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PB Blaster to the Rescue

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Trudy Chuoke

I had a customer that came in last weekend and had a problem with rusty hardware.  It was his gate hardware on the fence.  He wanted to remove the old gate latch and replace it with something new, except the old hardware was rusted.  So rusted that it had almost melted into one solid piece and he could not get the bolts and screws out that held the piece together.  He was frustrated.

I knew that feeling.  It was when I was trying to find a place to put the spa, I bought in my back yard.  There was an existing pad that was part of the patio, but it had old strapping material and bolts and screws that held an old deck in place that I had removed.  And you know I am all about the Plan B…so I had just covered up those rusty eyesores with decorative rock.  But to place that spa there was going to require that the hardware be removed.  That hardware was probably 40 years old, and I was nervous about trying to remove it.  If it broke off, I would have to call someone to saw it off. 

There is a product line called PB Blaster.  They make several different products but the one I had in mind is called Penetrating Catalyst.  One the front of the can it says it can break free rusted or frozen parts.  Like my customer I wasn’t sure the rusty hardware was even separate parts anymore….it looked like one big rusty chunk.  The instructions said to shake the can, completely saturate the troubled area.  The instructions are humorous…. I got a giggle reading them.  Then I gave it another spray.  I really saturated the area.  You let it sit for a bit.   You let it sit for a bit because it has a wicking effect.  In other words, it will work against gravity to penetrate a bolt.  Then you tap it lightly with a hammer and spray again.  I was able to get a wrench around the bolt and tried pulling on it to see if it would move.  It did.  I couldn’t believe it.  Sometimes I am just like my customers, very skeptical about claims that products make on the label.  But I shouldn’t have been surprised, I remember Dad using this on his antique vehicles.  Rust has no power over PB Blaster!  The nice part of PB is that it doesn’t evaporate.  It will leave a lubricating film on parts to prevent rust and corrosion.   My old parts …. they went in the trash. 

You should be able to find PB Blaster in any hardware store, but if you can’t, it’s on our site www.happyhandyman.com

TIP

I have never seen so many flies like this early summer season.  My customers are so frustrated and willing to do anything to enjoy their patios as long as possible this summer.   I don’t like fly ribbons,(who wants to look at captured dead flies) fly traps (they stink so   bad), but  then I came across a tip …… Pine Sol.  Flies hate the smell of Pine Sol.  I found that hard to believe because they love the smell of trash.  But I thought I would try.  I mean trying to sip wine and swatting flies kinda takes the fun out it.  So, the next night, I sprayed down all the deck of the spa. I also included the table around the spa and all the chairs.  I really saturated the area I was going to be sitting.  Went back inside the house, got my towel and my wine.  When I went back outside and sat down, a single, rogue fly came in my direction and then took off.  And I was able to enjoy my toes in the spa and my wine.  Do I like the smell of Pine Sol Original…. Nope.  But I hate flies so much more.  Spray every time you want to go outside and enjoy the patio! 

Now to the email for a quick question!

Question:  Please tell me what product you have that will help me clean my oil rubbed bronze faucet, which sits on a granite countertop. I'm afraid CLR will be too corrosive.

Answer:  Use Flitz Faucet Wax Plus, it’s safe for softer metals like Oil Rubber Bronze. 

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