We're in the process of purchasing a home from a respectable East Indian
family. We've noticed that the kitchen cabinetry has grease and oils from
their cooking, and as a result there is a "thick" film of residual grease
and oil on all the kitchen cabinetry. This film has a sticky feel, and a
distinct smell. Any recommendations on removing and restoring the kitchen
cabinetry from this greasy-oily-film? The last ditch effort is to redo the
cabinetry which can be quite expensive.
Also, any suggestions in mitigating the distinct aroma from their cooking?
We're in the process of removing ALL carpeting and replacing with new
carpeting. Should I take into consideration the air conditioning/heating
ducts, and maybe the walls. We're also in the process of re-painting the
entire interior of the house.
Thanks for any suggestions....
On Mon 21 Feb 2005 11:24:16p, Vlad wrote in alt.home.cleaning:
You didn't mention the cabinet material, but I will assume wood. A long-
standing coating of grease and oil may have already damaged the finish.
Mineral spirits will dissolve the greasy coating, but also may require some
additional treatment to the wood afterward.
Odor may be a bigger issue. Many spices used in Indian cooking have
volatile oils which can permeate many surfaces. Scrubbing well is the
first effort. See what the result is. Some surfaces may need require a
sealing coat of some kind. Kilz may work on painted surfaces.
Your heating and cooling system may be okay. I doubt if the typical duct
cleaning would eradicate odors if they are present. It may require
chemicals if there's a problem.
Another treatment that could be effective is a high output ozone generator.
These are used in treating homes that have had fire and smoke damage. They
should be used by professionals, or at least used following the same
guidelines. No living thing should be present during this treatment.
I also recommend using odorless mineral sprits to cut the grease. I would
then follow up with a good cleaning with Dawn dish detergent in water. I
have a cabinet above my stove that gets that oily film and find that the Mr.
Clean Magic Eraser does a good job, but for an entire kitchen, I would go
with the mineral spirits and use the Mr. Clean products for maintenance.
Also, if you find that the finish is less than wonderful after you clean the
cabinets, try using a product called "Restore a Finish" before getting
involved with a more complex and costly refinishing project. Here is a
I'd recommend Murphy's oil soap instead of dish detgt, to avois dulling
the finish and rinsing. Plus, it smells so nice!
Murphy's also makes a new spray wood cleaner with orange oil, that works
well on lightly-soiled wood. Plus, it was free (after rebate) at Ace a
few weeks back!
Avoid the Min-wax spray cleaner, which is +/- worthless.
Second to that. Their 'Feed & Wax' product works well on
slightly-damaged surfaces, like bathroom cabinets with white streaks
from the steam. Sold at Home Depot.
Thank you for your replies....
I figure the degreasing won't be so bad on the maple cabinetry, with the
products you all recommended. We'll get to work on that one.
However, I'm now a little tentative about the distinct aroma left from this
East Indian family. In addition to the duct cleaning work, we're having our
painter repair some cosmetic damage to the interior of the walls (i.e. holes
and dents in drywall); then his painting crew will TSP the walls; then
primer the walls; and then paint based on the colors of our choice. Like I
said in my earlier post, we will replacing the carpeting - currently it's a
shag look, cut berber along the stairs and the entire second level of the
home. We will replacing the carpet with new nylon berber. The lower level
of the house has a combination of wood laminate, ceramic tile, and hardwood
floors that we're installing. I'm hoping the aroma from the Indian spices
will go away, but just don't know how long. Any more information you can
provide on the "ozone generator?" Do you know of anyone who has used it
before, and is it really effective?
Please keep in mind, I hope I don't sound like I'm offending the East Indian
culture. In my own experience, East Indian food and delicacies are quite
delicious. However, it's a very cultured ethnicity that I'm not used to or
much aware of, and would much rather leave the cooking and handling of
spices to an East Indian family to prepare, then myself.
Thanks for your advice.
TSP is a great cleaner. Have used it to clean the layer of glue left behind
after the wallpaper came off without any water, just my hands.
Good luck with all the cleaning.
P.S. I assume its curry that is smelling up your home. I'm not partial to
that smell, either.
On Thu 24 Feb 2005 07:39:33a, Vlad wrote in alt.home.cleaning:
Even if you plan on renting/using one of these yourself, your best source of
information would be contacting a company that specializes in restorations
after house fires, places where a death went undiscovered for a long period,
etc. The high power version of these machines are very effective and can
eradicate almost any odor.
The other responses are great. But, I would suggest cleaning the duct work as
time they fill with dust and collect the smells of the greases and oils that get
there. Cleaning ductwork every 5 years or so, if not more often, will help you
buildup of your own smells. Of course, we never mind our own smells. What do
Garlic IS an air freshener.
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