7.22.2008

do you want ketchup on that???

Still remodeling the basement. Whew. It's a lot of work. And we're not even doing the work. I admire all you DIYers out there because remodeling is wearing me out. This blog post is about the tarnished door hinges pictured above. John, our builder, told me they looked so bad that he thought we should just get new ones. (The picture doesn't really show how tarnished they were.) So he checked on the price of new hinges and the builder's supply place doesn't stock the size we need and they would have to be special ordered. Not wanting another delay, I told John, "I'll just clean them up myself."

So I went to my computer to good ole Google and entered, "How to clean brass door hinges." There were several suggestions like using Brasso, vinegar & salt rub, ketchup.... Scott had a fit when I told him about the ketchup, "We are not putting ketchup on our door hinges," he said. He suggested I use the "wonder cleaner" that he bought last month from the young lady who would not leave our doorstep until he caved in and paid $34.00 for her apple-smelling water. She did, after all, demonstrate the wonders of Advantage cleaner on our brass door handle, and it did shine it up a bit. So I tried that and it barely helped. Then I got out the ketchup and started rubbing. Oh my heck, it cleaned the tarnish right off!!
This photo doesn't really show the wonders of ketchup on brass, but you can see that those hinges look pretty darn good. There are a few tricks. You have to have a dry terrycloth towel - like an old washcloth. It works better if you squirt the ketchup on a dry section of the cloth rather than a damp part. You have to really really rub. Elbow grease required. And it takes awhile. But it sure does the job. Scott kept walking into where I was working and saying that he couldn't believe it. He even picked up a hinge, got out his bottle of Advantage and scrubbed real good, then admitted that the ketchup was doing a better job.
I started at about 11 and finished at 12:45 (at night). I was so tired from all the work (and the stinky smell) that by the end the last hinges didn't look so good. But I figure I saved about $200.oo, so it was worth it. Meanwhile, Scott was earning his pay by installing flourescent light tubes in the new game room. I'll post photos of the remodeling progress next.

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