Thursday, February 10, 2011

Atomic Floor Cleaner Compound

I was getting ready to wax the floor the other day at one of our rental properties, when I noticed some stubborn stains on the vinyl tile floor. There were square darkened areas where the previous tenant had laid some rubber-backed floor mats:
So, I stripped off the wax, and thoroughly cleaned the floor, but the stains remained. All of my commercial-grade big-guns would not blast out the stain.
I did a little research, and found the cause - not the tenant, but the manufacturer of the rugs. Have you noticed that the backing of rubber-backed rugs does not deteriorate and crumble as much as in the old days? That's because the manufacturers treat the backing with ANTI-OXIDANTS, which retard the deterioration of the rubber. And they react with vinyl tile, even through many coats of floor wax, by osmosis. And there was even a little-known cure, using safe planet-friendly ingredients that can be found in any kitchen cabinet: lemon juice and baking soda. (if you look at the first picture again, you'll see I just had some lying around in the doorway!).And I followed the instructions, first adding about half a box of baking soda, and then enough lemon juice to form a paste.
They didn't say that this would cause a reaction akin to cold nuclear fusion, but, hey, it was the most exciting thing that happened that day. Janitors don't get out much, and they have to get their entertainment wherever they can.
So I applied the glop, which smelled good enough to eat, all over the floor, and spread it around with my Power Flite floor scrubber. Here's a cockpit view:
I let the paste set overnight on the floor, as suggested, and the following day, I eagerly mopped up the dried mixture to reveal:
Nothing. The atomic home-made Internet Compound for the Elimination of Anti-Oxidants did nothing. In all fairness, in subsequent days, I also tried the Miraculous Oxi Substance with the same results. Looks like the dead guy couldn't help me either.

So, last night I started waxing, and the stains will be a little easier to sell to prospective tenants under three coats of gleaming fresh-smelling floor wax. The only other option is to replace the tiles. So, the Serenity Prayer Solution it is! Learn to accept the things the landlord is no f@#$g way going to change. It's a very clean and shiny stain. Or get a throw rug! With a nice rubber backing treated with anti-oxidants so that the backing will not deteriorate. This is how the world goes 'round.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

White Cliffs

Still a bit sore from all the shoveling and snow-blowing from the latest bit o' winter precipitation. It was called a "monster blizzard" by the media. Al Gore called it a manifestation of global warming, but he says that about bread trucks and tennis shoes too. I took a look out the door in the morning and realized I probably wouldn't have to go to work that day.
The lady in the apartment upstairs is a nurse, and she had taken a suitcase to work and stayed overnight. In place of her pickup truck was a 6-foot snow drift. In place of our back alley was a level white plain 4-5 ft deep and 3/4 of a block long. Hundreds of cubic yards of snow. Officially the snowfall was 18 inches, but everything I shoveled was at least 2 feet deep. And I can't begin to tell you how much snow the government gave us from the roads. We were free to do anything we wanted with the snow the government trucks put up on our sidewalks.
I spent the day looking for places to keep all that snow, and I couldn't sell it to anybody on Craig's list because everybody had snow of their own. So after working 5am - 6:30pm wednesday and 5am-8am on thursday, everybody had found their car, and was all home safe and sound. So, finally it was time to put away the Toro and take some pictures. And a video of the historical event: use if you don't see a video below.

Keep warm!