Household Hints

This category contains questions relating to all the odd or unusual problems that occur during everyday life. These are primarily how-to's or fix it issues pertaining to household tasks.

Asked in Household Hints, Pest Control

How can you help your parents in household work?

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I will help them by doing house hold chores I would do things they hate, like organize the garage!
Asked in Cleaning, Household Hints

How do you clean eaves and gutters?

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I clean the gutters by using a ladder to get on the roof, then scoop out the trash into plastic bags. Others use a ladder, moving it as they go along. If you are afraid of heights or have a 2+ storey house hire someone to do it for you
Asked in Plumbing, Cleaning, Household Hints

How do you unclog a toilet that has meat in it?

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I think the important question here is why the hell your toilet has meat in it to begin with!
Asked in Painting and Staining, Household Hints, Decorating

What to do with air bubbles under newly painted interior walls?

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Quick Fix: If you only want to get rid of the look of the bubble you can use a needle to let the air out of the bubble and apply some kind of pressure on it to hopefully have it show a bit less... However this is really more of an aesthetic fix How to properly fix a bubble: There are 2 reasons why a bubble would show on a freshly painted wall. 1- If it's only the last layer of paint that's bubbling, the reason it's doing is because of a lack of adherence (grip). To properly fix this you need to scrape off the peeling paint, clean the surface (or sand), apply a bonding primer, apply a bit of drywall compound to repair the wall and repaint over. 2- It there are multiple layers forming the bubble (the way to find out is if you can see the bare wall once you remove the bubbling paint), this means that the original paint film did not properly adhere to the surface... and the more coats of paint you apply on top of it, the more it pulls on the original coat of paint. This happens more often on Plastered Walls either because it wasn't given enough drying time... or no primer was used. Either way, this is potentially a big problem and would be best to have a qualified painting contractor go over to asses.
Asked in Plumbing, Snow and Ice, Household Hints, Refrigerators, Ice Makers

Why does your Frigidaire refrigerator's automatic ice maker make smelly ice even if you have a whole house filter?

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A whole house filter is normally a terrible waste of money as why filter water to be used for flushing toilets? Ans 2 - The first answer does not have relevance to the question. Your refrigerator has it's own inline filter. -It appears that it's time to change it. -This is generally quite simple and the filter can be bought at any appliance parts store. Be sure to have the make, model and ser # when buying this (or any appliance parts )
Asked in Household Hints, Speech Writing, The Difference Between

What is group communication?

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Group communication refers to communication between 3 or more individuals. Small group communication includes numbers from 3 to about 20 people, and large group communication includes numbers larger than that (i.e., a lecture hall of 300 students or a theatrical production with an audience of 3,000). For communication between two individuals, see interpersonal communication.
Asked in Plumbing, Pest Control, Household Hints

Does riddex work as well as they advertise?

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I don't know how well they say it works, but all it does is help bacteria growth in your septic. The bacteria eat the solids in the tank. But if you don't have a septic tank your in good hands. He asked about Riddex not Ridex...
Asked in Pest Control, Household Hints

How do you make a homemade insecticide?

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Approved chemicals for organic insecticides are rather limited, but usually work quite well on many types of pests if used correctly. They fall generally into the following categories: Soaps and Detergents Horticultural Oils Extracts made from Plants Naturally occurring Minerals such as Sulfur Certain Bacteria that are deemed Safe for Humans It depends on what you are trying to kill to know what formulation to use. Please use the links on the left side for more information. Go to a pool supply store and buy a bag of diatomaceous earth. It is used in pool filters. It acts as a silica dust, and is natural, as it is scraped off of the bottom of the sea. It looks like shards of glass under a microscope, and causes the cuticle of the exoskeleton to dry out so that they cant keep any moisture in, and they dehydrate and die. Use gloves when applying this stuff, as it has a tendency to really dry out your bare hands. Best wishes.
Asked in Household Hints

How do you get shredded paper off a sweat jacket it was accidentally washed with?

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With the ever handy duct tape! Simply pull a piece off and pat it against the spaces where the paper is. It will come off the jacket easily...along with those annoying "pills" that happen to fleece. If you have no duct tape (!?) then masking tape will work nicely too. A lint roller could work as well though it does not have as strong of adhesive as duct tape.
Asked in Science Experiments, Household Hints, Elements and Compounds

What is alum used for?

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Alum is used in vaccines as an adjuvant. Alum is commonly used as a coagulant in water treatment. And its used for domestics water.
Asked in Household Hints

Where can you buy a good broom?

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You can purchase a good broom at any reputable hardware shop/store, however you may want to look into purchasing one from a professional janitorial supply company. Not only will they have a wider selection, but have the ability to special order any broom you want in some, if not most, cases.
Asked in Cleaning, Chemistry, Household Hints

What is the best laundry detergent out there in this CrAzY world?

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In my opinion it is 'Formil'. Lidl sell it (don't know if you have that there). It works in any wash and it is very cheap and concentrated so it is enviormentaly good and good for the pocket. It costs around 2euro.
Asked in Household Hints

What are the different types of ironing board?

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There are a few different types of ironing board on the market today. They include: Free Standing Y or T shaped ironing boards, which are the type most people are familiar with. The Y or T just represents the way in which the cross-beam is positioned on the legs and is ultimately meaningless. Over the door ironing boards which, as the name suggests, hook over a door and fold down so you can iron and fold up again to lay flat when you are done. Tabletop ironing boards which are mini sized ironing boards which have a smaller ironing surface and short folding legs. These are designed to fit on a table, bench, floor area or bed, basically anything with a flat stable surface. They are made for people who are lacking in space to store anything bigger. Folding mini ironing boards, which are the same as the above, but the top folds in half for an even smaller footprint for storage. These are small and light enough to fit in your luggage for travel. Sleeve ironing boards which are small and narrow and designed for ironing the creases out of sleeves. Wall mounted ironing boards, which fit neatly inside a small cupboard on the wall and fold down when you want to use them only to be folded back up again and neatly hidden away afterwards. There are also some alternative options like an ironing blanket which is basically just a heat proof mat which can be used to iron anything, anywhere.
Asked in Home Improvement, Cleaning, Sanitization and Germs, Household Hints

How do you clean window screens without removing them?

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If possible, close the inner window then if nessasary use a ladder to access the window screen from outside the house. Use a bottle of Fantastik Cleaner and set it on spray mist (steam for caked on bugs and birdy doody). Then while inside the house you can clean up the runnoff in the window frame. From inside the house, spray the inside of the window screen in an outwards direction. Do all screens to be cleaned in this fashion before rinsing. Afterwards, rinse ALL the screens from the outside with water (makings sure all windows are closed of coarse), a gardenhose or pressure washer will do nicely.Little messy but no need to remove the window screens.
Asked in Plumbing, Flooring, Household Hints

What is the standard distance of the toilet roll holder from the toilet?

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It is preferable if the toilet roll holder is placed within the toilet itself. Usually it is within reach of the person using the toilet.
Asked in Home Electricity, Modification of Old Electrical Work, Household Hints

Stove require 120v or 240v?

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Electric stoves require 240 V typically. A gas stove may only require 120 V.
Asked in Household Hints

Can dog urine damage vinyl siding?

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It can leave a stain, which caught soon enough can be removed easily, usually by using a pet stain remover, being careful that a particular cleaner will not damage the material you're cleaning by checking the label. Dog Urine can also increase the fading of some types of siding, and in a case where this happens, the questionable area will need to be repaired by new siding.
Asked in Pest Control, Household Hints, Bees and Beekeeping

How do you eliminate ground bees?

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Getting Rid of Ground Bees Given the current bee crisis - and the huge reduction in bee populations across the country - many beekeepers will come get the bees/beehive for you. You just need to call them. The first rule is do not do anything until it is dark, when the bees are back in the hive. The second rule (daylight) is do not wear yellow... they are attracted to it. The best color is light shades of khaki, and the other obvious things, such as no sugar drinks, etc. Don't swat them, but just slowly fade back. If you swat and kill one, like many of the flying stinging pests, they emit a chemical "alarm" that brings others to the "rescue." If you get chased, generally speaking, they fly in straight lines, so zig-zag as you run. Just pick a safe spot, and watch where they are all returning to locate the hive in the ground, log, etc. If it is off your property, like a ditch behind the fence, etc., you are on your own. If you call a private exterminator, they will not come unless it is on your property. If you call the park service, they usually will not come either. The Environmentally Safe and Sane Way to Eliminate the Ground Nest Make sure these are the black and yellow ground-dwelling social wasps (these are not bees) that are very aggressive and not "bee wolves" that hunt wasps (or the rusty-tinged cicada killers). The social vespid yellow jacket wasps are most dangerous in late summer, so if you are near a nest, find someone to deal with the nest who is not likely to have an anaphylactic reaction to being stung. Wait until dark, when the bees are back in the nest. If you need to mark it, leave an old rag (neutral color) near the nest. Come back at dusk with a scrap of window screen and a pot of boiling water (a small electric water pot will do). Put the screen over the nest entrance and pour in the hot water. Most of the bees will be cooked, these bees do not like wet ground. Check for activity in the morning and repeat if necessary. Other comments from WikiAnswers contributors: In my backyard we had a massive nest (about 1 meter long) in my tree. My dad dumped a bucket of turpentine on them; nothing can survive breathing turpentine. The best way to make bees escape and fly away is to provide smoke (NOT FIRE) in the area. Make a big torch - just like all the movie stars use in the movies when they are exploring the cave. Approach the entrance to the hive (with your red filter over the flashlight, which is less alarming to bees), with your match ready to fire up the torch. Yes, rags with kerosene or other fuel that will last awhile after you light it (gasoline is not a good choice). Light the torch, hold it down right over the hole entrance to the hive, and when the bees come flying out, they burn up. It takes a while, but the hive will empty. Primitive, but effective. Most bug spray ideas do not work. The torch does, and you will look like a hero to your kids or wife....If you have lots of bees flying "your way" - such as when you are out on the deck during the day - you are probably on the "fly-way" path of the bees. They use markers to navigate. If you move your deck furniture, or umbrella or all bright-colored items off your deck (or to different location on the deck itself), sometimes they will at least use a different route. Dump a bucket of soapy water (Ex. Dawn, Liquid soap, oxy clean) you may mix them, then dump some insect repellent in your mixture. Dump it down the hole/entrance of the nest. If you can't get near it during the day when the bees are active, you can dump it at night. NOTE: Just to be safe, after you dump the bucket, RUN. You have about 10-20 sec. to leave the area before the bees will attack. Or, in other words, don't stay around to see the bees come out! Be sure to keep the soil soaked all times around the nest and entrance because the bees hate wet soil. And, the entrance should cave in from being wet, therefore, trapping the queen and most bees inside. the bees that are trapped outside the nest will eventually leave. Also, bees hate mothballs. You may put them down the entrance hole and scatter them on top of the land right around the opening. You can also put the moth balls in a pantyhose or sock and hang it above the entrance. Also, you can also hang, at night, a bug-zapper above the entrance and run an extension cord to an outlet, but don't plug it in yet, plug it in in the morning and it will take a day or two, but it should work. It sounds like you have mud wasps and not bees. Bees usually will stay near sweet-smelling or colorful bushes and flowers and during Fall, will become dormant and often walk along the grass or fly extremely low. Mud wasps are ugly little critters (usually elongated body, thinner than a bee, with dark stripes) and they have a nasty sting. These mud wasps are different than other wasps. They burrow into the earth (preferably damp earth, but can still burrow if the earth is dry.) There are channels underground all over the place, so it's best to get an expert in to get rid of them. Smoke is usually used or an environmentally safe solution. I had these wasps burrowed under a huge English Ivy in my rockery and my husband and his friend went out in the evening (this is when wasps are at their most dormant time in a 24-hour period) and they used smoke canisters and then stuck a hose in and drowned them. Yes, bees and hornets can drown. However, I wouldn't suggest this and it's best to get an expert in to get rid of them once and for all. I had a ground bee problem that only realized after I had been stung eight times and my breathing began to be labored! After the hospital, I went to a farmer's co-op and got a Bonid powder bomb. I waited until it was dark and cool, sprayed that bomb right into the hole and covered it with a plastic cover. As of this morning I didn't see any activity around the hole. For a larger area I'm not sure it would work. Use a tarp. In 48 - 72 hour they will be gone and it will be a done deal without chemicals and with only minimal damage to your yard. Great idea - this worked wonders for a family friend. She used one black tarp a friend had lent her, then used a number of clear tarps she bought at the store. They were left on the ground (held in place by small logs) for about a week, and at the end, there was a large spot of dead grass where the black tarp had been, but under the clear tarps, the grass was healthy. Neatly got rid of the bees as well - but without pesticides. My dad is an exterminator. Depending on what type of bee, because there is a such thing as a "carpenter ant" that lives in the ground and will kill your yard. Normally, it would be wasps that are in the ground. Go to a hardware store (Lowe's , Home Depot, etc.) and try to find a powdered form of Dianzinon with a powder, they walk in it and take it back to the nest. If that does not work, contact a local exterminator. Use a wet/dry vac. Put it at the entrance and turn it on. It sucks them up fast. To make sure they are dead spray some bee killer in the hose while it is running. It kills them fast and it is easy to dispose of, too. OK, I will use your wet/dry vac idea, although, I prefer pouring gasoline down the hole and watching them burn. I have used everything from Gasoline to bleach. The thing that works best for me is a railroad-fuzzie, sometimes called a flare. Light it, stick it in the hole, cover the hole with some type of metal. Pouring gasoline down the hole has worked for me. But, it must be done WELL after dark. If you do it before all bees return for the night only those in the nest at the time are killed. The others just go and find another area close by to get underground again. So, kill them ALL by doing the gasoline thing WELL after dark when ALL have returned to the nest. There is no need to light the gasoline to accomplish this. Not only is it NOT necessary, it is VERY dangerous. Contrary to some advice here, do not pour gasoline down the hole, whether you plan to light it or not. It is environmentally wrong to do so, not to mention illegal (Federal Law). What laws? FIFRA, for starters, and the Clean Water Act and probably a lot more, including state laws. Plus, have you ever seen what gasoline does to grass? You won't have any grass left around the hole where you poured gasoline. And if there are any shrubs or trees nearby you may kill them as well if you manage to nail the roots in your zeal to kill a few bees. Go to the garden center and find an insecticide that is labeled for ground bees and follow the instructions on the label. Alternatively, you could try to vacuum them up with a shop vac, as someone else suggested. Or just try to let them be if possible. Mow around them and come back at night and mow the patch you skipped. I waited until it was dark out and then I sprayed the inside of a plastic bucket with Raid so that the sides were coated and there was a significant liquid amount in the bottom of the bucket (do this OUTSIDE). I then carried the bucket to the hole in the ground that the bees had been coming out of and slammed the bucket down over the hole and put a few rocks on top of the bucket. Loud angry buzzing ensued. The next morning, half of the bucket was dark with bee bodies, and the buzzing had stopped. I let it sit a few more hours and then removed the bucket. I fixed my problem by pouring gasoline down the hole. Do not ignite! I sat and watched where they came out. Then I remembered those spots. I carefully walked up to see the hole. I went back at night with a Coke bottle full of gasoline. Stepping lightly, I got next to the hole and stuck the inverted bottle in the hole and ran like hell. (I guess, if you have multiple holes, get friends and do it at the same time AT NIGHT.) It is extremely important to do the above AT NIGHT when the colony is back in the hole!!! If you do it during the day, you are wasting your time because many of the bees are outside the nest, not to mention you are risking getting several stings (and believe me, they do hurt, not so much right away, but later on, they make up for it). Again, WHATEVER YOU DO TO KILL THE NEST, DO IT AT NIGHT! An easy non-poisonous way to get rid of them is to put a glass bowl over their nest. You must do this after complete dark, to make sure they have all returned home. The next day you will see them trying to leave the nest. The glass is important because the bees will not try to dig their way around it as it seems easy to fly away but they keep trying and trying. Eventually after a few days the nest dies of lack of food and water. It's sort of fun to watch them through the bowl and know you've GOT 'EM! Gas at night will work. I am going to try gas and a fuse from the fireworks store next time they are far away from the house. This works best if you have multiple holes. Buy some fireworks fuse, get some medium speed fuse, say 1/2 meter per second. Run fuse into each hole coming from one main fuse. Pour gasoline in each hole, then light main fuse, sit in lawn chair with cold beer and enjoy the show. Another fun one if you only have one bee nest; pour gasoline in hole, then throw M-80 or similar large explosive firecracker into hole, sit in lawn chair and watch the show First, please think of the environment & long term effects of your actions. Best to let beekeepers come & get the bees, but if you cannot wait for them for some legitimate reason, then... best to wait until dark (when all the bees are back in the hive) and then pour a gallon of white vinegar down the hole. It is non toxic - yet effective. You may need to do another gallon the next night if you still see some bees flying in and out of the hole in the daylight of the following day. If, on the third day, there are still a few bees left, again, wait until night, then lay the garden hose next to the hole, turn the water on - low to medium flow - and let the hole fill up with water. Bye-bye, bees! Contributors share information on what *NOT* to do to get rid of underground bees: First, this is what NOT to do: With a yellow jacket problem of which I have no idea of the magnitude, I chose to spray them. Just spraying what I've managed to uncover does not seem to deter them. I used two cans of RAID Wasp and Hornet spray and still they come. Now I am trying to flood it with the hose. Here's more about using a garden hose: I've tried the garden hose thing and it does NOT work. The only thing I accomplished was getting stung 5 times and making the hole bigger. DON'T RECOMMEND GASOLINE OR FLARES! First, gasoline is EXTREMELY flammable at low temperatures... it's the vapor state that actually ignites and gasoline will vaporize at low temperatures! So if it's a warm day (or night) and you pour gasoline down a hole, put down the can, light a match... you might be surprised as the surrounding area around the match ignites! (no, it probably won't explode like on TV). If you needed to use a flammable, I suggest kerosene or some other flammable that does not vaporize so readily at room temperatures. Flares likewise are DANGEROUS. They use materials that will burn often in water and even surrounded by dirt. So, sticking a lit flare into a hole could cause the flare to explode and cause injury! This is a good lesson: Use things in the manner for which they were intended; chairs aren't ladders, and gasoline is not a pesticide! No one else has mentioned this, but when you work with gasoline, flares, pesticides, etc. you must wear safety glasses! A sting hurts, but you'll recover; lose an eye and it's gone.
Asked in Household Hints

How can you finish daily errands in a more timely manner?

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This always helps me, the night before I have to get up early, I get everything done that I can, (for example, finding the things you need to find, that will give you more time to get ready for something else, I'm not saying to brush your teeth the night before, just to get most of the things done that you're for sure you can finish). Make yourself a routine. Do not set more tasks than you can finish. Do not procrastinate, get the job done. Answer Plan, plan, plan. Effective planning will help you to finish your daily errands in a more timely manner. By planning I mean that you create a route to complete the errands the minimizes driving time and takes into account factors such as time of day and traffic. Let's say, for example, that you need to go to the grocery store, pick up dry cleaning, go to the Dentist, get your oil changed, and go to the bookstore. How should go about completing these errands? First, check to see where each errand is located. Is the dry cleaning across town or is it close to the bookstore. Set up a route that you will travel that will prevent any back tracking on yourself. You don't want to spend any extra time on the road if you don't have to. Also keep in mind the traffic patterns. Avoid heading to the bank and such places during the lunch hour and around 4pm. These services are usually swamped at those times. Also try to avoid being in the thick of rush hour. Write your planned route on a piece of paper so you don't forget any stops. Answer The key thing to errands is to keep up with the ones you need to do so that the list does not become too long. However, 4 to 5 stops are enough for a morning. Preparation before leaving the house helps; eat a good meal so you do not get hungry midway through the tasks; if you need to grocery shop before other stops, use a cooler in your trunk to keep the food cold; if possible, choose the store that can supply more than one of the items you need. be the first one there when a store opens; and, most importantly, make a list. Start out with a full tank of gas, taking a circular route to all of the stops you need to make, so that you do not end up doubling back. Answer Don't get distracted, and stay on task. Plan your errands so that you do related items together, for example if you have to go to the hardware store to grab that item and the bank is across the street, do your banking errand to instead of waiting until the day you have to go. Planning your errands together will be surprisingly efficient. You may find that several small errands on separate days are less daunting for you. I have two kids and that has always helped us to have a more enjoyable and productive family life being a single parent. And some people don't think of it, may sound silly but ASK FOR HELP when you need it. Answer Make it a game. If you think it is fun, you will get into it and time will fly. Answer For me, finishing errands in a timely way, is that you know what are the things you should do and what are the best way to make those easier to finish; planning ahead. For instance for everyday living when your working you should at least think what to wear tomorrow morning, think of the snack you want to bring, make all your stuff ready for tomorrow. especially the things in your bag check if all was already there that you might need for tomorrow prepare everything the night before, so that when morning comes at least all ready and you don't have to rush for everything and scatter everything making the house a mess when you're running late already. It is good to stay always prepared.
Asked in Cars & Vehicles, Air Conditioning and Coolant, Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning, Household Hints

Can you keep your windows open while the air conditioner is on?

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Sure you can. But why would you? Kinda defeats the purpose of A/C. Actually, at highway speed, a modern car uses less fuel with the A/C on and windows up than with the A/C off, windows down.
Asked in Household Hints, Candles

How do you get a candle out of a vase?

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I put the candle and holder in the freezer. Answer You might try warming the vase with a hairdryer to begin to melt the wax around the sides and bottom. Answer This is opposite the last idea but worked for me. Put the whole thing in the freezer. The vase's material will contract with the cold and the wax will loosen and come right out. Answer It may not be possible to do without damaging the candle. If this is not an issue, then it's possible to run the vase under hot water, softening the candle. An easier approach, depending on the size of the candle, is simply lighting the candle within the vase using a long match. Allow the candle to completely burn itself out. You'll have no problem removing the remnants by simply dumping them out once cooled.
Asked in Cleaning, Painting and Staining, Household Hints

How do you get paint out of fabric?

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If you get it before it dries, you can use water (for latex or acryllic paint) and scrub it out. Then try a stain remover such as Shout. Follow the instructions. After it dries - I think you're out of luck. You could take fabric paint and paint over it. Make it into a flower or a car or your name or something.For oil paints, if you get to it while it's still a very fresh stain use sunlight dish washing detergent and it comes right out. I've found that Citristrip Wipe-Away and Goof Off remove dried latex paint pretty well. Wipe-Away is more gentle, so I always try it first. Of course, the sooner you get to it, the better. I spilled latex primer on my shoe, then stepped on a rug in the house. I found the spot about six hours later, and Wipe-Away took it out pretty easily. Answer Ive found that Uh-Oh Paint Splatter & Tough Stain Remover is very effective in removing both latex and oil based paint stains as well as TONS of other stains
Asked in Cleaning, Painting and Staining, Household Hints

How do you get spray paint off coated plastic eyeglasses?

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I don't know how much paint is on the actual lenses or frames but if just spots you're in luck. What you need to use is liquid ammonia (be careful however this stuff is toxic). Then get a rag of some sort and gently clean them. Then rinse off the ammonia with water and finish off the glasses with some window cleaner. Hopefully it works!