The windows in our apartment are spotted or pitted from the aluminum screens.
I have tried to remove the pitted spots with ammonia but have not been successful. I replaced the two windows in the kitchen about two years ago and now the new glass is spotted. I am ordering plastic screens in an attempt to overcome this problem. Do you have any advice on removing the spots? -- H.A.P.
There are several methods you can try for cleaning spots from glass.
A solution of water mixed with oxalic acid is one method. Use rubber gloves and apply the solution with a sponge.
Be careful not to spill the acid solution on any surrounding painted areas. Rinse with plenty of clear water.
A stronger solution is muriatic acid mixed with water (one part acid to nine parts water). This is a highly corrosive acid, and you will need to use extreme care in handling this solution.
Pour the acid into the water, not the other way around. Use rubber gloves, eye goggles and wear old clothes. Use a sponge to apply the solution to the glass and rinse with plenty of clear water.
Again, be careful not to get this solution on painted areas or aluminum window sashes.
Another effective solution for removing superficial scratches from glass tabletops, mirrors, windows, etc., is the following mixture: 1 ounce of iron oxide, also called jeweler's rouge or polishing rouge (this very fine, dark red powder is available from hobby shops or jewelry supply stores) mixed with 1 ounce of glycerin and 1 ounce of water to form a paste.
Put a small amount on a cloth and rub the scratched or pitted areas; wash off the paste with clear water from time to time to check your progress. If scratches or pitted areas are deep, it may take a while.
One of our readers has this suggestion for cleaning stubborn spots from window glass:
"To the lady who couldn't get the spots off the windows, apparently left by raindrops, a can of chrome polish will take them off. I use it every year and it works."
About a year ago, I opened my dishwasher and, lo and behold, a big mouse!
I set a trap in the dishwasher and in less than an hour I caught the critter. I also set traps in the lower shelves of my kitchen cabinets and within a week I had 12 more invaders.
During this time, a plumber came to install a new disposal and he took off the foot plate of the dishwasher and discovered the "invaders" had set up housekeeping in that area.
However, my problem is that a year later an odor still persists on the lower shelves of my cabinets.
We have scrubbed the particle board shelves with strong detergent, with chlorine bleach and sprayed with Lysol aerosol deodorant. I have even set in bowls of vinegar. Someone suggested "kitty litter" but I haven't tried that.
I don't want to replace the shelves. Can you suggest a deodorizer? -- A.B.
Kitty litter is a good deodorizer. However, in your case I believe you need something stronger.
Paradichlorbenzine scattered about in crystal form, or placed high in blocks, are good deodorants. The gas liberated by this material is said to be five times heavier than the air and, therefore, presses the odor affected air to the floor or out of the building. There are also commercial deodorizers available.
One of your best bets might be to contact a pest control firm and seek their advice on odor removal. That would be easier and less expensive than shelf replacement.
About 30 years ago, I glued some Hummel figurines to glass that was cut to the size of knickknack shelves.
Over the years some of the figurines have become unglued, but some are still stuck to the glass. I would like to remove them all from the glass. Could you advise me as to what I might use? I do not recall what type of glue or cement was used. -- R.S.
Try heating the bottom of the figurines by applying warm air from a hair dryer to the underside of the glass and the figurines. If this is successful in softening the glue, you can pry the figurines loose with a spatula or paint scraper.
If this does not work, using dry ice wrapped in a plastic bag and gloves to protect your hands, apply the cold to the glass under the figurines.
This can make the glue brittle, which will enable you to remove the figurines. In the latter treatment, use care.
The glass may break under extreme cold.
However, I assume that it is the figurines you want to save as the glass can be replaced easily.
Send inquiries to Here's How, Copley News Service, P.O. Box 190, San Diego, CA 92112-0190. Only questions of general interest can be answered in the column.