Friday 31 May 2013

Cleaning chemicals I use, and recommend

Everyday solutions for everyday problems.
Needless to say - some, even expensive solutions can make your life hell - while you're really grateful for some solutions to make your life easier.

Fist, good old Hypo. Dissolves all organic matter in minutes - and takes most coloring from fabrics just as fast. Don't waste money on cleaned solutions like Chlorox - it is the same stuff, just looks whiter. I usually order it from Tesco, 2-4 l. at one delivery. And I am not afraid to use it.
I prefer the bottles of Tesco - safer than the regular ones. Mind that you don't pill any of it on your clothing or carpet - stains are permanent.
I use it in the toilet and bathroom - cleans all kind of organic... waste pretty easily, and kills bacteria. Good for bleaching textiles of stronger fabrics, especially synthetics. I don't use it for mopping, mainly because I hate the smell.

Second, some Cif stuff. Mind you, I am not paid for advertizing or anything - I just found Cif stuff better than others available in our market.
First the right one - the only window cleaner I've found appropriate. I still have to scrub windows a lot to clean them - but at least this stuff helps, not hurts the process. I've tried at least 5 different window cleaners before - all was more pain than good.
Sidenote: this product is not available in Hungary. I imported my 2 bottles from Austria 2 years ago.
Not in the picture: Cif dishwasher. The only difference between that and no-name dishwashers is that I can use it for mopping and other cleaning tasks without leaving a greasy mark on the surface. Great all-purpose stuff.
To the left: the best stuff I've found for cleaning my ceramic heater. Not the best, as it won't remove seriously burnt stuff - but can handle the usual spills and oil spots well.
In the middle: now that is for the tough stuff in the kitchen. I could clean my microwave oven with it that I couldn't reasonably lean for 7(!) years. Can handle the greasy pus left from spilled greasy food - even cold grease remover is not good enough for that stuff.

For the bathroom: the power cream is good enough for removing everyday soap stains and limescale. Not good enough for like cleaning limescale out of water boilers - use hydrochloride acid for that. (Also mind that hydrochloride acid burns inox surfaces... for that, only expensive inox cleaners were really effective.)
The cold grease remover is again amongst the best stuff - in the right context. It can dissolve thin layers of burnt fat from dishes - mainly from pans you use for frying. It can't handle thick layers of grease, or blackened burns, or mixed stuff - only oil and grease. Mind that it is a strong acidic stuff, try not to inhale... it really stinks.

So that's it for today - if you have something equally useful cleaning agent in mind, just drop a comment!

How have I created a picture frame - without frames

My goal was to put really large puzzles on the wall. "Industrial" solutions are both expensive (~10K HUF) and inadequate (frame falls apart without further wiring on the backside).

The main idea is to put the puzzle between a glass and a fiber-board, and clamp them together.
The key is the "clamp" that binds the glass to the fiber.
I took those "clips" from small, ACME frames that work the same way: those 9*12cm "frames" cost ~300HUF a piece, and contain 4 clips; you need 2 or 3 of those clips in one side for bigger pictures.
I tried to get those tiny frames in Creative shops first, but only found 3 pieces of those in 2 shops, as their stock is very low.
Later realized that Auchan sells an even greater variety of those in lower price (~250 HUF), and has bigger stock.
What did I do?
1. Took the clips from those frames. For the little African picture, I needed 6 clips (1 on each side, except from the bottom, where I put 3 clips); for the bigger picture, I needed 10 (3 on the longer sides, 2 on shorter ones)

2. I put holes on the backside of the fiber-boards the same manner as the tiny frames had those:
First I used the yellow cutter on the picture to "dig" the holes, then realized that small chisels do a faster work, with a bit more noise.
3. You need something to hand the whole picture to the wall. I've found these needle-included hooks to be the best; unfortunately I ran out of them:

3. Put the puzzle on the board, cover it with the glass, and clamp it together.
4. Put nails or screws into the wall where you hang the picture. Mind that it can be really heavy (so screws are advisable), and mind that the picture is leveled.
5. Enjoy!

* Costs about 20-30% as ACME solutions in this size
* Surprisingly, it is more stable than frames of these sizes
* You can work with any size, not only standard sizes like 70*100cm
* Easier than it looks. Once you get the hang of it, you can assemble the whole stuff within an hour.

* Glass cuts, and reflects, and is heavy. I used 2mm glass, that is really fragile in this size. And is still heavy. Mind what you're doing: If the picture falls on you, IT CAN KILL YOU!
Maybe you can use plastic instead of glass - more expensive, but lighter, safer. If you have something that doesn't fall apart like a puzzle, you can safely omit the glass.
* Mind the exact sizes of the fiber, glass, and the picture. They should match almost perfectly: if you have a difference more than 3mm, you're in trouble. For the African picture I had to use heated glue to fix the glass to the clamps, as the glass is too short.

Sidenote: Don't underestimate the work in drilling holes on the wall. These tools can tell the tale: