cleaning up an old apt need advice..

Hi. New to group. I just moved into a large rental apt, basement suite, very old, landlord said I can paint. Everything is run down, and being that I don't own it, not sure how much I should invest in it. I plan on being here a couple of years at least. I will be repainting, but first I need to fix it up....I am going to repaint and glue back the baseboards and seal it with caulking. The apt has a funny smell to it, so I will also be cleaning out the heat registry. The big pain will be cleaning the ceramic tiles, which have years of build up. I started on my hands and knees with vinegar and a wiry scrub brush, but I wanted to know if there was any easier way of doing this, such as a machine or something. Any advice?
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Regular Colgate toothpaste and a fingernail brush (has finer bristles than your typical floor scrubbing brush). If the toothpaste grit is too fine to get the dirt off, head back to the supermarket and pick up one of two products: Bon Ami powder, or Barkeeper's Friend. The first is a finer grit than the second product. Either one is best used with a scrub pad, like Chore Boy or one of the heavy duty 3M products. These powders will leave a bit of a film, so you'll also need a big sponge to wipe up that residue afterward.
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charlo wrote:

What is on the tile? Mildew? Soap scum? Razor blade for soap scum, followed by CLR and 3M pad. Pull a small util. knife down the grout joints, lightly, to scrape out the bad crud if it is thick. I recently discovered something that works great for the dirty spot in the middle of our walk-in shower. Had tried Fantastic, Dawn, and it was still dirty. Recently grabbed the shampoo and nail brush and gave that a try. Worked very nicely. Please don't laugh :o)
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Long-Handled push-broom, with the same cleaning materials. Save the hands & knees work for corners. It will be easiest to clean if there's no furniture or other clutter. What are the walls made of? Is it a suspected ceiling or sheetrock? What sort of ventilation is available? Who pays for your heat?
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charlo wrote:

I've had success with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers for ceramic tile cleaning - got them for free or would never have purchased! They got off hard water and soap scum that a lot of nasty chemicals couldn't.
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nj_dilettante
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Thanks for the advice. I guess no matter how you cut it, old fashioned elbow grease is all I can do. The heat is included in the rent, does that make a difference re: cleaning the registries?
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No, but it means you can be a little more liberal about ventilating through the window, which is often the only solution to basement mustiness that doesn't involve capital outlays.
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wrote:

What? You don't like any of the 800 million varieties of Glade plug-ins? :-)
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