E&D Cleaning Services

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E&D Cleaning Services - London

Some Useful Cleaning Tips


Cleaning Brass

Keep decorative items dusted and clean. Wash in sudsy, lukewarm water, rinse and dry. Never use hot water on lacquered items as it loosens the lacquer; do not polish them or soak them in water.

Cleaning Brick Fireplaces

If the fireplace is to be used for family entertainment such as popcorn popping, or marshmallow toasting, etc., it would be wise to have brick or stone fireplace front surface sealed so as to resist absorption of grease or oils, and smoky soot.

Formulas For Cleaning Fireplace Surfaces:(Wear rubber gloves to protect hands.)

1. Mix one ounce of soap and one ounce of table salt with enough water to make a cream. Rub mixture into brick surface with cloth; allow to dry at least ten minutes and remove with stiff brush;

2. Make a thick mixture of soap or detergent, pumice, a little ammonia and hot water. Paint the mixture on the surface and let dry. Rub off with a wet scrub brush. You are using alkali and a mild abrasive to remove the greasy soil;

3. Shave a bar of naptha soap into a container and add 3 quarts of water. Bring mixture to a full boil until the soap melts. Cool. Add 1 cup ammonia and one pound of pumice. Mix thoroughly. Brush in onto all sooty surfaces and let stand one hour or more. Rub off with a stiff-bristle brush. Rinse "gook" away with warm water, then finish off with a medium to strong detergent and rinse again with warm water;

4. Dissolve 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Trisodium Phosphate or spic&span (TSP) in 1 gallon of hot water. With stiff scrub brush, scrub brick surface. Rinse with plenty of warm water. Repeat if soot or greasy stain is not removed. More TSP may be added if necessary, up to 1 cup per gallon. This is a very strong solution; avoid getting on skin, carpet, or fabrics.

Note: Some weathered old brick (50 years or older) may be soft and damaged by vigorous cleaning. Test a corner, and if this is so, just dust or sweep it.

Cleaning Chandeliers

1. Take out all bulbs and put them aside.

2. Lay a folded towel over the bottom of a sink or dishpan. Half fill this with medium hot water. Add soap or detergent and swish up suds.

3. Fill a large pan with clean hot water for rinsing. Add a little ammonia to this rinse water for extra sparkle. Also pad this pan with a towel to keep fine glass from breaking.

4. To wash, take the crystal drops and saucers off of the chandelier, a few at the time. Wipe the frame or "arm" of the chandelier with a cloth wrung out of suds.

5. Wash the parts in the sudsy water. Rinse them with hot water and wipe them dry. Then put them back right away to make sure that they go in the right places. If any pins or wires look weak or rusty, put in new ones.

6. Keep on taking down, washing, and rehanging more parts until the whole piece is clean.

7. Sponge off the bulbs. Rinse them, wipe them dry and put them into their sockets again.

Cleaning Copper

Most pieces of decorative, modern copper are protected by a factory-applied, baked-on lacquer. Only dusting and an occasional washing with lukewarm, soapy water are needed to keep lacquered objects shiny. Never polish them.

Lacquer must be removed from eating and cooking utensils before using. To remove lacquer, place the item in 2 gallons of boiling water to which 1 cup of washing soda has been added. The lacquer will peel off.

An alternate method to remove lacquer is to rub with a cloth saturated with acetone or alcohol.

Cleaning Glass Accessories

Glass flower vases, cruets, or carafes used to hold water, wine, oil or other liquids may develop stains in the bottom when allowed to set for a long time. Normal washing with soap and water may not get off all the stain. To remove these stains, try the following steps:

1. Pour vinegar (brown or white) into glass so as to be above the stain mark. Allow to stand 30 minutes to overnight, depending on intensity of the stain. Before emptying vinegar, add about 1/2 teaspoon dry uncooked rice, or 6-10 dry bean. Shake glass rapidly so hard grains can rub off loosened stain with a scouring action. Pour contents out. Rinse with water. Repeat if necessary.

2. If not all the stain is removed, pour ammonia into the glass to be above stain mark and allow to stand over night. Add rice or beans and shake. Repeat if necessary.

3. Commercial products such as 'Lime Away' can remove some stains. Read labels and follow directions exactly. You may need to add grains of rice or beans and shake to get scouring action with these products also.

If you have crystal vases or carafes, do not leave flowers or food in them any longer than necessary, since chemical changes can occur which permanently stain crystal.

Cleaning Porcelain Enamel

Appliances - Wash with detergent and warm water and rinse. Do not use abrasive pads or scouring powders as these will scratch the glassy surface.

Decorated enamelware - Wash in sudsy water, dry with a soft cloth.

Bathroom fixtures can be cleaned in a solution of 1 tablespoon detergent to 1 gallon hot water or with a foam bathroom cleaner. Avoid using household cleaners which contain abrasives.

Kitchenware - Wash in sudsy water. If necessary use a plastic scouring pad or wooden scraper to remove burnt-on food. Burnt-on food may be loosened by soaking in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1 quart water. Avoid abrasive scouring powder or steel wool. For heavy baked-on grease, or spills, occasional use of a fine steel wool pad or scraping with a razor blade is ok; just be very careful not to scratch the enamel. Using abrasives, such as steel wool or abrasive powders tends to permanently scratch the smooth glassy surface, and make it harder to clean thereafter.

Lime deposit teakettles may be removed by a solution of vinegar and water. Bring to a boil.

Bathroom fixtures should be disinfected weekly with a solution of chlorine bleach and water or a spray-on disinfectant or by using a disinfectant cleaning foam.

Rust stains can be removed by using Commercial rust remover or by using a solution of 1 tablespoon oxalic acid crystals (poison), dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water. Apply to stain, allow to stand a few minutes, then rinse well.

Washer Cleaning

If very dirty or linty wash leaves soil residue behind, wipe out inner tub. Leave lid open so tub will dry. Clean lint filters, and dispensers as manual directs. NEVER use detergent to clean fabric softener dispensers as residue left behind can combine with fabric softener to stain clothes.

Wash outside of washer with mild suds, rinse and wipe dry. Creamy appliance wax can be used occasionally, especially on painted surfaces, for extra protection of surface.

If hard water minerals build up a deposit inside washer, do not use a vinegar rinse unless you contact washer manufacturer or dealer and get their OK. Porcelain enamel washer inner tubs are made to resist alkalis (in detergent and laundry additives) not acids. Long exposure to acids can etch and roughen porcelain enamel tubs so they damage fabrics, and may also rust metal parts of the washer.

Wooden Blocks- Cleaning

Oil finished butcher block tops may be cleaned as any other table top. A damp cloth with a detergent may be used; followed by a damp cloth to remove the detergent. Excessive water should be avoided. All water should be wiped up immediately. Cut raw meat and poultry on a smooth-surfaced plastic cutting board which can be scrubbed thoroughly with hot suds afterward.

Repeated use and cleaning will remove the oil finish. Periodically, warm mineral oil should be applied with an absorbent cloth or very fine steel wool to the surface and edges. Allow oil to soak in a few minutes, then remove all surface oil with a dry, clean cloth. Oxidation or hardening of the oil will take approximately 6 hours.

Cleaning Silver

Methods of cleaning silver should be determined by the valued placed on it--monetary or sentimental--and the design of the pattern. Silver with deeply "carved" patterns that are enhanced by an oxide or French gray finish should be hand polished with a high quality silver cream or polish.

Hand rubbing develops patina on silver which adds to its beauty.

Ornamental silver pieces that have been lacquered may be washed in lukewarm water; hotwater could remove the lacquer.

Cleaning Stone Fireplaces

If fireplace is to be used for family entertainment such as popcorn popping, or marshmallow toasting, etc.,it would be wise to have brick or stone fireplace front surface sealed so as to resist absorption of grease or oils, and smoky soot.

Smoke and soot may be removed from stone fireplaces by the TSP method. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect hands from strong alkalis. Dissolve 8 teaspoons (1/2 cup) Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) in 1 gallon of hot water. With stiff scrub brush, scrub stone surface. Rinse with plenty of warm water. Repeat if soot or greasy stain not removed. More TSP may be added if necessary, up to 1 cup per gallon. This is a very strong solution; avoid getting on skin, carpet, or fabrics.

Caring for Wrought Iron

A protective coat of liquid wax will make cleaning easier and retard rusting. Do not use liquid wax on fireplace accessories because it is flammable.

Renovation of Old Feather Pillows

Due to the high cost of feather/down pillows, which some people prefer because they can "punch" them into shape, there has been a resurgence of renovation of old feather pillows and even old feather beds. If old and badly soiled, feathers can be removed from ticking and washed separately in a pillowcase with open end sewed shut.

Some drycleaners or commercial laundries have purchased machines which will clean old feather pillows and remove broken bits of feather and dust; they will put the clean feather into new ticking. It may take up to 4 old feather/down pillows to make 3 new clean, fluffy ones. Check locally to see if this special service is available. It will give you better results than trying to wash and restore old feather yourself.

Vinyl Upholstery--Cleaning

Regular Cleaning

Wash with mild detergent and water. Use a soft bristle brush for stubborn soil. Rinse and dry. Some household cleaners and solvents remove plasticizers from vinyl, making them brittle. Abrasive cleaners scratch the smooth surface.

Sometime letting detergent solution stand on surface and "soak" a few minutes loosens soil.

Special Cleaning

Vinyl cleaners sold in furniture stores or auto stores help clean stubborn soil on vinyl upholstery.

Vinyl upholstery will absorb stains and dye from fabrics that crock or bleed (like crocking blue jeans on white vinyl or bright prints that bleed). A vinyl protective finish, sold at same stores, helps protect upholstery and resists or retards absorption of stains.

Act at once to remove stains from vinyl. Use a white cloth or paper towels. Keep solvents away from wood or metal parts. When solvents other than water are used to remove a stain, wash the area with detergent and water, rinse and dry.

1. Nail polish and polish remover will cause permanent damage if left on the surface. Wipe off quickly. Blot; do not spread the liquid. Sponge lightly with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits. While nail polish remover or amyl acetate will remove polish, both may affect the vinyl. Use them only if necessary at you own risk.

2. Ballpoint pen marks may respond to alcohol. If not, cover area with a white cloth soaked in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide and leave from 30 minutes to overnight.

3. Felt tip markers may respond to treatment with mineral spirits.

4. Remove substances such as oil paint, shoe heel marks, ink, tar, crayon, grease, shoe polish, ointment and cosmetics with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits. Use hydrogen peroxide bleach treatment if necessary (see #2 above).

5. Chewing gum should be hardened with ice and chipped off. Remove residue with synthetic turpentine or mineral spirits.

When using solvents suggested in No. 1, 3 and 4 (turpentine or mineral spirits) use only in a well-ventilated room and avoid breathing fumes or getting on your skin. Be sure there is no flame, spark, pilot light, or cigarette in area, as they are flammable. Air out cloths used, to evaporate solvent before disposing .