How to Clean Any Kind of Dirty Surface

Don't let a single surface in your home be a cleaning challenge for you! Here is how you can tackle dirt on any surface, from aluminum to fiberglass. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
April 26, 2017



Here’s a great cleaner for aluminum. Sprinkle cream of tartar on a wedge of lemon and rub it into the surface. Let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse and buff dry. If you don’t have any cream of tartar, you can also try this trick with baking soda.


To clean and polish brass, make a paste of one part salt, one part flour, and one part vinegar. Rub this paste into the item using a soft cloth, then rinse with warm water and buff with a dry cloth for a glistening shine.


If your chrome faucets are less than sparkly, try rubbing them with flour. Rinse, then buff with a soft cloth, and they’ll really shine. Vinegar also works well for cleaning chrome.


Here’s an unlikely cleaning tool—ketchup. It works great on copper. Simply rub on with a soft cloth, let sit for 30-45 minutes, then rinse off with hot water and wipe dry.


Cleaning fiberglass is, unfortunately, an adults-only chore. Using plastic gloves in a well-ventilated room, mix together one cup of vinegar, a half cup of baking soda, a half cup of clear ammonia, and one gallon of warm water. Designate a sponge just for this purpose (or use a rag) and be sure the solution doesn’t touch your skin when you rub it onto the fiberglass.

See also: How to Get Rid of Scuff Marks on Your Shoes

Cleaning Leather

The best way to keep leather furniture clean is to have your children and pets stay away! But if it gets dirty, there are a few ways to tackle the problem. You can rub down treated leather with a damp cloth, and an occasional date with warm soapy water won’t harm it. If you accidentally get a liquid that badly stains on your leather, blot up as much as you can, then apply hydrogen peroxide with a cotton ball to wipe it up.

For more cleaning tips for around the house, check out our Cleaning Tips board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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