Shop vacuums are the perfect cleanup tool for messy cleanups in the shop and in the home. Most are heavy-duty and can be used for both wet and dry pickups. We always suggest breaking them out on spring-cleaning projects. One thing you may want to add is an extension to the end of the hose. You can use a cardboard wrapping-paper tube or even a scrap of PVC pipe. Just tape it onto the end of the vacuum hose, and you can reach cobwebs and dust bunnies under just about anything, and many other hard-to-reach messes. Pull it off when you are finished, and take a break. You earned it!

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: Our front door is a good, solid wood door, but the sidelights are clear, and we feel like we don’t have enough privacy. We’ve never been able to find drapes for them, so we decided to etch them. We found etching acid at a craft store and stencils to use for the design. We taped the stencils on the glass, applied the etching cream and waited until it had time to work. Then we just wiped it off and repeated the process until both windows were done. It looks really nice and does the job of making it harder to see into our home through these side windows. – J.N.


Dear Carrells: I noticed one evening while working late in my office that the cleaning crew was using club soda to clean the chrome chairs in our office. I told my wife, and she tried it on the chrome in our house, bathroom and kitchen. It works great and, as you know, club soda is inexpensive. I just thought I would pass it on to you and your readers. – H.T.


Dear Kelly: We removed the old ventilator in our bathroom and installed one that is quieter and has a light included in it. It’s much nicer. But there wasn’t anything wrong with the old one, so we installed it in our laundry room. Now we can get rid of the excess moisture in that room. It used to get pretty bad during the summertime. – S.G.


Dear Al: We have a nice closet in our master bedroom, but it doesn’t have much light and my wife has always complained about it. It has a couple of plugs, so I bought two floor lamps. These are great. I really didn’t realize how dim it was until I brought the lamps in. They do a great job, and the closet is a lot more functional now. – T.S.


Q: How can you reinstall a toilet-tissue holder so that it will stay put? – M.L.

A: The original mount probably was done with plain screws. You can remove them and install wall anchors. There are several different types, and you can pick the right one for your wall. This should do the trick.

A Super hint

Stirring paint can be messy, especially when using a drill to do it. Set your paint can down inside a large paper sack before stirring. It will catch the messes before they become messes. You can just throw the bag away when you’re finished.