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Q: Restoring a Brick Fireplace We have a very attractive brick fireplace. However, the outer hearth is dull from years of dust and soot build-up. Ordinary household cleaners leave the brick surface dull looking. Is there a solution (other than sand blasting) to  ? I have heard rumors of an acid wash treatment, but no details. Thank you. -- Wayne G Orr Reply 

Answer Ref: 0109 We suggested that he could buy acid for such a purpose from a builders merchant (at least here in the UK we can). Acid dissolves the mortar so the fireplace could require re-pointing. Please remember to take precautions to protect adjacent surfaces (including your skin!) -- Beatty & Co Comment
Caution, Acid is extremely dangerous and should only be used by professionals.

Answer Ref: 0109 . Sponge on muriatic acid, rinse with clean water. don't forget rubber gloves.-- Lew French Comment

Caution, Acid is extremely dangerous and should only be used by professionals.

Q: Smelly Musical Instrument Case My son recently purchased a used musical instrument which is in great shape, but the case smells of mildew. The interior of the case is thickly padded. Is there any way I can safely deodorize it? Thanks so much! -- Reply  (Ref:0110)  

Answer Ref: (0110) Musty Instrument cases: Damp Rid is wonderful for removing must. Damp Rid is designed to be used in the container it comes in, but this may be too big for the instrument case--you may have to improvise. Once you've shut the Damp Rid in the case, you should probably leave it there undisturbed for several weeks. If you open the case to take a peek to see how it's working, you will allow the case to fill back up with humid air & the Damp Rid will have to pull all of that new moisture out of the air. Be careful not to bump the case--as the Damp Rid absorbs moisture out of the air, it dissolves, leaving an orange liquid in the container -- Jeanne

Q: Grimy Mini Blinds? What is the most easy and effective way to clean dirty, grimy mini blinds? "Stephanie Duckhorn" Reply  (Ref:0111)

Answer Ref: 0111  Clean vinyl mini-blind have used this trick for many years and have never had a problem.Hang vinyl mini-blinds in the shower and spray them with Dow bathroom cleaner(foam).Leave it on a few minutes and then rinse by spraying them with the shower.They come out great with no scrubbing....even the strings come clean this way. -- ARC214

Answer Ref: 0111 (Cleaning Mini Blinds) My Aunt used to wear an old pair of gloves to dust her blinds. Patience and an appropriate multi-headed brush springs to mind. Perhaps a silicone based polish spray would help stop the dust adhering next time round. -- Anon

A: Cleaning Mini Blinds I knew there had to an easier way to clean mini blinds without having to clean each slat. So i took the blinds outside, it's easier than bending over the tub, back breaking! Rinse off the dust, no matter even if they are smoked up from cooking. Spray them on both sides with Dow bathroom cleaner. Let them set until you see the kunk running down and spray them off and shake the excess water and whalah! You are done and no scrubbing and they come out beautiful. TRY THIS! -- D1kelly 22 Dec 2002

A: Cleaning Mini Blinds. Fill the bathtub with hot water. Add 3 scoops of a product called OxiClean an unbelievable environmentally safe cleaner. Place mini blinds in tub for about 30 minutes. Rinse and dry. Even the cord is clean; and your porcelain tub is sparkling as a bonus! Thanks, -- Eileen Traylor

Q: Hi - I have a pair of patent leather shoes that need cleaning. When I was a child we used Pride floor wax to clean patent leather, but I can't find any now. What should I use? -- "Diane D'Ewart" Reply  (Ref:0112)

Answer Ref: 0112  My friend tells me that you should use a tiny amount of Vaseline (petroleum jelly). -- Essie2000

Answer Ref: 0112  An earlier contributor (Veronica Echols) suggested using furniture polish for ordinary leather shoes where a quick and easy shine was needed, perhaps it would also work for your patent leather ones -- qznaz

Q: Care of marble: I have a bathroom full of white cultured marble. Is there an easy, effective way to polish it clean without harming it? It is becoming difficult to remove the water stains (especially in the shower). Do you recommend a specific type of cleaning product? Thank you, Teresa Peres Delores Reply    (Ref:0115)

Answer Ref: 0115  One can buy marble wax and other preparations. I would recommend using a professional marble specialist if one can be found locally -- www.qznaz.com  

Q: Cleaning my fireplace I just bought a new house and the fireplace is one of those inserts with the fake brick thingies inside the fireplace. It's got soot, creosote, etc., all over, and I want to clean it, I mean clean it so that it looks brand new. What should I use? I'm going to put candles in the fireplace instead of logs. Thanks! Carol Armstrong Reply  (Ref:0116)

Answer Ref: 0116  There have been previous postings on this subject. It is possible to use acid (vinegar is supposed to work). Search the site for "acid" to find out more. Note that hydrochloric or similar concentrated acids are very dangerous . -- www.qznaz.com 

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