Handyman: Rub-a-dub-dub takes rust stains from a tub


Q: I have a big very old tub that I love, but the shower handle is broken, and parts of the inside porcelain enamel have rust stains. What’s causing them and how can I get rid of them?


A:. Two problems here: The broken shower handle may be leaking rusty water on the tub, so you should have it repaired. Then clean off the rust with detergent and water. The porcelain enamel on the inside may be wearing off, revealing black cast iron, which will rust. Try removing the rust with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Rub hard. If not successful, have the inside reglazed.

Q: Help! My window air conditioner works nicely but is dripping water on the floor inside the house. How can I stop that? SWEATING AND HOT!

A: There is usually a tray or other mechanism that allows condensed water to drip outside. The unit may not be far enough out the window, so try relocating it.

Q: I have a new window that causes a heavy glare on the deck. Is there something I can do about it?


A: Yes, there is. A full-sized screen.

Q: While looking out over the backyard one day recently, I saw two rats at the woodpile. What should I do? LYNN

A: Make sure the woodpile is at least 50 feet away from your house and your neighbor’s. If you burn wood regularly, store a minimum amount in the basement.

Q: The veneer back of one of my Hepplewhite dining chairs is parting a bit. Is there a good way to glue it back? Also, my maple kitchen table is 60 years old. I know how to remove the finish, but how can I sand without gouging it? JACKIE DUFF

A: If the Hepplewhite is a real antique -- a real Hepplewhite and not a Hepplewhite design -- have an upholsterer reglue the veneer. You can try this yourself: Use a putty knife to insert yellow carpenter’s glue between the loose veneers. Swish it around a bit, then close and keep it closed by placing waxed paper on each side of the veneer, then two thin boards over the paper, and clamping overnight. The waxed paper will keep oozing glue from sticking to the clamping boards. If you find any dried glue where it shouldn’t be, wash it off with a damp-to-wet sponge.

The Boston Globe


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