I like to blame the children, but the truth is, my house was covered in fingerprints long before my children arrived. Now, with a family, our windows and walls are a regular CSI nightmare.
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Here are a few common surfaces and some smart tips for removing fingerprints for them:
-- For white walls, add a little toothpaste
to a rag. It might be the baking soda
that's really doing the work here, but reports
suggest using toothpaste, and I've heard of people claiming more success with straight white toothpaste than baking soda alone.
-- Baby wipes. Some people keep a stash every room of the house because they are a quick go-to item that cleans almost anything.
-- If washable, scrub with a paste of cornstarch
and water, or simply use dry borax
-- If non-washable, put a blotter on the spot, then use an iron to heat the blotter and lift the grease off the wallpaper.
-- Sometimes, an art gum eraser is all you need. Gently rub the fingerprints with the eraser and watch them disappear.
-- The strangest tip of all
: Wipe the fingerprints with white bread. This trick was first printed in a publication called The Good Housekeeper
in 1839 -- and people still swear by it!
-- If you're dealing with a small LCD screen, like a cell phone, PDA, or iPod, simply take a piece of clear tape, like Scotch tape, press it onto the screen, and peel it off. Repeat until all the fingerprints are gone.
-- For larger LCD screens, like TVs and computer screens, rub the prints off with a dry microfiber cloth, or one dabbed with lens cleaner. Or you can make your own lens cleaning solution
by combining equal parts isopropyl alcohol and distilled water (tap water will leave streaks) in a spray bottle.
-- To remove greasy fingerprints from unfinished wood surfaces
, polish with a mixture of 1 cup mineral oil and 3 drops lemon extract. Once polished, immediately sprinkle cornstarch on the wood surface and buff with a soft cloth. The cornstarch will absorb any excess polish, as well as fingerprints.
Stainless Steel Appliances
-- Surprisingly, Pledge, the wood polish works well to remove oily finger smudges from stainless steel appliances. Make sure to first clean the area with soap and water, and dry it, then apply the Pledge or similar furniture polish.
-- You can also dip a soft cloth in vinegar
and wipe down the stainless steel to remove fingerprints.
Windows and Mirrors
-- The almighty baby wipe takes care of grubby fingerprints on mirrors and windows. It seems to be able to cut through grime easily, and without leaving unsightly streaks.
-- If you've already tried to clean your window or mirror and you're dealing with streaks, get your hands on a microfiber cloth, like the ones that come with a new pair of glasses (but you'll find bigger window cloths at the grocery or hardware store). Microfiber cloth is almost perfectly suited for cleaning glass surfaces, and often works great completely dry.
How do you take care of fingerprints around the house? Share your tips in the comments!