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Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 02:19 PM   #1
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Cleaning stuff

1. The Car Greg almost never washes the car. When I worked fulltime I would bring the car to the fancy car wash where they would clean it inside and out. Now the car hasn't been washed for several months. Does it matter? Will the car last longer if it is washed regularly? We live in snow country and the black car looks almost totally gray right now from all the salt. The only real problem I am sure about is that salt gets on my black winter coat when getting in or out of the car.

We will keep this car for years so resale isn't that big of a deal. But rust is. With all the rust proofing today, I am not sure it really matters if the car is washed regularly. Plus, it gets dirty right away anyway.

2.The windows This spring we may sell our building. The outside has those cheesy aluminum combination screen/storm windows. The grit is almost impossible to clean off of them. It is like the grit becomes imbeded in the glass. Could that be the case? Any ideas on products to clean our exterior windows?
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 02:55 PM   #2
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Re: Cleaning stuff

The car:* I would worry about salt.* I'd just take it through on of those brushless deals that spray up underneath.* I lost a car to rust (only 15 years old and 150K miles!).*

The windows:* I guess replacement is out of the question.* I have the same type of windows, and that's next on my to do of expensive things.* In fact the kitchen and a couple of others will be replaced over the summer.

Windows can be etched, so if you live in a windy place, particles could have embedded the selves.* Windows are pretty hard, though, since they are mostly made from sand, which is usually mostly quartz, which is pretty high (#7) on Mohs hardness scale.

Don't know about cleaning though ...

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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
The Car Greg almost never washes the car.
We don't either. The kid washes cars for Mother's/Father's Day and perhaps once or twice a year when she wants money. Otherwise we wouldn't even do that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Does it matter? Will the car last longer if it is washed regularly? We live in snow country and the black car looks almost totally gray right now from all the salt. The only real problem I am sure about is that salt gets on my black winter coat when getting in or out of the car.
Yes, if you're gonna live in that kind of climate then it matters. The salt will keep water in contact with the clearcoat. The slightest ding/hole in the clearcoat/paint will keep water in contact with the car's metal. It's rust-resistant but not forever.

The best thing to do is to hose the salt off the metal body/fenderwells/underside once or twice a month. It's even better if you can get it done at a touchless car wash or by a money-hungry kid. The key is to get the grit off without scratching of the clearcoat/paint.

The plastic parts of the car... it doesn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
2.The windows This spring we may sell our building. The outside has those cheesy aluminum combination screen/storm windows. The grit is almost impossible to clean off of them. It is like the grit becomes imbeded in the glass. Could that be the case? Any ideas on products to clean our exterior windows?
A solution of vinegar water & newsprint will get the streaks off. A squeegee or a scrunge pad or even a careful razor knife may get the grit off. I'm not sure what ammonia-based cleaners will do to aluminum but they will chew up vinyl (e.g. gaskets or seals).

Once the windows are squeaky clean we use Rain-X. It helps the dirt rinse/blow off and it sure minimizes the time we spend cleaning windows. It is a pain to apply because it takes a lot of rubbing to make it streak-free.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 08:06 PM   #4
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Car paint can be etched by a variety of substances dropped or dripped on it. "acid rain" and bird poop are pretty much bad news if left alone. Specs of some materials, under the heat of the sun can burn right through the paint layer, making a pinhole. You probably dont have much to worry about in MN about the 'heat of the sun' part.

That having been said, I wash our cars about once a year whether they need it or not, although they're garaged 100% of the time. And the wifes car, also the dogmobile, has so much dog fur in it I believe some paleontologists would like to do some digging in it. From my boston days, I can confirm that road salt is evil, evil stuff. That having been said, a lot of car washes do a poor job of removing all of it, and if you dont get all of it, the last thing you want is to wet it and force it into every nook and cranny of the underside of the car with high pressure water.

Windex makes this stuff in a bottle for exterior window cleaning; you screw the bottle on the end of a hose, water gets mixed with the solution in the bottle and sprayed on the windows. You wait a while, maybe work it with a brush on a long handle if they're really filthy, then wash it off with plain water. Cleans my exterior home windows beautifully with almost no work.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Martha:

I wash the wagon more frequently, since I spend a lot of time in it (long commute), but toady's wash must be the forst in three or four months. I'm not sure it makes that much difference. Frankly, if you are in salt country (MN, OH, WI, etc.), expect to get 10 years out of a car, after which it will be getting eaten by rust pretty much regardless of what you do. At least black paint makes it tough to see the rust...
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-21-2006, 11:58 PM   #6
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Re: Cleaning stuff

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
At least black paint makes it tough to see the rust...
Especially applying the black hi-gloss Rustoleum with a three-inch brush!
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 07:45 AM   #7
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Hi Martha,

Same problem here...outside windows. After some research I discovered as posted above that the glass is indeed etched. Not sandblasted or by windborne particles but by acid rain and other nasties in the rain water. Turns out its more important to clean the outside than the inside... who knew?
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 08:39 AM   #8
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Re: Cleaning stuff

We don't enjoy going to the carwash or washing the cars ourselves, so we found a guy who comes to the house--he charges $20 per car and does the best job we've ever seen, inside & out. When we lived in Massachusetts, we washed our cars at least once a month either ourselves or at a commercial carwash, but in California nad South Carolina, just once every 3-6 months. Never had a car rust out in MA, and I mostly bought used back then.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 08:53 AM   #9
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Because of better rust protection, cars don't seem to rust out near as fast up here as they used to. Maybe our car will be an experiment.

The house windows are really a dilemma. I think Bum is right and the windows are permanently etched. Products like what () mentioned don't work. I have considered trying Bar Keepers Helper and scrub a little. What's to lose? The windows look bad now, I don't think they would look a lot worse if I ended up scratching them a bit. I might try something like it on one of the windows.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 11:37 AM   #10
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Re: Cleaning stuff

I think Martha has a little "female" group think thing going on here. First, the aluminum windows are probably fifty years old. A little crud and deterioration (oxidation) should be expected over time. It adds character. Clean should NOT be a goal in and of itself, neccesarily, maybe, I think--hopefully :. (Miserliness, maybe, should be.) The glass though is still a puzzle. It seems to be worst on the sunny side of the house, although we do have 25ft. cedar trees trees on that side which may be contributing to the problem with their natural acids somehow jumping on the glass. There appears to be no deterioration of the brick and morter near by. But I haven't taken the time to search out chemical reactions between cement and acid. Either way, I don't care much. We're probably going to sell within the next couple of years anyway.

The car salt problem isn't quite so difficult of a decision for me . We've had an anomalous month here, with the temperatures hovering between 20 degrees at nite and about 35 degrees during the day. This is enough for the city to keep adding salt to the streets to prevent ice formation when colder but allowing everything to turn into slop and wet during the day. Usually by now, the temperature stays below 20 degrees day and nite. I refuse to go wash the car and then drive home to find the entire underside and half way up to the windows coated with salt again. I feel like I have just sacrificed $4-$5 to the Swedish meatball gods or $10 if I don't do it myself at the self-serve place. This happens even when I go to the expensive place only a few blocks away. If the car lasts ten years I'll be very happy. If I save $100/year on washing it, compounded at 4%, I have enough for some 'good' beer, or maybe we can afford to buy the weiner dogs some little Tony Lama boots to match their little cowboy hats when we go to Texas. Maybe some bandanas too. Or little chaps to get them used to wearing pants. Dang, I'm almost back to a cleaning problem again.

Besides, salt protects the car from cedar acids. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 11:40 AM   #11
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Re: Cleaning stuff

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Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
Besides, salt protects the car from cedar acids. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I could run a study that proves that. Very reasonably priced. Are you on-board?
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 12:16 PM   #12
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Re: Cleaning stuff

No!!!!
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #13
 
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Re: Cleaning stuff

My Toyota Echo manual says "Always wash your car immediately after driving in a coastal area." which means that I should constantly be washing the car.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #14
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Re: Cleaning stuff

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Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
No!!!!
Then at my own expense I ran a study that showed no correlation whatsoever between the two.

In fact, my study showed that cedar acids actually accelerates the corrosive effects of salt, causes hair loss and infertility, and results in a high spousal grouchiness factor.

Al - Just take your car for a quick trip through the water you're driving by. Thats just as good, right?
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 12:30 PM   #15
 
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Re: Cleaning stuff

I'm trying a new homeopathic remedy: Every night I put a grain of salt on the hoods of the two cars.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 12:32 PM   #16
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Re: Cleaning stuff

But it has to know that the salt is there or it wont work.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 01:43 PM   #17
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
My Toyota Echo manual says "Always wash your car immediately after driving in a coastal area."* which means that I should constantly be washing the car.
Actually, when I lived in Hawaii I hosed off the car ( the keeper car) at least 4-5 times a week.* Just a quickie to get the salt off- no scrubbie, no rubbie,* and an air dry on the way to work.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 04:04 PM   #18
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
I think Martha has a little "female" group think thing going on here.
So, Greg, when Martha reads the board does this comment put you in charge of window & vehicle cleanliness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPatrick
Actually, when I lived in Hawaii I hosed off the car ( the keeper car) at least 4-5 times a week.* Just a quickie to get the salt off- no scrubbie, no rubbie,* and an air dry on the way to work.
Haven't even bothered with that. No problems so far.
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-22-2006, 04:25 PM   #19
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Re: Cleaning stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
If I save $100/year on washing it, compounded at 4%, I have enough for some 'good' beer, or maybe we can afford to buy the weiner dogs some little Tony Lama boots to match their little cowboy hats when we go to Texas.
Hmmmmm. Four pairs of tiny Tony Lama's? Compounding at 4% won't do it. Plan on settling for some Shiner Beer or selling off some of your gold stash if you don't want to end up with your doggies looking like this:
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Re: Cleaning stuff
Old 01-23-2006, 08:59 AM   #20
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Re: Cleaning stuff

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Originally Posted by Nords
So, Greg, when Martha reads the board does this comment put you in charge of window & vehicle cleanliness?
Um, that is the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
Either way, I don't care much. We're probably going to sell within the next couple of years anyway.
Ack! I guess that means I have to try to get those #@$% windows clean! One of the reasons to clean them is because we are going to sell. Make the place look pretty. Boys.
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