LESLIE: Don in Michigan needs some help with a fireplace project. What can we do for you?
DON: Well, I purchased a house about a year ago to rehab; I’m living in it. And the front of the house is covered with the same material as the fireplace is and I believe it’s like a limestone or a sandstone. It’s not hard like granite.
DON: So, on the inside of the house, the fireplace, the stone has turned quite dingy – I guess is the best way to describe it. I’ve had two cleaning companies – they just do like housecleaning, cabinets, floors, et cetera – come out and give me an estimate on my kitchen and while they were there I asked them what they could do with the fireplace. They tried just kind of standard cleaning agents and a stiff brush and that didn’t do any good. So, I’m at a little bit of a standstill or a quandary as to maybe how to clean that fireplace stone.
TOM: OK, have you tried oxygenated bleach?
LESLIE: Yeah. Or just bleach itself?
DON: Nope. No, I haven’t. Nope.
TOM: OK. You might want to try using OxiClean.
DON: OK, OK.
LESLIE: Which, surprisingly, works on everything.
TOM: Yeah, that’s really good stuff and that tends to work well on masonry. Another thing that you could try – which we frequently recommend for tough stains like oil stains and driveway – is TSP or trisodium phosphate. I wouldn’t try them together.
DON: I’m familiar with that product, yes.
TOM: Yeah, TSP. And why don’t you try them on – you know, try them on opposite sides of the fireplace and just kind of see which seems to work best. It’s going to be a little bit experimenting here but you ought to be able to find something that’s going to brighten it up. I don’t think we just have to give up and pull out the paintbrushes here.
DON: OK, OK. I believe I know what you’re talking about. Well, great.
LESLIE: And when you use your brush, you want to use a natural fiber brush. Don’t use anything metal.
DON: OK. That makes sense. Very good. I just started listening to your show a couple of weeks ago while I’m laying pavers outside. That’s why I listen to – and you guys are like the Wikipedia of home repair. (Tom and Leslie laugh) It’s unbelievable what you know.
TOM: Thanks so much. Thanks so much, Don. We appreciate it.
DON: OK, I’ll give this a try. Thanks a lot.
TOM: 888-666-3974. We should change our show to that; the Wikipedia of Home Repair.