Facebook Twitter



Q: I have had the opportunity to catch your column and find it quite informative. As a manufacturer of fiberglass and acrylic products, I was particularly interested in a piece that you did on removing hard-water spots from fiberglass or acrylic showers and bathtubs. I have had to deal with this cleaning problem frequently and recommend to you the following method:

First, get 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper from any automotive body shop or parts store. Thoroughly wet down the entire surface with water and, using a circular motion, go over the affected area with just a few swipes. The mineral deposits will sand right off and go right down the drain.CAUTION: Do not overdo this process or you could sand right through the gel coat or color finish. The level of mineral deposits contained in one's water will vary from community to community, so some fixtures may require more elbow grease than others.

Once you have removed all of the hard-water or mineral deposits, go over the complete unit with an auto-body paste wax. This will result in a new-carlike finish, which will help to resist future mineral buildup in the shower or bathtub. It works every time! - M.F. "Buz" R., Grand Island, Neb.

A: We have seen 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper used successfully on porcelain or china fixtures in the home but have yet to use it on fiberglass or acrylic fixtures. We suppose that if it is used sparingly and in accordance with your instructions that it will do just what you suggest.

We appreciate your information and welcome any of our readers who should elect to attempt this procedure to share their results with us. We are curious to know how this works for you.

Q: Recently we remodeled our kitchen, and to expedite matters I worked with the carpenters and did the painting of the cabinets, shelves and drawers as they became finished.

I have always hated the insides of drawers and tops of shelves, which soon became discolored and scratched by the items put on them. My special gripe was pans, which really made a mess. The unfinished surface is so hard to keep clean. I have not seen this solution to finishing drawers and cabinet shelves in the kitchen used before, but we tried it much to our delight.

I gave each shelf (top only) and the inside of each drawer three coats of polyurethane with plenty of time to dry between coats.

Now, about eight months later, I can say that this was a great success. Not one discoloration from pots, pans or cans anywhere. It may be more work to put on three coats, but it pays off in improved appearance, not to mention ease of cleanup. And, the best part is, no more shelf paper.

Thought that you might be interested in sharing my experience with your readers. - Victor S., Piedmont, Calif.

A: Thanks, Victor! Your adventure prompted us to call the folks at the Flecto Company in Oakland, Calif., a leading manufacturer of clear wood-finishing products. Our concern was relative to any potential problems or health hazards that may be attached to the technique that you are suggesting. And we have some good news for you. The Flecto Company applauds your efforts and is especially pleased that you opted to use three complete coats. They say that this will significantly improve the longevity of the finish and will provide you with a surface that is not only impervious to liquids but will stand up to the kind of abuse that kitchen cabinet shelves and drawers are likely to sustain.

One caution: Allow the final coat to air dry at least 72 hours or until most of the unpleasant odor associated with the use of this type of product has dissipated.