Your Place: The case of the mysterious grease stains

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: Late last summer, we developed what looks like light grease stains on a portion of our vinyl siding in the rear of house. I have tried numerous treatments to no avail.

A home center salesperson who used to power wash houses told me he thought it was a rare mold and to use something called Tuff Stuff, but I cannot find this product anywhere.

A: Tuff Stuff is available at Walmart and AutoZone, to name just two places, and online.

I am not sure what those stains on your vinyl siding are, since what I typically see marring the surface are green mildew stains on the northern-facing sides of houses.

One website suggests the following for grease stains: Fantastik, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Windex, or Lysol. Bob Vila’s website concurs, so if you haven’t tried any of these products, give one a shot.

You also might want to check out the Vinyl Siding Institute’s cleaning suggestions.

Q: I have your basic tile floors in the foyer and kitchen, and I have that yellow stain when you remove the rug. Is there any way to remove this?

A: If they aren’t vinyl tiles, yes. A tile cleaner that you can buy at the grocery store should do it.

If it doesn’t work, you might try a commercial tile cleaner, but they tend to be more expensive and troublesome to use — there are typically a host of safety precautions involved to which I always pay close attention.

Go to a tile store, a hardware outlet or the tile department at a home center for recommendations.