Stop Countertop Stains with a Protective Coating
If you have an older plastic laminate countertop, you've probably noticed that it doesn't repel stains like it used to. That's because years of wear have left the surface lightly scratched and porous. The best way to prevent stains is to wipe up spills immediately. But a protective coating of countertop polish can also help. Plus it will restore the shine to dull countertops. All you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off every few weeks. Most home centers and discount stores carry countertop polish such as Countertop Magic or Hope's Counter Top Polish. If you don't find it in a store, search for 'countertop polish' online to find a supplier.
Renew Wood with Mineral Spirits
If the finish on your furniture or woodwork is dull and murky, it may need refinishing. But before you take on that project, take a tip from furniture restorers and clean it with mineral spirits. Mineral spirits—sometimes labeled 'paint thinner'—is a gentle solvent that dissolves years of grime and residue from cleaners or polishes without harming wood finishes. Get it at a home center or paint store. Just soak a soft cloth and keep rubbing until the cloth no longer picks up grime. Work in a well-ventilated area and remember that the fumes are flammable. Hang the cloth outdoors to dry before throwing it in the trash.
Buff Off Shower Door Scum
If you have glass shower doors in your bathroom and don't keep on top of the cleaning, you can end up with soap scum so tough that it's nearly impossible to remove. That's when you bring out the heavy equipment.
Pick up some polishing compound at a home center or auto parts store and use an auto buffer to polish off the offending scum. If you don't own a buffer, you can buy one (they're inexpensive) or borrow one from a gearhead friend. If possible, remove the doors and take them out to the garage to avoid messing up the bathroom.