If you’re an avid wrencher like me, and you’ve been living in a house covered in oil stains for years, be stained no more. I have a solution that may change your life.
I know it’s probably hard to take cleaning advice from someone who tried fixing stained clothes by dyeing them in motor oil, and who cleaned oily car parts with his dishwasher. But this time is different, I promise; for the first time ever, I actually have real, useful sanitation advice.
You see, after my friend and I rebuilt my 1948 Jeep’s transfer case in my kitchen sink, I thought my house was pretty much toast; that I’d have to live out the rest of my years in a grimy cave coated in nasty oil residue.
The stuff was everywhere—counter tops, appliances, walls, floors, toilet handles, sinks, my shower; nothing was spared. It got so bad that my friends refused to come over to visit.
I tried getting the grime off with a bunch of different cleaners. I used Windex and Kroger brand multi-surface cleaners, Dawn dish soap mixed with water, a solution of of white vinegar and water, CLR Bath and Kitchen Cleaner—but these cleaners either required tons of scrubbing, or they just couldn’t get rid of the stains completely.
Search results on the internet recommended strange concoctions using corn starch, and many folks seem to just recommend repainting walls that had been stained with oil. Upon reading that, all hope seemed lost, until—in a last ditch effort to live in a semi-presentable abode—I grabbed my foaming bathroom cleaner and a roll of paper towels.
The cleaner, which you probably known as Scrubbing Bubbles, is basically an expanding foam that’s designed to break up soap scum from showers or the crap in your toilets. But the stuff also works to break up oil from pretty much any hard surface.
Let the results speak for themselves; check out this wall in my kitchen, which is covered in oil stains that have been there for months:
I sprayed some bathroom cleaner on it, and waited a minute or two:
Here’s how it looked after a single application of the bathroom cleaner; subsequent applications have resulted in a perfectly white wall with zero stains:
Here’s one of my greasy light-switches:
After some foam and some light scrubbing with a paper towel, that switch almost looks presentable:
The worst offender was my door, which I often opened while in the middle of a dirty wrenching job. The edges looked hideous:
But just look at this magic:
The refrigerator handle was even more difficult, because the plastic is textured, meaning my paper towel really didn’t do a great job at digging into the troughs:
So I broke out a bristle brush:
And within seconds, my refrigerator—which holds all sorts of foods that should probably remain free from carcinogenic oils—finally looks presentable:
To prove the mettle of my patented (not patented) oil-stain removal technique, I went outside into my garage, grabbed an oil catch pan, and dipped my hand into some nasty used 10W-30. Then I wiped the grime onto a white wall:
You could argue that wiping oil on a house that I rent is a risky move, but just look at how well that cheap Kroger-brand foaming cleaner took that oil off.
So for all you poor saps out there who, like me, have been living in a disgusting, oil-covered house, consider this a public service announcement: bathroom cleaner is your salvation.