ordinary detergents
sold at steep prices. Note that stain removers designed for a limited
range of stains are a different thing to these general purpose wonder
bars. Use washing powder instead.

Soap bars: Soap intended for skin cleaning is normally superfatted,
meaning it contains free fat. This makes it poorly suited to general
household cleaning, and so outside the scope of this FAQ.
In poorer countries a wider variety of soaps are found, with bars for
household cleaning, shampooing, laundry etc, but these are not so often
seen in Britain. If you want to find them, look for them at Indian
supermarkets. They are often sold in big bars a foot or so long, and
you slice off a new soap bar when you need one. The colours indicate
which type of soap it is. They make very economical cleaners, but are
not widely available, not widely used, and better cleaning products are
now popular.
Soaps may be used for cleaning gold and silver jewellery.

Sugar soap: A soap, has nothing to do with sugar, and is definitely not
edible. Used primarily to clean paintwork, as traces of this soap don't
affect household paints. Other soaps may be used instead so long as
they're rinsed off properly.
Washing painted walls is sometimes an effective way to rejuvenate them
and avoid the need to repaint. Little paint chips can be filled in with
fresh paint of the same or very slightly duller tint. It is important
not to use a brighter shade, nor to let new paint overlap the edges of
the chipped area at all. Less is more in this case. This method can
often make a tatty wall look respectable again in 60-90 minutes with no
materials cost. Whatever your painting regime, this method can make
walls look better between repaints.




Solvents
--------

Many solvents are volatile, flammable, explosive, toxic, melt plastics,
and/or act as drugs. Ensure good ventilation.

White spirit: Petroleum distillates. Slow to evaporate. Dissolves
un-set oil based (gloss) paints, good for paintbrush cleaning. Not the
ideal solvent for thinning oil paints, but usable. Turps sbustitute is
better for that.
Dissolves uncured epoxy resin.
Lifts many dried on self adhesive labels: wet the label with it and
wait a few minutes, then peel off and wipe the residue away with a rag
wetted with white spirit.
Safe on most plastics, but not on latex rubber gloves.
Vapour explosive and toxic, ventilate thoroughly.
http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/WH/white_spirits.html

Turps substitute. Very similar to white spirit, but cheaper and not
ideal for thinning paint.

1,1,1 trichloroethylene: aka spot dry cleaner, tippex thinner. No
longer sold, but still in many cupboards. Adequate ventilation
essential. Never place dry cleaned goods in a closed car.

Alcohol: degreaser. Aka surgical spirit, rubbing alcohol, methylated
spirits, ethanol, ethyl alcohol. Meths leaves purple dye residue behind
after it evaporates. Removes fresh ballpoint ink.

Isopropyl alcohol: aka isopropanol. Almost identical properties to
ethyl alcohol. Screen wash, head cleaner.

Paraffin: very slow to evaporate, repels insects, dissolves oils. One
of the safer solvents. Good for degreasing vehicle underneaths and
engine compartments. Apply with a brush, brush off. Where its
flammabilitiy is a problem, clean up afterwards with soap and hot
water, or a pressure washer. Lamp oil is a lower odour form of
paraffin, often with a little colouring.

Diesel: Vehicle and parts degreaser similar to paraffin. One of the
least flammable petrochemical cleaners, a naked flame will usually not
light it.

Acetone, an ingredient in nail varnish remover: dissolves polyurethane
(squirt can) foam. Dissolves perspex and can be used to solvent weld
it. Nail varnish remover may contain other ingredients such as lanolin,
oil etc.

Cellulose thinners: a powerful mix of solvents, often used when other
solvents have failed. Removes tar.

Nitromethane: aka cyanoacrylate debonder, dissolves superglue

Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes

Turpentine and turps substitute: gloss/eggshell/oil paint solvents.
Turpentine is a plant oil. Turps substitute is similar to white spirit,
but not the same.

Petrol: flammable, explosive, fumes can produce a range of serious
health problems. Not recommended for indoor use. Contains benzene, a
carcinogen, not recommended for hand cleaning. Use something less toxic
whenever possible.
http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/BE/benzene.html

Lighter fluid: petroleum distillates again. Much more volatile than
paraffin, diesel or white spirit. Removes many glues. In common with
most petrochemicals, the vapour can form an explosive mixture with air,
so it should only be used in very small quantities, with good
ventilation, and cotton buds etc with it on should be disposed of
outside not indoors.

Orange oil: aka limonene, Sticky stuff remover. A solvent oil derived
from oranges. Lemon oil is similar.

Carbon tetrachloride: general purpose solvent, narcotic, now banned
from domestic use due to toxicity.

Pipe weld solvent: intended for dissolving and welding pvc pipes. Dont
use on plastic!



Oils
----

Penetrating oil: oil and solvent mix, helps to free rusted parts,
dissolves oils and greases, leaves an oil film behind which attracts
dirt. Penetrating oils make second rate lubricants. WD40 is a well
known brand.

Olbas oil: a solvent plant oil mixture. Removes ballpoint ink, paint,
varnish, wax. Available from superdrug, boots, supemarkets etc. Strong
but pleasant smell.
To remove ballpoint ink, apply half a drop to a cotton bud and wipe the
stain with it. Olbas oil is not usually a first choice cleaner at
=A33:50 per 30ml, but for ballpoint ink it is recommended.

Clove oil: another solvent oil. strips paint, irritant, use diluted
with oil or soap and water. Available from superdrug, boots etc.
Similar actions to olbas oil. Not often used as a cleaner, but
occasionally effective and useful.

Eucalyptus oil: similar properties to clove oil. Olbas, clove and
eucalyptus all have strong but pleasant smell.

Vegetable oil: Dissolves vehicle grime, linseed oil, tar and wood
resin. Lubricates wood screws for easier driving (1 drop on the tip is
enough). Prevents bolts and nuts sticking, allowing issue-free
dismantling years later. Vegetable oil is a low cost mixture of various
edible plant oils.

Margarine: There are several types of marge, but all contain edible
fats or oils emulsified with water. Marge is not an ideal cleaner, but
when nothing else is to hand it can be used to dissolve vehicle grime,
and possibly tar and wood resin. It can also be used as a lubricant
when its limited life and water content are not a problem.




Abrasives
---------

Plastic scouring pads: widely used for cleaning dishes. Should be
regularly cleaned to remove insanitary muck build-up. Can be cleaned in
a dishwasher, at moderate temperatures.

Metal scourers: there are traditional wire wool scourers, and more
modern stainless steel ribbon bundles.

Wire wool pads: suited only to unfinished cast iron, damage all modern
surfaces and finishes. Effective rust spot remover for cutlery, but
will scratch and mark the metal. Cause metal splinters. Cause rust
stains wherever theyre stored. Can remove loose and flaking paint.
surprisingly, theyre flammable. Not recommended for general use.

Ajax: abrasive powder and bleach, once popular as a toilet cleaner

Bath brick: strong abrasive suited only to unfinished cast iron. Not
often used.

Sand: a harsh abrasive. Sand blasting strips paint rust and dirt, but
not many houses need that level of cleaning on a regular basis.

Melamine sponge, aka flash cleaning block:

Scrapers and razor blades: simple mechanical cleaners mostly used on
glass. Metal blades can permanently mark the glass. Do not use on
toughened glass.

Brass wire brush: aka suede brush. For cleaning suede and soiled
clothes. Cause damage with just one use, so use as little as possible,
and use when other methods have failed.

Pumice: used for removing hard skin and cleaning obstinate marks from
skin. It does this by scraping the skin surface. This tends to promote
the formation of thicker hard skin. It is perhaps ironic that this is
what it is mainly used to treat.

Metal balls: aka ball bearings used to clean inaccessible places, eg
very narrow necked vases etc. Insert balls and cleaning liquid, whizz
them around, remove balls. More versatile than bottle brushes, but less
effective. Any non abrasive objects denser than water can be used for
this task, assorted nuts and washers are as effective.



Bleaches:
---------

Bleaches sterilise and remove the dirt's colour, but don't remove the
dirt itself. The remaining bleached dirt acts as a lodging place for
more dirt, hence items cleaned only with bleach get dirty quickly.
Bleaches are useful when all other attempts to remove the dirt have
failed. Bleaches are also toxic and antibacterial.

Chlorine bleach: the most common household bleach. Irritant to lungs,
exacerbates asthma. Contact with acids releases high toxicity chlorine
gas (chlorine was used for chemical warfare in WW1). Toilet cleaners
are usually acidic, and must not be mixed with bleach. Discolours and
damages many fabrics, particularly natural fabrics and natural dyes. A
mild environmental toxin. Kills bacteria and moulds.
Thick bleach is not a stronger bleach mix, it is bleach plus detergent.
You can mix detergent with thin bleach if you need it, but only if you
know which detergents are safe with bleach and which are not. I use the
cheapie washing up liquid with it if I ever want thick bleach, but
there is no guarantee against an acidic formula being sold in future,
so I cannot assure you of its safety in every case.
If you ever encounter unpleasant or choking fumes from bleach, leave
the building immediately. Do not wait to work out what happened or stop
it, as little as a few breaths can kill.
http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/CH/chlorine.html

Milton: dilute chlorine bleach. Milton solution is 1% bleach, 16.5%
salt. Tablets are Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate. Kills bacteria, fungi,
viri and spores. Tablets can be used to disinfect drinking water, 1
tablet in 32 litres.

Oxygen bleach: aka hydrogen peroxide, avoids most of the downsides of
chlorine bleaches, and does not discolour fabrics. Oxygen bleach can be
used in laundry. Not as powerful as chlorine bleach, and not such an
effective antibacterial.
Forms high toxicity compounds when combined with many common materials,
avoid contact with wood, asbestos, soil, rust, copper, iron, steel,
alcohol, and other cleaning agents. Rinse away well after use. Can
cause serious eye injury.
http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/HY/hy...xide_30pc.html

Sun and soap: soaping clothes and hanging them in sunlight while wet
can bleach discolouration not removed by chlorine or oxygen bleaches.
It is a slower process, taking many hours. The clothes should be kept
wet or damp. The uv in sunlight also has some sterilising effect.




Spray and wipe cleaners:
------------------------

Quick hard surface cleaners. Produce noxious fumes. Contain ammonia,
plus perfumes to disguise the smell. Ventilation recommended.




Limescale removers:
-------------------

Limescale removers are all acids. Many are potentially dangerous and
should be treated with some care. Many will attack metals, skin, cloth,
and so on. They are here listed from weakest to strongest. Vinegar and
citric are safe to handle, and eat if pure, but the others are not, and
skin should be rinsed if contact occurs. Never use acids and bleach
together, as toxic chlorine gas is produced.

Citric acid: weak limescale remover. Requires hot water, preferably
boiling, and long immersion time. Only effective on thin layers of
scale. A common food additive. Available from any chemist, typically at
a fraction of the price of brand name supermarket descalers.
Multipurpose appliance descalers are normally citric acid, since its
safe on such a wide range of materials. Citric is also used for washing
machine descaling, but is not altogether effective.

Vinegar: good for minor descaling of taps. Restores shine. Heat the tap
first with boiling water. Wash any remaining vinegar off after the job
is done. Distilled vinegar is stronger than wine and cider vinegars.
Vinegar also cleans wood and glass.

Phosphoric acid: used in some acid products. Phosphoric acid can be
used to clean stainless steel, dissolves limescale and degreases.

Sulphamic acid: the most popular acid in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more. Removes drain
blockages, including grease, fat, teabags, cardboard, faeces and
vegetable matter.

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast. Stomach acid is 0.2-0.3%
hydrochloric acid, and can digest a range of substances. Avoid contact
with skin, eyes, metal, mortars, lime paints, and tile grout. A high
toxicity cleaner, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale / watermarks from glass, but care must be
taken to keep it off the metal or wood frame. This can be done by using
toilet cleaner, which is thickened, and wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.




Specialist cleaners
-------------------

Brick acid: aka patio cleaner. 10-30% Hydrochloric acid cleaner/etcher
for concrete and brick. Eats concrete and mortar, damages a brick's
fireskin, very fast toilet limescale remover. A high toxicity cleaner,
dangerous to skin and eyes. Removes set concrete.

Oxalic acid, also sold as patio cleaner: non-etching concrete and brick
cleaner. High toxicity. Less powerful than the acid type, but does not
damage the items being cleaned. Toxic residues should be washed away
with plenty of water. Avoid any contact with silver. Removes fountain
pen ink, rust, tea and coffee.
http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/OX/ox...dihydrate.html

Enzyme based odour removers:

Fuller's earth: dry powder or granules sometimes used to clean very
delicate items such as baby animal skin gloves. It is a dry absorbent.
Some brands of cat litter are fuller's earth. Fuller's earth is a clay.
Also used to soak up oil spills. Fullers earth can be disposed of
safely on the garden, providing whatever it has soaked up is also safe
for garden disposal.

Jizer, Hyperclean etc - dissolves greasy engine deposits, can then be
washed off with water.

Vinegar: cleans and resurfaces copper by etching the oxidised surface
off, leaving fresh clean copper. Also works with some other oxidised or
corroded metals. The liquid runoff is toxic if ingested, so ensure it
doesn't get onto food. Adding salt to the vinegar makes it much more
powerful. Tomato ketchup also removes copper corrosion, it contains the
necessary mild acid and salt already.
Diluted vinegar is also an old favourite for cleaning glass, best
applied with newspaper rather than cloth.

Saliva: used for cleaning fine art oil paintings, but not available in
litre bottles. Contains cleaning enzymes.

Ammonia: used for cleaning jewellery

Autoglym glass cleaner: one of the best commercial glass cleaner
preparations, but pricey. From car accessory shops.

Jewellery dips

Brasso

Silvo: abrasive silver cleaner.

Stain devils ballpoint number 1: I got no result with it at all. Olbas
oil was quick and effective. Stain devil not recommended.

Coke: coca cola and pepsi contain very dilute phosphoric acid. A weak
cleaner for copper, lead, car battery terminals, and other corroded
metals. Vinegar and salt is much more effective.

Saddle soap: an old leather cleaner, damages the leather.

Hartshorn powder: used to clean silver plate. Wipe a hartshorn and
water paste onto the silver, allow to dry, and brush off. Adding
alcohol to the paste will help to remove tarnish.

Swarfega: a grease and dirt hand cleaner developed for motor mechanics.
The gel contains paraffin, a good solvent for most motor grease.




Alkalis
-------

The stronger alkalis can cause serious eye injury. The damage takes
time to occur, so may not prompt a person to seek medical assistance.
Heavy damage can occur. Use eye protection. Do not mix alkalis with
acids, rapid reactions may occur, spitting acid or alkali.

- caustic soda: strong alkali, cleans ovens, unblocks drains. Toxic,
irritant, can cause serious eye injury. A high risk cleaner, follow
instructions with care.
It is important to add crystals to water gradually, and never the other
way round. Use rubber gloves, plastic apron, goggles.
Proprietary products containing thickener will be less likely to run
off the workpiece, and be more effective at cleaning on non-horizontal
surfaces.

- washing soda: degreases when used with boiling water. For clothes and
drain unblocking. The majority of drain blockages are mostly solidified
fat. Discolours aluminium, and can dissolve it in some cases.
For washing, a teaspoonful in the machine is good, with a hot wash. For
drain unblocking, half a cup of soda in hot water works well, but use
eye protection as it may spit alkali when mixing, and eyes are
particularly vulnerable to alkalis.

- sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, bicarb - a mild safe alkali,
with many uses:
For brushing teeth
Removes tea and coffee stains
Cleaning ovens
Reduces laundry odour: add to final rinse
Removes black scuff marks from floors
Cleans plastic / fibreglass baths
Freshens sour dishcloths: soak in water and bicarb
Deodorises laundry awaiting washing: sprinkle in the basket.
Removes crayon marks: use a brush and soda paste.
cleans teeth, use as tooth powder.

Lime: A now outdated cleaner for greasy and dirty laundry. Soak it in
lime water. Lime's claims to fame are its cheapness, around =A36 for a
25kg bag from any builders merchants, and its wide range of uses. The
lime water is made with 1/2 lb. of lime to every 6 quarts of water
which has been boiled for two hours, then left to settle, and strained
off when clear. Each article should be rinsed in this liquor to wet it
thoroughly, and left to soak till the morning, just covered by it when
the things are pressed together. This is another one of Mrs Beetons
recipes, and an old laundry technique. It works, but how it compares to
modern detergents I wouldnt know. The lime reacts with grease to form
soap.
Lime paste also strips paint. It is caustic.




Water cleaners:
---------------

Pressure washers: Effective on very hardy materials eg concrete or
brick paths. Can damage brickwork when used repeatedly. Can remove
paint in some cases.
Good for cleaning undersides of cars etc, as long as excessive pressure
is avoided. The one caveat is that water on brake pads makes them not
work at all.
Good for unblocking drains, though the splashback with sewers isnt much
fun.
The pressure of these can sometimes be enough to go through skin.
Pressure washer FAQ link.

Steam cleaners: Effective at removing some types of dirt, ineffective
for some. Useful for some jobs, but not for general purpose cleaning.
Heat damages some materials, and can occasionally shatter glass. Minor
risk of burn injuries. Removes nicotine from walls, removes grease,
strips wallpaper, cleans tile grout,
Occasional small marks can be steam cleaned with a kettle or pan of
water. But beware, steam burns with more severity than boiling water.

Lance: A lance on the end of a hose can remove a lot of dirt from
paths, drives, patios, cars etc. Performance does not compare to
pressure washers, which boost the water pressure greatly.




Stains:
-------

Prompt action increases the likelihood of removing the stain, dried
stains are usually tougher to remove.

Firstly the general purpose stain removers:
Washing powder: the most versatile stain remover is biological washing
powder. Soak the stain overnight, or saturate and rub the stain.
Bleach: will remove many stains, but discolours and rots natural
fabrics and dyes.
Dry cleaning solvents: will remove many stains from most fabrics and
hard surfaces.
Cellulose thinners: dissolve many things, but might also dissolve what
youre trying to clean.


Blood:
- remove while wet with a cloth and cold water
- if not dried long, rub repeatedly with soap and water. Keep rinsing
the cleaning cloth to
avoid spreading the loosened stain.
- soak in biological washing powder in cold water
Blutack lumps:
- to remove blue remnants from walls, roll a bigger lump over the
remnants repeatedly
- turps, can attack some carpet backings
- white spirit, can attack some carpet backings
- citrus oil cleaners, but they can sometimes strip carpet colour
- many other solvents will also soften or dissolve it
- for carpet, fill a bag with ice cubes, with some crushed if posible,
add a tablespoon of
salt, and use the bag to freeze the blutack. It will break apart.
- for clothes, put them in the freezer to make blutack brittle. Act
very quickly when frozen
as it will thaw rapidly.
- spray on freezer spray, and crumble the frozen blutack off.
Blutack stains after the tack has been removed:
- to remove oily marks left behind, lighter fluid, dry cleaning fluid.
- a citrus oil cleaner.
Chewing gum:
- for carpet, fill a bag with ice cubes, with some crushed if
possible, add a tablespoon of
salt, and use the bag to freeze the gum. The gum will now break
apart.
- for clothes, put them in the freezer to make the gum brittle. Act
quickly when frozen as it
will thaw rapidly.
- spray on freezer spray, and crumble the frozen gum off.
- peanut butter dissolves chewing gum on hair and fabrics.
Cup ring marks:
- clean with bio washing powder
- Ring-away
- if wine, clean with clear fruit juice, preferably white grape juice,
then clean off the
fruit juice.
Egg:
- always use cold water to wash egg off, heat will set it in place.
- bio washing powder and cold water
- scrape it off with a plastic scourer. Wet to soften first if dried.
Engine grime:
- swarfega
- paraffin
- cooking oil, which can then be cleaned off with most ordinary hand
cleaning detergents.
- washing powder, apply to hands dry and add water. Effective, but
dries skin.
- margarine will also work if nothing better is to hand.
Epoxy resin:
- white spirit
- cellulose thinners if not yet set
- isopropyl alcohol if not set
- Loctite 7855 hand cleaner
- it will peel off with a fingernail from some surfaces
- or pare it down with a knife
Foam, polyurethane squirty type:
- acetone
Fruit:
- fruit and wine-spots: dip in a solution of sal ammonia or alcohol,
and rinse.
- salt water
- clean with a colourless fruit juice, then wash the juice off.
Grease marks:
- wipe / rub with paraffin or a dry cleaning solvent.
- wash with hot water and washing powder
- wash with boiling water and washing soda
- dishwashers are powerful degreasing machines for any items not
damaged by the heat or strong
detergent.
- rub with yellow soap and rinse in hot water
- When the colours are not fast, use fuller's-earth or pulverized
potter's-clay, laid in a
layer over the spot, and press it with a very hot iron. The powder
absorbs the grease.
Ink, Ballpoint pen:
- alcohol
- olbas oil: apply a drop toa cotton bud, wipe off the ink.
- dry cleaning solvents
- it is also possible to use perfume, hairspray or aftershave as
solvent, but articles should
then be washed right away.
Ink, fountain pen:
- milk (preferably not skimmed)
- dip the part into hot water, pour a few drops of oxalic acid or
salts of sorrel over the
ink-spot, rub and rinse in cold water till removed.
Label adhesive, from self adhesive labels:
- wet with water, let soak a few minutes, peel or rub off.
- wet the label with white spirit and wait a few minutes. Peel off any
remaining label.
Wipe the residue away with a rag wetted with white spirit.
- warm with a hairdryer and peel the label off
- paraffin, and other similar petroleum distillates
- WD40
- peroxide
Limescale:
- see the limescale section
Linseed oil:
- scrub with ecover washing up liquid, cooking oil or shampoo, then
wash as usual.
Nicotine
- steam clean
Paint, emulsion:
- if un-set, water and washing powder or washing up liquid, and rub
with a cloth.
Several water changes may be needed.
- if set but soft: soak in dilute ecover overnight, then rub and wash
repeatedly. Dont let it
dry until all is removed.
- if set and hard: first, break the paint up, this will often remove a
lot of it.
A kitchen knife can do this. Then use a suede brush to remove the
remains.
Suede brushes do damage fabric, so take care to only brush exactly
where the paint is.
- oil type paint removers may soften the paint and allow it to be
washed out by machine
- freeze the item and the paint may crumble off more easily.
- spray on freezer spray, and crumble the frozen paint off.
- if all else fails, small paint marks can often be successfully
disguised temporarily with
a fine tipped waterproof black marker pen, or permanently with a
button, brooch, patch,
decorative motif, etc.
Paint, lime:
- on clothes: hot water and washing powder
- on walls: hot water and sugar soap. Other soaps or detergents can be
used if care is taken
to remove every bit of remaining detergent.
- acids
Paint, oil based gloss:
- white spirit, turps substitute.
- olbas or clove oil may also soften and loosen individual paint
spots.
- paint strippers
- lime and water paste (caustic)
- caustic soda (? needs confirmation)
Paint spills, emulsion:
- scoop up as much paint as possible. Use water and washing up liquid
to wash the rest away.
Do not delay, as once it begins to dry it is very much more
difficult to remove. It may take
many washings and many changes of clean water, but a carpet can look
like new again if you
persist. Allow upto an hour of washing to clean up a typical paint
can spill.
Paint spills, oil based (eg gloss or eggshell):
- Remove as much paint as poss mechanically, clean repeatedly with
white spirit or turps
substitute, and leave item outdoors for solvent to evaporate.
- Other pettroleum distillates can be used if necessary.
Plastic glue:
- acetone
Resin from conifer trees and pine:
- olive oil. After removal, clean off the oil with soap and hot water
- white spirit or turps
Rust:
- oxalic acid will remove iron stains from some materials. However
iron compounds act as a
self mordanting dye with some fabrics, and on these it is not
removable, even by bleach.
Rust spots on chrome:
- WD40
- biological washing powder
****:
- bio washing powder
Superglue:
- nitromethane, aka cyanoacrylate debonder
Stubborn stains:
- an overnight soak in bio washing powder solution frequently works.
- cellulose thinners will remove a lot of stains, but also damage some
things.
Tar:
- swarfega
- paraffin. Other petroleum distillates should also work.
- olive oil. Remove the olive oil with hot water and soap etc.
Tea & coffee
- soak overnight in bio washing powder
- soak in bicarb solution
- soak in peroxide or oxygen bleach
- oxalic acid
Toilet scale:
- limescale removing toilet cleaner, ideally one containing
hydrochloric acid. HCl is by far
the most effective. It will need applying several times if the
amount of scaling is
significant.
Unknown stains:
- Use the general purpose stain treatments above, starting with an
overnight soak in
bio washing powder.
Varnish:
- paint strippers
- olbas oil
- while still wet, water and detergent for water based, or white
spirit for spirit based
Vehicle grease and dirt: see grease
Wax:
- apply blotting paper, absorbent cloth, or fuller's earth, and iron.
Repeat until cleared.
The absorbent soaks up the molten wax.
- wash in boiling water with dishwasher detergent
- alcohol
- olbas oil (? confirm)
Wine:
- washing powder
- white grape juice can loosen red wine stains, then wash with washing
powder.
Other colourless fruit juices might also work.
- dip in a solution of sal ammonia or alcohol, and rinse.
Yellowed cotton:
- bleach sometimes works. If not:
- dip in soapy water, hang in the sun while wet. Allow a day or 2, and
keep it moist.
Very effective, though slow.




Less likely candidates:
-----------------------

Some cleaners are just best avoided...


Blood: Mrs Beeton recommends purified bullocks blood for removing
grease spots.

Fire is also used as an occasional specialist cleaner, but not
recomended for general household use. Gas burners are sometimes used to
clear paths of weeds.

Glo-fuel for model aircraft: various different formulae exist,
containing methanol, oils, solvents such as ether, etc. Glo-fuel is
highly volatile, highly flammable, explosive, very toxic, narcotic,
contains ether which is an early and rather risky general anaesthetic
from the Victorian era, and the fumes can be fatal. A powerful solvent,
but the negative outcomes may somewhat outweigh the benefits.

Mercury: Used in cleaning powders for silver in Victorian times.
Mercury vapour is toxic, mercury is toxic to eat, and the mercury makes
the silver weak and brittle. Not an ideal cleaner.

Saliva: While not one of the favourite household cleaners, its fairly
effective, and is used in some households. Contains enzymes. Next time
you visit your friend, see if you can work out what has been drool
cleaned.

Turd: yes, dirt itself is recommended for cleaning by.... Mrs Beeton
again. To clean the char off scorched linen, she recommends: 1/2 pint
of vinegar, 2 oz. of fuller's-earth, 1 oz. of dried fowls' dung,
1/2 oz. of soap, and the juice of 2 large onions. Thank god for the
onions.

Urine: It had to make the list somewhere. In Tudor times clothes were
boiled in urine and wood ash on wash day. Lovely. The 2 react to make a
form of soap, and both are cleaners in their own right to some extent.
It need hardly be said that one should not skimp on rinsing.

Hydrofluoric acid: removes most types of dirt. Unfortunately it also
removes whatever the dirt is on, hands, finger bones, pretty well
everything. It is also difficult to store, since it attacks and eats
even the most unreactive of storage materials, glass. Stored in glass
coated in liquid paraffin, preferably anywhere but here.




Untested claims:
----------------

Whether these will work or not is not known. If you try any of these,
let us know how it went.

Gilt Frame cleaner: Take sufficient sulphur to give a golden tinge to
about 1 1/2 pint of water, and in this boil 4 or 5 bruised onions or
garlic. Strain off the liquid and let cool. Wash the frames with a soft
brush, and when dry it will come out as bright as new. From Mrs Beeton.

When a pot or pan is burnt, stand overnight with enough Coke in to
cover the bottom of pot completely. By morning it should be removed.

Milk removes ballpoint pen ink

Hydrogen peroxide and household soap removes many stains.

Unidentified absorbent pastes have been reported as successful for
removing grease spots.




More information:
-----------------

Mrs Beeton: possibly the most famous writer on this subject, she
produced a series of household guidance books a century ago, which
include a thorough section on cleaning materials and methods. Available
in any second hand book store, and reproduced online. Many materials
discussed in the book are outdated, but there is lots of useful stain
removal information, lots of cooking recipes, and discussion of how to
manage servants.

The Google uk.d-i-y archive:
http://tinyurl.com/65kwq

The UK.D-I-Y FAQ:
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/




Safety data sheets:
-------------------

Safety data sheets and information:
http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/
http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/~hmc/hsci/...cals_list.html


Data sheets need some cautious interpretation, for example one for
cinnamon (the popular spice)
http://hazard.com/msds/mf/gsc/files/md101199.html
says:

INGESTION EFFECTS : Harmful if swallowed.
INGESTION : Wash out mouth with water and give water to dilute provided
person is conscious. Contact a physician or local poison control center
immediately.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING : Chemical resistant clothing is recommended.
EYE PROTECTION : Use goggles or face shield is recommended.

I had no idea how dangerous cake making was!


A lot of cleaners are highly toxic to birds, and must not be used in a
room with them.




Need a section title for:
-------------------------

Microwaves: boil water in the oven for a few minutes, it softens the
dirt and makes cleaning easy.

Oven: sprinkle a layer (about 1.2 inch deep or so) of baking soda, then
mist heavily from a spray bottle of water. Let sit overnight, and that
should do it. Can also use this method to remove burnt on muck from
pots and pans etc.

uPVC: cream cleaner, such as Cif

tough hand clean jobs, undissolved washing powder and water.

Baths can be cleaned in about 30 seconds with a large stiff duster.
Most dusters are too soft for the job.




Remaining Questions:
--------------------

Where does cream cleaner fit into this list?
Other stain devils and similar?

What do steam cleaners remove and do, and not remove?

screwfix bath rubber 79117... what is it?

borax, what does it do? I know its used with laundry, but thats all.

is caustic soda usful for paint removal?

Wax based paint cleaners etc eg paintklenz... ? what is it?

is olbas oil good for wax removal?

  #35   Report Post  
Phil Addison
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 28 May 2005 14:33:49 -0700, in uk.d-i-y wrote:

Heres the latest version. Any more input welcome.


Is it finished now, and ready for publishing? I'm back in UK so will be
looking at it shortly.

Phil


  #37   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

wrote:

Heres the latest version. Any more input welcome.


NT



Cleaners and Detergents FAQ v5
------------------------------




Contents:
---------

Detergents and soaps
Solvents
Oils
Abrasives
bleaches
spray and wipe cleaners
Limescale removers
specialist cleaners
alkalis
Water cleaners
Stains
Less likely candidates
Untested claims
More information
Safety data sheets
Need a section title for


Drain cleaners?
--------------

acid-type based on sulphuric
- thick liquid

alkali based on caustic soda
- available as thick liquid or powder

don't mix them :-|

danger if chemical fails to clear drain and mechanical clearing e.g.
rodding, plunging then attempted

also biological type, works slowly (days/weeks rather than minutes/hours) so
more for keeping prob drains clear or slowly clearing partly blocked drain.


....

Solvents
--------

....
Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes


attacks some plastics etc (friend of sprog's tried to remove unsuccessful
paint job from model boat with it, ended up destroying plastic of boat)


Limescale removers:
-------------------


Sulphamic acid: the most popular acid in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.


And is more harmful, especially in high concentrations.


Removes drain
blockages, including grease, fat, teabags, cardboard, faeces and
vegetable matter.

Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast. Stomach acid is 0.2-0.3%
hydrochloric acid, and can digest a range of substances. Avoid contact
with skin, eyes, metal, mortars, lime paints, and tile grout. A high
toxicity cleaner, follow instructions with care.
Effective at removing scale / watermarks from glass, but care must be
taken to keep it off the metal or wood frame. This can be done by using
toilet cleaner, which is thickened, and wiping it on the glass very
thinly, as just a smear, and washing off well afterwards.


Could be more specific about metal(s). Brick cleaner concentration takes a
very long time (c weeks) to dissolve copper, and probably does nothing to
iron. I expect it reacts more vigorously with light alloys (not sure if
Ali's natural AlO2 skin protects it). Definitely tarnishes Chrome (and may
attack vitreous enamel on baths?) so don't use for limescale in bathrooms
etc.


Remaining Questions:
--------------------


is caustic soda usful for paint removal?


yes, either au naturel as a liquid for dipping or in gel/paste formulation
e.g. Ronstrip which can cling to vertical surfaces while the caustic soda
takes effect



  #39   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

wrote:
wrote:

Drain cleaners?
--------------


good idea. I'm not quite sure if they qualify as cleaners, what does
the group think? Certainly useful, either way, so might as well.


acid-type based on sulphuric
- thick liquid

alkali based on caustic soda
- available as thick liquid or powder

don't mix them :-|

danger if chemical fails to clear drain and mechanical clearing e.g.
rodding, plunging then attempted


what is the danger?


also biological type, works slowly (days/weeks rather than minutes/hours) so
more for keeping prob drains clear or slowly clearing partly blocked drain.


thanks for another section


Solvents
--------

...
Nitromors: Methylene chloride, paint and varnish stripper. Produces
fumes


attacks some plastics etc (friend of sprog's tried to remove unsuccessful
paint job from model boat with it, ended up destroying plastic of boat)


Limescale removers:
-------------------


Sulphamic acid: the most popular acid in limescale removing toilet
cleaners.

Sulphuric acid: stronger than sulphamic but costs more.


And is more harmful, especially in high concentrations.


harmful to what, in what way?


Hydrochloric acid: powerful and fast.


Could be more specific about metal(s). Brick cleaner concentration takes a
very long time (c weeks) to dissolve copper, and probably does nothing to
iron.


I'll test it, I just assumed it would eat iron for breakfast.

Re weeks, there is always a likelihood of any cleaner being left behind
in small amounts in corners ets, so I dont think I'd advise using HCl
on any metal.


I expect it reacts more vigorously with light alloys (not sure if
Ali's natural AlO2 skin protects it). Definitely tarnishes Chrome (and may
attack vitreous enamel on baths?) so don't use for limescale in bathrooms
etc.


its sold for use on vitreous toilets, (tesco limescale removing toilet
cleaner) and leaves them looking pretty good, so I think it would be
ok. Whether it can be used on plastic baths I dont know.


Remaining Questions:
--------------------


is caustic soda usful for paint removal?


yes, either au naturel as a liquid for dipping or in gel/paste formulation
e.g. Ronstrip which can cling to vertical surfaces while the caustic soda
takes effect


ok, and I guess the easy way to paste it is with lime.


Thanks, NT

  #40   Report Post  
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Andrew Gabriel wrote:

When I was in my last year at school, someone else in my year
had a nasty accident with methylene chloride (at home, not in
the school). He was using it to strip the paint off his bicycle.
He was overcome by the fumes and collapsed into the bowl of paint
stripper. I don't know what happened, and he didn't reappear at
school before I left.


Thanks, have found data on it, its one of the high risk ones. From what
the MSDS says, it would be hard to see how your colleague could have
survived, unless help was at hand.


NT

Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How does one clean a tenor saw? TrailRat Woodworking 15 April 24th 05 03:06 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:35 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2024 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"