Taking the wraps off clean glass
Q. I have two glass shelves that came wrapped in shrink-wrap type plastic. Now the image of the plastic wrap remains on the glass. It won’t come off with glass cleaner or with soap and water. What will clean up the glass?
BRENDA, by e-mail
A. Is it the image of the wrap or the wrap itself? If it is the plastic itself, soak the shelves in water overnight. If it’s just the image, rub with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If that doesn’t work, take the shelves to the dealer to see what he can do.
Q. I have a white Formica ceiling in my bathroom. It is dull and dirty. How can I clean it?
ONCE & FUTURE SHINE
A. Try spraying regularly with Daily Shower or a similar spray. Or mix Spic and Span and water, add half a cup of bleach, and wash the ceiling. Or try a little Bonami. I installed such a ceiling over my shower stall, and it has looked pretty good for years. The only marks are the remains of condensation drops that fell from the Formica.
Q. About three years ago I noticed a subtle odd smell coming from one or two rooms on the first floor of our house. Every year since then I’ve noticed it but oddly enough, it is stronger in the warmer weather. I cannot identify what it smells “like” as I’ve never smelled anything like it before. Is it a dead animal or mold — but I don’t know what mold smells like? Are there companies that could help?
A. I think it is a part of the house rather than a dead critter, because it has been persistent. A dead critter will smell for a long while, but after three years it should be gone. Anti-odor sprays do work, but if the source is still around, the odor will come back.
There are many products on the market to bust odors, but if the source remains (hidden, that is), most of these products are temporary.
So, check the Yellow Pages for deodorizers, odor control, and mold control. Googling “odor control” might help.
Q. I have a kitchen floor with layers of bad additions on top. I want to remove all, level the badly cupped sub-floorboards, and then add plywood or cement board to tile over. The problem is that there are gaps between the sub-floorboards and I’m concerned that leveling compound will leak into the cellar. I don’t want to
JACK CUNHA, Cambridge
A. I don’t think the leveling compound will work if there is any flexing in the boards. But instead, nail or screw ¾-inch plywood on top of the cupped boards. That will allow the plywood to lie flat and level, so tiles can be added with thin-set mortar. Screw through the highest part of the cupped boards, so the screw will go through the cupped board and whatever is under it.
Q. How hard are pocket doors to install?
TEDDY, in Hotton’s chat room
A. If there are no wires or other impediments in the cavity, then installing a slider is relatively easy. Buy a hardware kit for a slider (you will have to get your own door; I had an old door ready to go), which consists of a runner on which the door will slide. Open the end of the wall where the door will go by removing the casing (trim) on each side of the wall, and also the jamb board. You will have to remove the end stud and the one 16 inches into the wall cavity. This will leave about 32 inches of space for the door. If the wall has a standard door and opening, you will have to take down the frame, because the door runner, which is 72 inches log, must be screwed to the top plate. You need long arms to screw the hanger onto the top plate inside the cavity. With the hanger in place, it is easy to put hooks on top of the door and hang it on the runner.
Piece of cake, huh? Maybe not but you will prevail.
Globe Handyman on Call
Peter Hotton also appears in the Sunday Real Estate section. He is available 1-6 p.m. Tues-
days to answer questions on house repair. Call 617-929-2930. Hotton (photton@globe
.com) also chats online about house matters 2-3 p.m. Thurs-
days. Go to www.boston.com.