Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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January 17

Cleaned too much - stained bathroom sink

We tried to clean out a slow drain with a pink heavy duty drain cleaner (the bottle of which is now out in the garbage and irretrievable but it was a clear bottle with text printed directly on the palstic). Unfortunately it left a faint yellow stain on the white ikea sink. Anyone got any tips or tricks to clean or repair?
posted by platypus of the universe at 8:20 AM - 9 answers

January 16

dealing with wood discoloration after surface treatment

I have a wood tabletop (IKEA Gerton) that I'm going to use as a work surface. After sanding from 120 to 180 grit and applying a preliminary coat of water-based polyurethane (Minwax brand clear satin wipe-on) several large light spots appeared on the wood surface. What may have caused this, and can it be fixed? [more inside]
posted by One Thousand and One at 1:48 PM - 3 answers

House Plants - The Deep Dive

You love house plants. I'm looking for your favorite websites/ books/ vendors/shows etc. about house plants. Information on caring for house plants, house plant porn, information about types, basically anything house plant. [more inside]
posted by WalkerWestridge at 9:08 AM - 13 answers

Water in my fireplace when the rain is sideways. How much of a problem?

The fireplace in our 1961 ranch gets a little bit of water in it during very heavy rains, but only heavy, gusting, sideways rain. We had a cap put on this summer, and while they were assessing for the cap they said that we'd have to waterproof and address the flashing at some point in the next five years, but that it wasn't a huge problem. Today it's raining sideways and there's a slow drip. How worried should I be? Snowflake inside. [more inside]
posted by The Librarian at 7:08 AM - 11 answers

January 15

Apartment lease and the 1978 lead paint rule

My apartment lease states that the apartment was built after 1978, and thus my landlord didn't need to provide a lead based paint disclosure, however, after signing the lease I've found old photographs of the building from the 1950s. [more inside]
posted by ataxia at 1:19 PM - 13 answers

Can I heat this? Or, how important is microwave vent clearance?

What happens if my microwave doesn't have the manufacturer's recommended clearances on each side? Will I burn down the house and die horribly? [more inside]
posted by phoenixy at 9:25 AM - 5 answers

January 14

Hacks to Shut Off Your Intuition

We bought a house, against our better judgment. It was a big mistake. Our brains keep screaming at us, "This was a mistake! You have ruined your life!" What can we do in the meantime to stay functional and un-f**k our lives? [more inside]
posted by chara at 7:12 AM - 35 answers

How can I track stuff I buy vs stuff I get rid of?

I'm looking for an app that's like budgeting, but for stuff - so I can track what's coming into my house and what's being sold/donated/thrown out. Does this exist? [more inside]
posted by mippy at 2:06 AM - 3 answers

January 13

Metal Under Top Plate in Wall Framing?

I'm in my attic trying to drill down through the top plate of a wall so I can pull cables, and I'm hitting something metal. I tried a few different spots and it seems to run the full length of the plate. Any idea what this is and how/if I can drill through it? [more inside]
posted by willnot at 8:27 AM - 6 answers

January 12

What to do with unneeded Ikea Luroy bed slats?

I'm removing an Ikea bed and wondering if there's anything creative/interesting to be done with the bedslats? They're 28 pieces of slightly curving laminated wood, 27" or so long. Quite pretty in my opinion, structurally solid and I don't want to toss them. But what to make? Something for 6- or 8-year-old users would be nice but not required. Assume half-decent woodworking skills but limited time.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 7:25 PM - 7 answers

Ugh floaty kitchen bugs... how to get rid of them?

For the last few months, we have had an infestation of what I assumed were fruit flies. These little guys have been around for a few months now, and I'm sick of it. But I also don't have any idea what i am doing *wrong* to get rid of them... maybe you can help. [more inside]
posted by RajahKing at 9:12 AM - 24 answers

Can you save my old sofa from the landfill?

I'm getting rid of an old sofa and I'd like to not just throw it away and have it end up in landfill. It's about 20 years old and is pretty dirty after 10 years of living with a dog. It's structurally sound and is very comfortable, and if someone wanted to throw blankets or throws over it, it would be fine. But it's not nice enough that most Good Will-type places will take it. I live in Brooklyn and I've listed it with Free Cycle. Are there any other options?
posted by swheatie at 8:17 AM - 21 answers

January 11

How damned is this ice?

We moved to a 1950s-era house that has a not-very-steep roof, deep eaves, no gutters. There's ice buildup on the roof in a spot where two parts of the house intersect, a v-shaped area that gets little sun. Should we try to remove that ice (with one of those socks or something) or is it okay to leave it there so long as the eaves below that spot are clear? [more inside]
posted by zenzenobia at 9:38 AM - 5 answers

January 10

What is happening with my vintage flatware?

So a few days ago I asked why my vintage flatware was suddenly tarnished and it turned out the answer was something like "you need to polish it, and it didn't tarnish all at once, it's just that you finally noticed it." So I polished it and all was well. But then... [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:34 PM - 12 answers

Emotional Support Animal in a new apartment

I will be moving into a new apartment soon for a new job. I qualify for an Emotional Support Animal. Should I mention it to the landlord before moving in? I don't have the pet yet and am still looking at places. [more inside]
posted by smorgasbord at 6:28 PM - 12 answers

Sewing, but make it not fashion

What are your favorite resources for sewing projects and techniques, but for making things other than clothing? [more inside]
posted by Lyn Never at 9:57 AM - 8 answers

January 9

#1 Guide to Refinishing

Looking for the absolute best guide to furniture/wood refinishing. I have some experience and some success but I'm looking for more in-depth than what your standard home handyman blog post can offer. Theory, practical steps, special tools, etc. Book form would be best, unless there is a consistently excellent web or magazine source. Thanks!
posted by hafehd at 5:09 PM - 4 answers

How can we make our backyard feel more accessible?

We bought a house last year that's been great, all things considered. It's about half an acre of land. However, our house and garage are surrounded by a massive gravel driveway, fit for a hundred cars! But we just have the one. How can we best pare it down and make our beautiful backyard and surrounds feel more accessible? [more inside]
posted by ancient star at 12:49 PM - 9 answers

January 8

When you gotta go, you gotta go.... shopping.

I have one bathroom renovation and one addition in my future, and I have been researching toilets and washlets until I'm blue in face. I want two features that, from my research so far, seem to be mutually exclusive. [more inside]
posted by kate4914 at 4:30 PM - 7 answers

January 6

Why did all of my vintage flatware tarnish at once?

So my household has used a combination of non-matching vintage flatware + nonfancy nonvintage flatware forever. After years of this stuff holding up super well, in a short burst all of our vintage stuff became mottled and somewhat gross-looking. The contemporary pieces are fine. What happened? Can I reverse it? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:34 PM - 20 answers

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