Questions tagged [cleaning]

For questions about cleaning agents and methods used to remove dirt, stains, residues, and bad smells, including proper waste disposal. For particular questions about surfactants, use the [surfactants] tag.

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22
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I safely handle a concentrated (fuming) nitric acid spill?

I will shortly be using $90~\%$ or higher concentration nitric acid in a home environment for the purpose of decapping ICs. I understand the corrosive dangers of nitric acid, and most of the important ...
18
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1answer
3k views

How many times can we recycle one sheet of paper?

Its really interesting to see the process of recycling of paper (as shown in picture below) but at the same time I was thinking like for how many times can one sheet of paper can be recycled ?
17
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3answers
7k views

What causes the smell in rotten meat-grease and how can I get rid of it thoroughly?

We've just spilled the can of used meat-grease we collect so that it doesn't go down the drain and it turns out it was rotten. Now the granite counter-top and the wood-laminate floor of the kitchen ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Would the mixture of vinegar and baking soda make a cleaning agent?

I've seen it suggested countless times that combining vinegar and baking soda is a great home cleaning solution, but this always seemed like nonsense to me. I recognize that baking soda, a base, can ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Strange Sticky Substance on Digital Camera [closed]

I purchased a used Canon Powershot A1100 IS camera online. When I received it in the mail it had a very strange sticky substance that looked like a thin film. It resisted attempts at cleaning. Water, ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Soap and rain water, why does it not rinse off?

I am in Papua New Guinea at the moment, where rain water harvesting is the most common way of getting water. When washing hands, the soap feels hard to rinse off, and my skin feels "greasy". I read ...
9
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3answers
2k views

How do we get rid of dangerous explosive acetone peroxide and nitroglycerine?

Imagine the police (or army or whoever's job is that) found out that some maniac placed a lot of primary explosives under a building. They have evacuated the building and deactivated the trigger. ...
8
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2answers
6k views

Will using vinegar harm car paint?

After having parked my car in a newly constructed airport parking garage, I came back to find something had dripped through a crack in the ceiling of the structure and left considerably thick film on ...
8
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3answers
7k views

What are the best chemical liquids to clean metallic surfaces?

I'm just a simple man curious about things. I've no big understanding of chemistry. I had this question today in mind. What chemicals could I use to achieve the cleanest metallic surface? For example,...
8
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0answers
234 views

DIY hand sanitiser solution forms spongy substance

I am trying to make my own hand sanitiser since it’s sold out everywhere. The formula I use is 1 part aloe vera gel in 2 parts 100% isopropyl alcohol. The problem is when mixing the two, the solution ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Does the main washing effect of soap come from foam?

I am curious if the main cleaning effect of soap comes from its foam (or, maybe, it is just a by-product). Here are some points, that might clarify what I mean: Does foam sort of "carry" dirt and ...
7
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4answers
6k views

Distilled water to clean greasy stains: Why does that work?

I noticed that distilled water works well to clean away fingerprints on touchscreens or oil stains on a ceramic field after frying an egg. But water and oil/fat are not supposed to mix, so why does ...
6
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3answers
1k views

How to achieve clean dishes and glasses?

I heard that there is a standard about cleaned glass, namely Chemically clean glass supports a uniform film of water, with no hanging droplets visible. I tried to clean my dishes at home using ...
6
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2answers
166 views

How can I make a better whiteboard cleaning solution?

I just started work as a lab assistant in a chem lab. The whiteboard the instructor uses for classes gets very dirty very quickly. The woman who started at the same time as I did spent over 3 hours ...
6
votes
1answer
67k views

Chemicals to clean natural stones

I picked up some stones from a hiking trip. What can I use to thoroughly clean the mud and other hard deposits on the surface of the stones? I have only washed them with plain water.
6
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1answer
146 views

Definitive Guide To Removing Stains From Baby Clothes

I'd like someone to explain, scientifically, what makes some baby clothes' stains so hard to remove, and what the right way to treat the stains is, chemistry-wise. A lot of internet sites have ...
5
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4answers
37k views

Sulfuric acid fumes from cleaning shower drain

This morning a workman came by to my newly rented property to fix a few things, among which a slightly blocked bathtub drain. He let some mild water run continuously and he poured down a chemical, ...
5
votes
1answer
28k views

Which reagent can I use to remove carbon from oven?

I have a practical question: today I have to clean the oven, and it doesn't have self cleaning burn down mode, nor an official scraper I can use... It's full of charred grease and sugar. I managed to ...
5
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1answer
336 views

How to safely clean tantalum jewelry

I have some tantalum jewelry that I would like to clean. I've tried just soap and water to no success, so I wanted to try one of the standard at-home cleaning methods, like this one that uses foil, ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

Simple and cheap anti-graffiti layer based non-paint solvent

I have this issue with a group of people intentionally damaging a bench. So far, they would paint curses over the bench with permanent marker. However after I removed the curses with ethanol, they ...
5
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3answers
4k views

Aluminium foil on windows: what is the residue, and how to remove it?

I put aluminium foil on some windows' glass pane wetted with plain tap water, as a typical trick to stop sunlight. After 5 days, I removed the foil to find some kind of whitish pattern on the glass. ...
4
votes
2answers
502 views

Why are acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate mixed to unblock a drain?

I have always wondered about the rationale behind combining white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to perform household cleaning jobs, and to unblock drains. I would have expected white vinegar to act ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Reuse 20 litre plastic drums for drinking water?

Would you consider it safe to clean and reuse a 20 litre plastic drum that contained 36% Hydrochloric Acid for drinking water? If so how would you recommend cleaning it?
4
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2answers
2k views

Why is caustic soda (NaOH) used to clean beer bottles?

I see in many blogs in the internet that cleaning bottles with $\ce{NaOH}$ is very effective. I also realize that industries use caustic soda to clean bottles. Why is caustic soda very effective at ...
4
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1answer
3k views

For what reasons, is isopropyl alcohol widely used as a cleaning solvent?

I have worked in electronics and aeronautics industry 30 years ago, and I have always wondered, what were the specific properties of isopropyl alcohol, which make it used instead of other alcohols ...
4
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1answer
199 views

How to clean glassware containing pesticide solutions

I have pesticide (dimethoate) dissolved in methanol in volumetric flasks and graduated cylinders. How do I clean this glassware properly before moving on to the next dilution of a different pesticide.
4
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1answer
282 views

What are these stains on my stainless steel pans?

I've had enough of the homemaker advice of baking soda or barkeeper's friend products - their advice isn't working. I need a chemist! Please see the two photos below. This pan isn't quite as clean ...
4
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1answer
42k views

Deodorizing using baking powder instead of baking soda

I am an engineer and I understand the difference between baking power and baking soda as baking powder is baking soda (alkali) with tartaric acid (acidic) and an inert starch (why? Is this a catalyst ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Disrupting the chemistry of oobleck so that it behaves like a newtonian fluid

Oobleck (a mixture of cornstarch and water) is a non-newtonian fluid, so it acts like a solid when under pressure, and like a liquid otherwise. My question is this, is there anything you could mix in ...
3
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2answers
6k views

Does a sulfuric acid/nitric acid mixture dissolve PTFE (ie. teflon)?

In our lab, we commonly use a mixture of sulfuric acid and nitric acid to clean borosilicate glassware. I'd like to clean some PTFE pieces in there, too, but not sure if they will dissolve or not. ...
3
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2answers
16k views

Acetic(vinegar) and citric acid as the rust remover

I tested, separately, acetic and citric acids for cleaning steel parts. After 24 hours I have moderate results for acetic acid, and good results for citric acid. But in both cases, rust doesn't ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Which component in my tap water “scale” does not react with acid?

Where I live we have pretty hard tap water and so I'm used to scale build-up in kettles and on bathroom tiles, easily removed with acids (it's mostly calcium carbonate I guess). However it seems a ...
3
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1answer
16k views

Yellow stains after cleaning silver

I've recently moved to a old house and found some stuff in the attic, along that I found some really beautiful silverware(??) that unfortunately was VERY tarnished, one of the pieces was totally black ...
3
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1answer
161 views

Why isn't washing up liquid dry

Washing up liquid is wet and it is added to water. Why does it not come in a half size package and you add the water yourself? In the same way washing powder is?
3
votes
1answer
288 views

Safely lowering bleach pH without chlorine gas?

According to Eurekalert, by lowering the pH of household bleach (e.g., by adding vinegar or citric acid), we can increase $\text{[HOCl]}$ and consequently greatly improve the disinfecting capabilities ...
3
votes
1answer
12k views

How to remove formaldehyde (smell) from clothes/jeans?

Bought several jeans, then to discover they have a really nauseating smell, that is not removed by washing. Reckon it's formaldehyde, from what I can read. Anyway, assuming you have jeans with ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Bleach turned towel bright pink before fading to white

We have some relatively new white towels that were getting dirty, so we decided to clean them with bleach (standard Clorox). When we sprayed the diluted bleach on the towels they immediately turned ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Can baking soda or citric acid help clean a pot with burned-in milk rice?

The other day I was cooking milk rice and forgot about it so it burned a little on the bottom. This lower layer was very hard to clean. A lot of websites recommend boiling water in the pot with baking ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Cleaning stains with hydrogen peroxide and bleach

A while back, I discovered that if you have a stain on a white shirt, you can remove it by putting hydrogen peroxide on the stain, then adding some bleach to it. I have used this for getting out wine,...
3
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1answer
3k views

Is hydrogen peroxide safe for cleaning porcelain?

From my understanding hydrogen peroxide only reacts with bacteria in a way that it should burn them more or less. If that is true, can I then safely use hydrogen peroxide to clean my bathroom sink ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Solvents for tartrates / tannins that won't attack glass

At the bottom of my wine decanter (which due to its shape is fantastically hard to clean mechanically) a layer of reddish brown precipitate forms. I believe this is probably potassium bitartrate ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Isopropyl alcohol to clean Nylon plastic

I have a hardwood wooden frame, possibly lacquered, containing some very dirty nylon plastic pieces, a bit like the teeth of a comb, where the frame goes along top and bottom. I know it's nylon ...
3
votes
1answer
641 views

Will washing child seat belt straps with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide make them unsafe to use?

My friend is afraid to use the child seat for her next child. She was told washing them with the solution weakened the fabric, The straps weren't submerged, but they did get throughly wet.
3
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0answers
823 views

Ammonia for cleaning - what is the interaction between ammonia and oils?

Household ammonia is recognized as being an excellent cleaner for grease and oil. My question is, how does this work? Does ammonia merely put the oils into a suspension, like a detergent does? Or is ...
3
votes
1answer
433 views

Urea-Formaldehyde cleanup

I work a lot with Urea-Formaldehyde resin/plastic, both in carpentry and textiles. Cleanup while still uncured is simple enough. Cleanup before even mixed is easy enough. What I don't know, is how to ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Dichloromethane cleaning

Is it safe to drink out of a bottle that use to contain Dichloromethane? What should I use to clean a bottle of Dichloromethane? Is there any chemicals that I could use to dissolve the ...
2
votes
1answer
29k views

How to reverse damage done by nail polish remover without acetone to a laptop keyboard?

Today I was trying to clean my laptop with a nail polish remover (ingredients: ethyl acetate, peg-40, hydrogenated castor oil, panthenol, parfum, d-limonene, geraniol, ci 26100, ci 60725). Not only it ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Dangers of expired bleach?

I have some unopened Clorox bleach bought over a year ago (at $8.25~\%\ \ce{NaOCl}$) and read on Wikipedia that bleach naturally decomposes according to $$\ce{3 NaOCl (aq) -> NaClO3 (aq) + 2 NaCl(...
2
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1answer
190 views

Water in the ultrasonication bath

Why something jelly forms in the water if it is kept in in a ultrasonication bath for long periods? When water is exposed to ultrasonication for say a month, some jelly substances form in the ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What are the best cleaning agents for carbon residues on glassware?

Introduction Recenly I wanted to isolate some ascorbic acid (Vitamin C or chemically - $\ce{C6H8O6}$). I've put the filtered solution (I had to filter it because of the binder) in a flask and heated ...