DIY projects often involve cutting and sanding wood, painting, staining, and other potentially messy tasks. After completing a DIY project, the mess left behind can leave you wondering if the project was worth it. Luckily, there are some tips that can help simplify your cleanup job. Know how to clean the most common stains you encounter after a DIY project, such as paint stains on clothes and floors, epoxy residue on skin, dust and grease.
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1. Pick up large debris by hand.
The first thing you want to do after completing a project is pick up a large piece of debris. Designate locations for trash, tools that need to be cleaned up, and other materials that need to be returned to the house. You can organize things and put everything in one pile. After clearing all of these large items from the floor and table, remove the trash and return all tools and supplies to storage.
Depending on the nature of your DIY project, there may be nails, screws, or metal shavings on your floor. Leaving these behind can pose a safety hazard, so they should all be retrieved. Rather than picking up all those metal pieces by hand or risking damaging your vacuum, use a magnetic sweeper like this wheeled magnetic sweeper available on Amazon to easily pick them up. .
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3. Sweep and vacuum to remove small debris.
Once you are sure that all metal nails and screws have been removed from the floor, you can proceed to clean up small debris such as wood chips and shavings left over from your project. Start with a broom and dustpan and pick up as many things as you can. This prevents the vacuum cleaner from potential damage caused by large or sharp debris. After you’re done sweeping, use a powerful vacuum cleaner or a commercial vacuum cleaner for cleaning project materials to suck up any remaining fines. For debris and dust, we love this Bissell Bagless Vacuum and this Craftsman 16 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum. Both are available on Amazon.
4. Remove excess dust.
Some DIY construction projects can leave behind a lot of dust. Even after vacuuming, there may still be some dust left that needs to be cleaned. Wear a dust mask and dust glasses to protect yourself while working. We love the 3M vented anti-fog pair available on Amazon. Wipe the walls, ceiling, and ceiling fan with a microfiber rag. Also remove and wipe down the vents in the walls and floor. Then use a clean microfiber cloth to dust other surfaces in the room, such as shelves and tables. Run the vacuum again to pick up any dust that has been slapped on the floor, then use a mop like this Clean Rinse Spin Mop available on Amazon to finish the job and finish the floor.
5. Remove paint stains from clothing.
One of the most common questions after completing a DIY project is how to remove paint from clothes. Ideally when the paint is still wet. After using a clean rag to protect the rest of your clothing from paint transfer, use a butter knife to remove as much excess latex paint as possible, then rinse the affected area and wipe dry.
Then, for color-safe fabrics, apply liquid laundry detergent to the stain and lather it with a clean cloth. Rinse, dry, check progress, and repeat the above steps if necessary. After removing as much dirt as possible, wash as usual.
6. Remove caulking from clothing.
Caulking is another culprit that can end up on your clothes when completing a DIY project. If you’re wondering how to remove caulk from your clothes, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Like paint, caulk is easiest to remove when it’s still wet. So act quickly if you notice caulking on your clothes. To remove aqueous caulk, rinse affected area under running water (choose water temperature based on how you care for your garment). Then use a clean, dry cloth to blot the stain and remove as much of the remaining caulk as possible. Dab rubbing alcohol onto the stain to loosen any remaining caulk. Finally, wash your clothes according to the label instructions. Before you put your clothes in the dryer, check previously soiled areas to make sure the caulk is gone. If it remains, soak it in rubbing alcohol, wipe off excess dirt, and rinse again.
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7. Remove the epoxy from the skin.
Epoxy makes a great glue for many DIY projects, but it can also stick to your skin. If you forget to wear disposable gloves while working with epoxy, or if some of the epoxy gets on your arm, don’t worry. It’s not that hard to learn how to do it. Start by soaking a clean white cloth in vinegar. Rubbing the skin with a cloth soaked in vinegar will soften the epoxy and make it easier to remove. If vinegar doesn’t work, you can use an acetone-based nail polish remover to perform the same process.
8. Clean sweat stains.
Many DIY projects are a lot of work and unfortunately can leave yellow sweat stains on your clothes. The steps on how to remove sweat stains are very simple. Start by placing a dirty shirt in the washing tub, like this collapsible tub available on Amazon. Next, mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and scoop some of the mixture onto each stain. Let the solution sit for about five minutes, then scrub the stain with a scrubbing brush like this soft-bristle cloth brush available on Amazon.Rinse the shirt and wash as usual. If necessary, repeat the above steps before drying the shirt.
9. Remove oil stains.
After you’ve completed a DIY project, you may look down at your shirt or pants and find them smeared with grease from the tools and equipment you used. Dishwashing liquids designed to remove grease from pots and pans can help remove grease from clothing. Lay the garment flat with a piece of cardboard under the oil stain. Spray a small amount of dishwashing liquid directly onto the stain, then use a clean, soft cloth to rub the detergent all over the stain. Let the soap sit on the stain for 4-5 minutes, then wash as usual.
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10. Remove paint from flooring.
A spill or splatter of paint on your floor isn’t the end of the world. Use the tips below to remove paint from different types of flooring.
carpet: Wipe the paint off the carpet before it dries using a dry paper towel. Use a small amount of glycerin, such as this vegetable glycerin available on Amazon, to loosen the paint.
vinyl: Use warm water and dish soap to soak up as much paint as possible. A plastic scraper can be used to remove stubborn dirt. If the spill is difficult to remove, try mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. However, do a test on an inconspicuous area first to make sure the solution won’t adversely affect the finish of your floor.
Hardwood: Work carefully with denatured alcohol and a clean cloth to remove latex paint from hardwood floors.
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11. Replace the air filter.
It’s a good idea to replace your HVAC unit’s air filter after you’ve completed a DIY project, especially one that sent a lot of dust and debris into the air. Older air filters are likely clogged with dust, which can affect the circulation and quality of the air in your home. Consider changing the air filter multiple times over the life of the project.
12. Keep your space functional during DIY.
Many DIY projects take days to complete. Many people don’t have a workshop or garage space to start a project. If this is the case, you may be working in the middle of your home’s living space, where you need to function during times when you’re not actively working on a project.
To keep your space functional, place your workspace in a corner so it’s not disturbed at other times of the day.you can help contain t
He messes things up by putting a tarp under his work space, like this waterproof tarp available on Amazon, or covering furniture with a tarp or blanket while he’s working. When you’re done for the day, do a quick sweep of the area to clear debris, cover your workspace (if possible), and find furniture for your room.