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Old 02-25-2020, 08:46 PM
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How about THAT! It actually works!


Per Beckdawrek's request, she wants me to start more threads. Or something like that.

Anyway, we are drowning in consumer products. TV ads, Internet, phone calls, mail order catalogs, ads on buses, in-flight magazines in airline seat pockets, etc etc etc.

For a lot of those products, we make a face, and say, "Yeah, riiiiiight." You know what I mean, like that crap the guy paints over the screen door at the bottom of the row boat, then paddles that boat around in a pond. That stuff doesn't really work, does it?

But maybe SOMETHING lives up to the hype.

(Beck said the copperware pans sure didn't!)

I decided to try Mister Clean Magic Erasers when they first came out. I thought, "There's no WAY..."

Oh, they are "way" all right!

I use them for everything. They even make a Magic Eraser sponge mop now.

I'm waiting for a Mister Clean Magic Eraser toothbrush! Who needs whitening strips?

And wait until Magic Eraser joins forces with Proactiv! Acne won't stand a chance!

Somebody told me there are imitation Magic Erasers that work just as well, and cost much less. Hmmm... I did some websurfing and found a janitorial supply place where I bought a CASE of Magic Eraser knockoffs for sixty bucks. We've been using them for over ten years, and I haven't seen the bottom of the box!

So, what have you bought on a whim that you KNEW would never work, then discovered that it actually DID?


~VOW
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:05 PM
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I've never been a fan of feather dusters, but I'm allergic to dust mites and hate using rags. Announcing: Swiffer! I love it! Makes me want to dust. Three times a year!
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:10 PM
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Cap snaffler. Snaffles caps of and size jug bottle or jar.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:12 PM
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Lightweight cat litter. I envisioned my exuberant poo bury-er, Meeko sending litter flying 15 feet into the room. I thought I'd be breathing the stuff into my lungs.
Actually it's pretty good. She's still scratching with gusto.
I do have to say the bits that get tracked out are hard to sweep up. But, I use the swiffer.
And that leads me to the swiffer. I really like my swiffer wet jet. It's fun and easy to use. The solution and replacement pads are pricey, tho.

(Burpo named my other swiffer fave)

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-25-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:15 PM
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Electronic hose timer, for watering the garden.

When I was growing up my dad always watered the lawn with impact sprinklers and a hose. It was a big lawn so he'd have to go move it ever hour or so. He did this a couple of times a week every summer.

Or, I should say his overworked, underpaid indentured servant helpful son moved the stupid fucking pain-in-the-asstotally insubstantial and easy to untangle hoses around the yard.

So one day I mapped out the yard on some graph paper, figured out how many sprinklers would be needed and where they had to go, how much hose would be needed, and so forth. The only thing we were missing to make it work was a distribution manifold and some hose timers.

Well, we picked up a couple of timers and I gleefully put together the whole system, thrilled that the worst goddam job of the summer was finally behind me forever, mildy disappointed that my hose-moving services had been rendered obsolete.

The timers didnt work.

So we took them back and got replacement ones.

The new timers didn't work. So my dad gave up and I was back to moving hoses around all summer.

(Now that I think about it, I could've just used the little valves on the manifold. Wonder wtf I was thinking when I scrapped the whole system)

Anyway, fast-forward to a few years ago. Firmly in adulthood, my wife and I put together a drip system for a container garden. I reluctantly bought an electronic timer for it... and it worked! And it worked well! So those two lemons back in 1994 had soured me to the whole water timer idea for decades, but really I'm sure that they were just that... lemons.
  #6  
Old 02-25-2020, 09:21 PM
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That "as seen on TV" inside windshield wiper thing works a charm. Well, until it gets dirty (which is pretty fast). But it can be cleaned and used again. Just don't throw it in the laundry with fabric softener.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:25 PM
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Yes on the Magic Erasers. I bought them the first time because I heard two women talking about them at WalMart. Eureka! I did switch to a cheaper version after a while. They worked ALMOST as well.

And a sorta yes on the Swiffer. Loved 'em and used 'em for years. But buying the mop refills got to me. I switched to a brand that used washable microfiber cloths. Not QUITE as good, but close and within my budget.

I'm a big fan of Downy Wrinkle Release spray. Both my kids were in Forensics in high school, and judges tended to be fussy about appearance. Their roommates at meets--in Wyoming, meets are often four or more hours away--would fight them for the iron. Then I saw Downy WR spray advertised and sent a bottle along. I think I basically supplied the entire speech team for eight years. I haven't used my iron at all in the last four years and seldom used it before that.

Last edited by nelliebly; 02-25-2020 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:29 PM
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Rain-X

I swear by it now.
  #9  
Old 02-25-2020, 09:35 PM
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We had a George Foreman grill ten years ago; I had no complaints.
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Old 02-25-2020, 10:02 PM
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Swiffer in all its incarnations, sending up an apology to Mother Gaia every time I throw one away.
Downy wrinkle release works, more apologies, less electricity being used ironing
And some of the Flex Seal products (as seen on TV with the boat) actually work beautifully. My fella is a contractor and he uses it a lot.
  #11  
Old 02-26-2020, 12:44 AM
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I also like Swiffer products. I love the WetJet, but was mildly perturbed when I found that the cleaning solution bottle can't be refilled.

I wanted something more diluted, because the perfume-y foofoo that is added to the cleaner was aggravating my asthma.

I invested in the Libman mop that is sort of a Swiffer clone. The reusable pads kept falling off, and instead of the battery-operated sprayer mechanism like Swiffer, Libman has a manual pump for the cleaner in the mop handle. That gets old real fast. I could do maybe a bathroom or hallway and then my arthritic thumbs would be screaming.

Yes, getting old sucks.

I then tried a spin mop. That actually worked pretty good.

However, when I had surgery to fix some falling-apart stuff, I couldn't haul a bucket of water anywhere. So I bought the standard Swiffer mop, and boxes of Swiffer Wet pads. That's what I'm using now. And I have a small square of ScotchBrite pad that I use for those stubborn blobs of sticky whatever that won't come up with a swish of the Swiffer mop. When I'm done mopping, I rinse out the little ScotchBrite pad and tuck it into the box of Swiffer Wet pads.


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Old 02-26-2020, 01:20 AM
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If I were budget conscious and actually gave a crap I would do that too, ~VOW,(the Big Wrek pays little attention to such matters).
But, you see cleaning is kinda my hobby. I have nice bamboo floors that nearly caused a divorce and I aim to keep them perfect. Which ain't easy with the hooligans that traipse in this house. Mr.Wrekker tells people they have wash their feet to tread on my floors.
I'm not that bad, I don't want NEKKID feets on my floors!! Is that man on crack!!

So..anywhoo. I try all the newbie cleaning stuff.
That fancy schamcy laundry detergent 'Persil' don't buy it. I'm not big on 'Tide Pods' either.
You'll get more cleaning power from a jug bleach than any other name brand cleaner.
Regular 'Dawn' is better than the oomphed up formula.
Good old 'Comet' is best for toilets.

This is just my opinion. YMMV.
Clean on folks!
  #13  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:44 AM
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Thick bleach - the easiest way to clean a toilet.

Pour all round the toilet bowl, leave for a hour or two, and the toilet is clean. No hassle!
  #14  
Old 02-26-2020, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
I'm a big fan of Downy Wrinkle Release spray. Both my kids were in Forensics in high school, and judges tended to be fussy about appearance.
What's Forensics for high school students?

(I'm thinking CSI:Cheyenne.)
  #15  
Old 02-26-2020, 08:18 AM
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I recently discovered another use for Swiffers. I've gotten back into ripping my old vinyl albums to mp3, but I couldn't find my Discwasher (a utensil that is basically a block of wood with fabric on one side, which is used to clean the dust and dirt off of an LP before playing it). So I went in the laundry room and grabbed a Swiffer sheet, and it works great as a makeshift Discwasher!

Oh, and Heracles, Forensics is like Speech and Debate.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:21 AM
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What's Forensics for high school students?

(I'm thinking CSI:Cheyenne.)
Ah, never mind, I looked it up: debate and speech competitions. Weird name, I must say.
  #17  
Old 02-26-2020, 09:31 AM
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Dawn dish detergent is great stuff! I splurge and get the real,deal. In fact, Sam's Club has an industrial size jumbo bottle with a pump on it. SO easy to refill all your small bottles with that pump!

I have always used Shout to pre-treat laundry stains, but some of those little boogers are so persistent! I now use a tiny squirt of Dawn with an old toothbrush!

We make our own eyeglasses cleaner. Mix rubbing alcohol (at least 90% alcohol, none of the dollar store diluted crap) with filtered water, 50/50. Pour into a spray bottle, and add a little blub of Dawn dish detergent. Put on the sprayer head, and invert the bottle (over the sink, please) several times. Couple of squirts on your glasses, use a microfiber cloth to dry. Safe for all lenses!

And my deepest darkest secret? I wash my hair with Dawn!


~VOW
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Last edited by VOW; 02-26-2020 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:33 AM
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I was in Dollar Tree a year or so and spied one of those [$1] laser pointer things. Great! I have many cats. I didn't expect it to last more than a few hours before the battery died. Wrong! It still works. That was a good buy.
  #19  
Old 02-26-2020, 09:50 AM
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Many years ago I bought an Armor All drying cloth for my car. It came in its own plastic tube, wasn't all that expensive, and I thought 'why not'. I really didn't expect it to work, as most microfiber cloths are marginally effective. When I took it out of its tube, I noted the rubbery feel of it and thought "Well, this is crap".

I still have it and it still works great. It absorbs a LOT of water, wrings out and soaks up a ton more, then rolls back up and into its storage tube. It's a good thing it works so well, as I don't think Armor All makes it any longer.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:45 AM
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That fancy schamcy laundry detergent 'Persil' don't buy it. I'm not big on 'Tide Pods' either.
FYI, Persil's a long-time European brand made by Henkel, and in my experience (and that of Consumer Reports) is on par with the higher-end Tide products and slightly better than regular old Tide.

I like it just fine, but I'll buy whichever is cheaper between it and Tide at the time I need it, because it's not that much better to warrant paying more.

As far as laundry stains go, Zout is IMO, by far the best pretreater out there. For greasy stains, an example of something that actually works really well is using Goop waterless hand cleaner (or other similar products). It says so on the label, but when you actually put it in, it seems like you've just greased up your shirt. But it washes right out and takes the grease spot right out.

Also... there's a product called "Lestoil" that's essentially an industrial version of Pine-Sol, but it has some sort of solvent in it I think. Anyway, while it does a bang-up job on floors, it does a remarkable job on soap scum in showers and tubs- apparently that solvent dissolves something in soap scum, and it cleans up surprisingly easily. Like can clean up a grungy college boy shower without a lot of tedious scrubbing easily.
  #21  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:58 PM
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One thing that has quite literally changed my life is regularly using a Neti Pot. I know it's the furthest thing away from fancy new technology but I swear it's reduced my allergy-related nose drippage by like 95% and I am a huge advocate now.
  #22  
Old 02-26-2020, 03:11 PM
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This may be outside the scope of this thread, but I'll offer it up: allergy shots.

I got the scratch test and was diagnosed "allergic to the outdoors." They actually stopped the test half-way through the allotted time because I had reacted so strongly to the test allergens.

Did the course of shots, and now instead of being on Claritin essentially from Valentine's Day through July 4, I take the occasional one when the air gets really thick with pollen. Absolutely night and day.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:14 PM
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When i was a landlord, we usually junked and replaced stove hoods, no tenant ever cleaned them. Then we found a product call Greased Lightning. It works.

Also, Shout laundry sheets. I mix all my clothing together, lights and darks, throw in one of the Shout Sheets and no color bleeding.

A paste of Oxi-Clean and water gets out just about any stain.
  #24  
Old 02-26-2020, 10:26 PM
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Oxi clean is great. I used the liquid mixed with baking soda to clean the grout in the bathroom of my new-to-me condo. The previous owners were smokers and chlorine bleach was working okay on the grout but not bringing it back to white. The Oxi-clean brings it back to white. That stuff is fantastic.
  #25  
Old 02-26-2020, 10:42 PM
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...

We make our own eyeglasses cleaner. Mix rubbing alcohol (at least 90% alcohol, none of the dollar store diluted crap) with filtered water, 50/50. Pour into a spray bottle, and add a little blub of Dawn dish detergent. Put on the sprayer head, and invert the bottle (over the sink, please) several times. Couple of squirts on your glasses, use a microfiber cloth to dry. Safe for all lenses!

...


~VOW
So DON'T buy the cheap diluted stuff, but DO buy the expensive stuff and dilute it yourself? That seems...unnecessary.
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Last edited by snfaulkner; 02-26-2020 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:13 PM
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So DON'T buy the cheap diluted stuff, but DO buy the expensive stuff and dilute it yourself? That seems...unnecessary.
Shoot, I just throw glasses into the dishwater before I wash the dishes, clean with my fingers, rinse and dry. I use store brand "Dawn" (per the list of ingredients) Granted, these are not Rx glasses.

Last edited by DummyGladHands; 02-26-2020 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:26 AM
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So DON'T buy the cheap diluted stuff, but DO buy the expensive stuff and dilute it yourself? That seems...unnecessary.
No... I think what he's saying is don't buy glasses cleaner at all, but rather use the stuff you probably have on hand. I mean, I could easily make the same thing he's describing using the 70% alcohol I have on hand (after a little math to figure out the proportions of 70% alcohol to water), and the Dawn we have in the kitchen. Cheaper when you look at it that way than buying dedicated glasses cleaner.

Or you could do what I do and just use your soapy fingers to wash your glasses when you wash your hands, assuming your hands aren't gritty or anything.
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:23 PM
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No... I think what he's saying is don't buy glasses cleaner at all, but rather use the stuff you probably have on hand.
No, I wondered the same thing as snfaulkner. Why does it matter that you use "at least 90% alcohol, none of the dollar store diluted crap" if you're just going to dilute it anyway?

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 02-27-2020 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:44 PM
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The original "recipe" calls for rubbing alcohol. And it is to be diluted 50/50 with purified or filtered water.

If you buy your rubbing alcohol at the dollar store, and dilute THAT stuff, you'll make an inferior finished product.

OR...you can buy the dollar store stuff, put in a glub of Dawn dish detergent, and stick the sprayer directly on the bottle of rubbing alcohol.

If it fits.


~VOW
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Last edited by VOW; 02-27-2020 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:12 PM
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Smart thinking. I may just have to do that. My contacts are gonna be on hiatus for awhile. My glasses never seem clean enough.
Thx ~VOW.
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:58 PM
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One word: ShamWow.

I am also in the George Foreman Grill and Swiffer (at least for the Sweeper) camps.
  #32  
Old 02-28-2020, 09:04 AM
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The original "recipe" calls for rubbing alcohol. And it is to be diluted 50/50 with purified or filtered water.

If you buy your rubbing alcohol at the dollar store, and dilute THAT stuff, you'll make an inferior finished product.

OR...you can buy the dollar store stuff, put in a glub of Dawn dish detergent, and stick the sprayer directly on the bottle of rubbing alcohol.

If it fits.


~VOW
I'm not following at all. the 90% rubbing alcohol is 90% isopropyl alcohol and 10% purified water. The "cheap stuff" is 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% purified water. And you're adding more water to it, but that still gives you a solution of water and alcohol and nothing else.

Mixing 90% rubbing alcohol 50/50 with distilled water is very close to mixing it 2/3 70% rubbing alcohol and 1/3 distilled water, with the main difference being slightly more alcohol in the second example (you actually want 64%/36%).

Either way, you're getting 45-46% alcohol and 54-55% water in the final solution, regardless of which rubbing alcohol product you choose.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:31 AM
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Many years ago I bought an Armor All drying cloth for my car. It came in its own plastic tube, wasn't all that expensive, and I thought 'why not'. I really didn't expect it to work, as most microfiber cloths are marginally effective. When I took it out of its tube, I noted the rubbery feel of it and thought "Well, this is crap".

I still have it and it still works great. It absorbs a LOT of water, wrings out and soaks up a ton more, then rolls back up and into its storage tube. It's a good thing it works so well, as I don't think Armor All makes it any longer.
Is it the orange one? I've got that one and it's pretty good.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:59 AM
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And a sorta yes on the Swiffer. Loved 'em and used 'em for years. But buying the mop refills got to me. I switched to a brand that used washable microfiber cloths. Not QUITE as good, but close and within my budget.
I don't buy microfiber anything anymore. It's basically plastic, and it's getting into the food chain.

Quote:
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We had a George Foreman grill ten years ago; I had no complaints.
Still have one, still use it. It's great for bacon and grilling chicken. I admit I have never tried the other inserts that came with, but I am actively trying to find unused versions of the basic upper and lower plates because some of the teflon is starting to wear away.
  #35  
Old 02-28-2020, 11:22 AM
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QuickBrite. It looks like pink school paste and comes in a big (1 qt.) tub. Put a thin coating on any grill, oven surface, baking rack, or similar greasy/baked surface, wait a bit, then just wipe it off and rinse. It doesn't stink like many degreasers do. It also works great on laundry stains (especially greasy ones). You can thin it down and spray it, but the paste form works best. I bought a tub about ten years ago and I'm still using it. It's kind of like GoJo, but thicker and with less smell.
  #36  
Old 02-28-2020, 12:50 PM
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Not "hyped" in an ad-blitz sort of way, but something championed on a lot of message boards: Folex carpet spot remover. I ran across exuberant reviews for the product when searching for a way to clean my car's floor mats. "Miracle" was a word often used.

My driver's side floor mat was really bad. Folex helped, but it was a super-tough assignment.

But I tried in on a variety of indoor carpet stains (for the few areas in my house that still have carpet), and I will say "miracle" is pretty accurate. Stains of unknown origin that had been there for years were gone in 10 seconds. Spray, wait a few seconds, then gently wipe with a cloth.

Even better: no offensive odor (hardly any odor at all, that I can detect).
  #37  
Old 02-28-2020, 01:07 PM
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Nature's Miracle de-scenter for cat/dog urine etc. Also their skunk de-scenter (no, not for de-scenting skunks, for dealing with the dog after the dog found a skunk.)

I'm not at all sure that the multiplying versions they now go in for aren't all the same stuff with different labels, though (the skunk stuff possibly aside.)
  #38  
Old 02-28-2020, 07:30 PM
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I'm not following at all. the 90% rubbing alcohol is 90% isopropyl alcohol and 10% purified water. The "cheap stuff" is 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% purified water. And you're adding more water to it, but that still gives you a solution of water and alcohol and nothing else.

Mixing 90% rubbing alcohol 50/50 with distilled water is very close to mixing it 2/3 70% rubbing alcohol and 1/3 distilled water, with the main difference being slightly more alcohol in the second example (you actually want 64%/36%).

Either way, you're getting 45-46% alcohol and 54-55% water in the final solution, regardless of which rubbing alcohol product you choose.

The cheapie stuff at the dollar store is 50% isopropyl alcohol. If you dilute THAT, you'll end up with a final product that is only one-fourth alcohol.

And you won't be happy with the glasses cleaner, then.


~VOW
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  #39  
Old 02-28-2020, 07:50 PM
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Years ago I bought a clearance Wraptastic, one of those plastic wrap dispensers. It works as well as the commercials say it does.

Oh- it has been over a decade since I saw a brand of plastic wrap with a slider cutter on the box for sale around here, so that option's no good here.
  #40  
Old 02-29-2020, 06:07 PM
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Also... there's a product called "Lestoil" that's essentially an industrial version of Pine-Sol, but it has some sort of solvent in it I think. Anyway, while it does a bang-up job on floors, it does a remarkable job on soap scum in showers and tubs- apparently that solvent dissolves something in soap scum, and it cleans up surprisingly easily. Like can clean up a grungy college boy shower without a lot of tedious scrubbing easily.
Lestoil was really good about 25-30 years ago. Then it disappeared for "safety reasons" and came back a few years ago reformulated. Good, but not the magic stuff it used to be.
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