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LuckyGuy's avatar

What fast, effective, but dangerous household cleaning technique do you use?

Asked by LuckyGuy (34609points) November 19th, 2012

I needed to clean the screens on the porch so they look nice for company. They were filled with dust, pollen, dirt and spider webs and looked awful. I figured since they were metal and the dirt was flammable I’d leave them in place and try using my Bernzomatic butane torch to burn off the dirt. Wow! I pulled the trigger and… Woof ! The webs and dust caught fire and burned away instantly! I was able to clean eight, 3.5×3.5 ft screens in less than 2 minutes! The method worked great!!!
Now that’s a tip that you won’t see in a Heloise Helpful Hints book.
Do you have one you can share?

I promise to sign a legal waiver absolving you of responsibility for any injuries, property damage, or deaths that result from trying your helpful hint.

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22 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy Holy crap. You better hope your insurance agent doesn’t fluther. I got nothing on that scale.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It was awesome! Of course, I was doing this when the wood trim (yes wood!) was not bone dry. I had some water ready just in case, but it was not needed. Poof! Clean.
I used the Berzomatic TS4000 with trigger ignition and propane instead of the butane MAPP gas to make it “safer”. I didn’t want to melt the screens.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was thinking bring the garden house inside as I was reading. I wondered how you avoided melting the screens. Good trick.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy LOL…OMG…you are beyond eccentric and I thought I was a nut. haha
Dangerous…well, just about any project a left handed, right brained blonde undertakes has a hidden element of danger. Toss in a weekend Happy Brownie and look out….the blonde tornado riseth. Hide the power tools and take away the matches and sharp knives.

The last potentially dangerous thing I did was to spray oven cleaner on a swarm of maggots in my trash can, followed by Scubbing bubbles and acetone soaked paper towels. Maggot bio warfare. Die maggots die!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I had to move the torch quickly so the edges didn’t burn. They are painted wood so the potential for disaster was there. Think about how much soap and water I saved. Now I have a moral deliemma. Do I let others think it took me hours to do this tsk?

@Coloma Did you set the mess on fire too. I would have.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy,...nah I wanted them to writhe in agony. Fire would have been too humane. lol

Seek's avatar

Once, a new kitten and a 2 year old conspired to fill my bathtub drain with kitty litter. All the plunging in the world wasn’t helping.

One bottle of hydrogen peroxide plus one half-bottle of Clorox, and KABOOM!

Ok, not kaboom, but it fizzed with enough power to clear the clay plugging up the drain!

glacial's avatar

@LuckyGuy There wasn’t any soot left on the screens? I would have thought they’d end up dirtier than when you started.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr That is a great idea. No matches were needed.

@glacial I just went outside to check. I rubbed my hand over the screens. Nope, no soot. When it burned there was a nice yellow flame that wafted away from the screen. Maybe the particulates went with it. This process definitely warrants more experimentation. Unfortunately I’m out of screens. They’re all clean now.
Obviously I did not do the screens on the storm doors since they are 30 years newer and are made of plastic.

Seek's avatar

Worked a treat, but it smelled AWFUL.

wundayatta's avatar

@LuckyGuy I hate to burst your balloon, but painters burn paint off wood trim all the time, and they don’t burn up houses. They breathe that shit, too. Good thing there’s no lead in it any more.

cazzie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Nothing like a good chemical reaction to clear drains. I think that might be the most dangerous think I have done as well, but it involve pure lye.

If you need a good carbon dioxide reaction. vinegar and baking soda might be worth trying first.

Because of my cosmetics business, I always have citric acid and baking soda on hand and that is a pretty safe, dynamic reaction, especially when I cover it with a plastic bowl and press down hard.

Pandora's avatar

The worst thing I ever used to clean was X14 in my tub to quickly get rid of mold. It also almost as quickly get rid of your eyes and lungs as the fumes make there way in the room.

ucme's avatar

There was this stubborn stain on the sofa so I pounded it with a yard broom….....the MIL soon took the hint & left, worked a treat.

Seek's avatar

Yeah, the baking soda and vinegar failed. Had to break out the big guns. It was a LOT of kitty litter.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Come on people. Am I the only one on the planet who has ever cleaned out an outside drain with a shotgun? Or used straight Naptha out of the can to remove sticky pine residue from clothes? Or pruned a stubborn, hard to reach tree branch with load of #6 Turkey shot?
Surely there have to be others out there.

Coloma's avatar

I once boiled alive my daughters pet rat in an attempt to cure it of the sniffles. I thought it was safe on the top rack of the microwave above a steaming bowl of water. Wrong!
Horrible, just horrible.
I told you I am not a safe person to attempt dangerous innovations. lol :-/

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy I used #4’s but that was a 20 gauge.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Coloma Oh man!. That one seems pretty bad. (I hope I don’t have nightmares.) I guess it cured the sniffles alright.

@Adirondackwannabe. Thanks for admitting that I am not the only one to use a shotgun as tool. Honestly, wasn’t that a lot safer and easier than trying to go up there with a ladder and chainsaw on a stick?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy One confession. It was a dwarf tree. I didn’t need any ladders. I just like pruning with firepower.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe In a way, that kinda makes it cooler lol

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