HANDYMAN\Citrus-based solvents, oil can help eliminate ivy spots.
Q:I took the ivy off my vinyl siding, but it left a whole mess of little spots where the ivy clung to the vinyl. How can I remove them?
A: For the ivy spots, try one of those citrus sprays such as Citrus Clean or Citrus Green. The latter might not come in a spray can, but any citrus-based solvent will make short work of those dots. It will soften the dots so you can rub them off with a rough cloth. If that doesn't work, put a little oil (any kind will do) on each spot, wait 15 minutes, then rub off with a cloth. Wash off the oil with detergent and water; pressure-washing will assure total removal without harming the vinyl.
Q: Scrub Free that was dripped on quarry tiles left light spots on the tile. How can I get rid of those spots?
A: Dip steel wool in paint thinner and scrub those spots vigorously.
Q: My toaster oven works very nicely, but the aluminum trays look dirty. They aren't exactly crusted with burnt food, but neither do they have the shiny look they had when new. How can I spiff them up?
A: Soak them in detergent and water for a while, overnight if possible, then scrub with soap pads. It will take a lot of scrubbing, and you probably won't get the super-shiny look of new aluminum, but it will be an improvement and is essentially the best you can do. Soaking and elbow grease are what do it.
Q: I plan to replace my old sash, but retain the ropes, pulleys and weights. I was told I can't get the right size. Is this so?
A: It may be so, but the main difference in size is in the thickness of the sash. You can get virtual reproductions of your existing sash through your local lumber dealer, who will order them from Brockway-Smith, wholesaler of many, many kinds of windows and other building materials.If the replacements are thicker than the originals, you can rabbet the edges so they will fit in the original jamb. Rabbeting is cutting a groove, or cutout, at the edge of the edge. If the new sash is thinner than the original, you can install an extra-wide parting bead for a snug (but not too tight) fit. Or, glue and tack a thin strip along the face of each sash, in effect increasing the thickness of the new sash.
Q: The cold air return in my townhouse makes a terrible racket when the furnace is on. Is there any way I can reduce that noise? There is no noise from the heating ducts. The cold air return has a louvered cover and is fairly close to the furnace on the first floor. There is no basement.
A: It's obvious that the speed of the air going into the return, plus the fan noise, is what you hear. The noise increases as the air is sucked through those thin, closely spaced louvers. So to reduce that sound to a tolerable level, take that louvered cover off and replace it with a grille with larger openings. A cast-iron cover would not only look good, but provide big enough holes to reduce the sound. In fact, I don't think such a louvered cover should be used for a cold air return; they are designed as heat outlets.
If replacing the cover doesn't help much, put a thin layer of fiberglass, similar to the filters in the heating system, behind the cover. This should slow down the air flow enough to reduce the noise, but be careful that it doesn't restrict the flow so much that it starves the system of necessary air.
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|Title Annotation:||L.A. LIFE|
|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Feb 17, 1996|
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