Care and Cleaning

CLEANING YOUR PORCELAIN

With luck you may never have to deal with the staining problems listed below. But accidents do happen. Except where otherwise noted, the cleaning solutions recommended can be used on both glazed and unglazed surfaces, including grout. Unglazed surfaces that are light in color, however, are liable to assume the color of the cleaning solution. If you are in doubt, test the solution on a small patch before undertaking an entire project. After finishing with any cleaning substance, rinse the area with plain water and dry it off with toweling or absorbent cloth. Here are a few examples:

COFFEE:

Dampen a cloth with water, dip it in baking soda and scrub the mixture over the stain.

FRUIT JUICE/TEA:
Wash the area with a solution made of 1 tablespoon trisodium phosphate and 1 quart hot water. Rinse, then follow with a solution of 3 tablespoons laundry bleach in 1 quart of warm water.

GREASE:
Using a stiff-bristled brush scrub the affected area with a strong solution of heavy-duty household detergent or a solution made of ? cup trisodium phosphate and 1 gallon of very hot water.

HARD WATER SCUM:
Scour the area thoroughly with a solution made of equal parts of vinegar and warm water using a nylon scouring pad.

MILDEW:
Mix ? cup laundry bleach with 1 quart water and apply with a sponge. If the mildew remains, use a commercial mildew remover that contains sodium hypochlorite and sodium carbonate. Wear gloves and keep the room well- ventilated. Mix a thick paste of household scouring powder and water.

GENERAL:
A solution of non-precipitating water softener, or baking soda, in warm water also may remove soap scum and soil.

You may use chlorine or hydrogen peroxide bleach to remove stains. Do not use these bleaches full strength or let them remain on the surface for more than a few seconds.

Heavy deposits of grease or soap scum can be removed with a solution of 1 tablespoon trisodium phosphate in 1 gallon hot water. Rinse thoroughly. Or warm water and ammonia solution will do this.

REPAIRING PORCELAIN:
Damaged porcelain enamel fixtures and appliances can be repaired, with do-it- yourself-kits, or by professionals who do the best, most lasting repairs. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Porcelain Repair". A special type of paint is used, as porcelain enamel itself must be baked on under very hot temperatures, so it will not be as durable as the original porcelain enamel surface. Never attempt such repair on utensils used for preparing or cooking food.
   
OIL:
Mix a thick paste of household scouring powder and water. Apply the paste to the stain and allow it to stand overnight.

PAINT:
Remove fresh oil-base paint with a cloth dipped in turpentine or paint thinner. Wash away the residue with a solution of ? cup trisodium phosphate mixed with 1 gallon of warm water. Remove fresh water-base paint with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild household detergent; such as dishwashing liquid. Scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush.

RUBBER HEEL MARKS:
Dab the marks off with a cloth that you have dipped in cleaning fluid or mineral spirits.

UNKNOWN STAIN:
On glazed surfaces, apply a stiff paste of whiting (calcium carbonate) and household ammonia; let it stand for one hour, then wash it off with soapy water. On porous surfaces, mix household scouring powder with water to make it slurry, and mop it over the area. Let the solution stand for approximately five minutes, then scrub the surface vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush.

DECORATED ENAMELWARE:
Wash in sudsy water, dry with a soft cloth.

BATHROOM FIXTURES:
These can be cleaned in a solution of 1 tablespoon detergent to 1 gallon hot water or with a foam bathroom cleaner.

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 of 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.

Lime deposits in teakettles may be removed by a solution of vinegar and water.

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.

DECAL REMOVER:
Vinegar. To remove no-slip decals from the bathtub, saturate a cloth or sponge and squeeze hot vinegar over decals. Vinegar also removes stick-on hooks from painted walls. Saturate a cloth or sponge with vinegar and squeeze the liquid behind the hook so that the vinegar comes in contact with the adhesive. In addition, vinegar can be used to remove price tags and other decals from glass, wood, and china. Paint the label or decal with several coats of white vinegar. Give the vinegar time to soak in and after several minutes the decal can be rubbed.