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Questions about Caulk, Toilets and Bricks


I have to admit; my job is pretty exciting. Talking about toilets, caulking, paint and stain may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I have worked in a lumberyard since I was 25 (and I am turning 63) so it’s what is on my mind when I wake up. When you email me, before you start a project, I get as excited as you do. I received some great questions this week, and I want to share them with all the readers. If you have a project, let me help. Email me …www.happyhandyman2@yahoo.com
Question: I have cleaned up the dirty grout on my floor, and now I want to know how to keep it clean for a while. Do sealers work? Is there an easy way to apply it? What sealer is the best?
Answer: Stonetech is a line made by Laticrete, and they do an easy to use sealer called Advanced Grout Sealer. It’s a simple spray that can be used on cement based grout to keep it looking new. It can be used on porcelain, ceramic or natural stone tiles, inside or outside.
When you are cleaning grout, don’t wear yourself out by using a small toothbrush sized brush. Make your cleaning job even easier by using a wallpaper brush to clean three feet at a time.
Question: I want to clean some bricks outside by my air conditioner. They mildewed because they are right beside a drain hose.
Answer: Clean up the brick with 30 Second Outdoor Cleaner. For this small job, use the ready to use quart size and just spray the brick. Let it work for a few minutes and then rinse off. If a stain remains after the bricks are dry, then repeat the process.
Do you have an area outside your home that constantly collects mildew? Zep Clear Shell is a clear mildew inhibitor that will keep mildew away for 18 months.
Question: I just had the worst time removing some outside light bulbs at the coast. Is there anything that I can use on the new bulbs, so that when I replace them they don’t break?
Answer: What you want to use is a product called Di-electric grease. It’s a non- conductive silicone based grease that seals out moisture and prevents corrosion on electrical connectors. It will make it easy to remove old bulbs especially the outdoor ones.
Question: I saw an article recently about products to freshen up around the home. I have some leather furniture that is gently used. It looks dusty and dry with little luster. What would you recommend to refresh and clean the leather?
Answer: When my dad closed all our stores in San Antonio back in 2008, I put all of our office furniture in storage. I was going to sell all of it when it was more convenient and a cooler time of year. Well fast forward ten months later, and I am working in a little hardware store and dragging out the office furniture that had been in storage. It shocked me how bad it looked from just being in storage for such a short time. I grabbed one leather cleaner that Dad had called Leather Only and cleaned all the leather chairs up in no time. They looked as beautiful, like brand new. It made such a difference that I cleaned only one- half of one of Dad’s chairs, and I would show my customers what a good cleaner it was.
When cleaning your leather, work in small areas at a time using a quarter- sized amount of cleaner on a soft white rag. Turn your rag when cleaning, so you are always working with a clean side.
Question: I have been using Delete Germ from your store in our toilets. My wife is pleased with the results. But is there a way to get rid of rust that is in the tank? We enjoy your articles.
Answer: Yes there is a product called Instant Power Tank Cleaner. Just pour in the tank and let it work overnight. It will clean off all the stains. When you clean the inside of the tank, it will help with the stains that happen in the bowl.