Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Careless Painters and Laundry Challenges


By Reena Nerbas

Paint on Carpet

Dear Reena,

I hired professional painters for a not too large room in my home.  They arrived with a stack of drop cloths but I think they were not careful in actually using them. As a result I have paint splatters in five different spots and one stain that looks like someone dropped a paint brush and then stepped on it. Unfortunately I didn’t double check the work immediately and they took the money and ran. I managed to remove the simple splatters by trimming the surface nap of the carpet. The larger stain is another story; I tried soap and water, and some commercial cleaners and while it is a bit better, it is still very obvious. It has been a week since they were here and I waited for them to come back to address the issue. In spite of repeated promises to return, of course it didn’t happen. So the stain has had a week to set. Help! Marjorey

Dear Marjorey,

Your best bet is to wet the area with one of the following: Paint thinner or Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and water or WD-40. Leave for 30 mins. and scrub with a brush, repeat until stain is gone. Be sure to test all products on the carpet first to confirm that the dye is not affected. Your chances of getting rid of the stains are good. Complete the process by scrubbing with dish soap and water, rinse and let dry.

Dye from Jeans

Dear Reena,

I bought a pair of fleece lined jeans and am finding the dye is coming off on my hands when I wear them. I have washed them inside out in cold water and also washed them with 1 cup of vinegar in cold water and they are still making my hands navy from the dye. Is there another way of washing them to get rid of the excess dye! Bev

Dear Bev,

This may be the result of defective dye, but most likely will cure itself over time. Here are a few hints to help speed up the process of making your jeans colorfast. Soak the jeans for a few hours in plain old straight white vinegar. Next wash them in the hottest water possible (you can use cold water but the color setting process will take longer). If the dye is still not colorfast, bring the jeans to the store and explain the situation.

Underarm Stains

Dear Reena,

I have underarm stains on a sweater of mine, how can I try to remove them? It is only under one armpit. Linda

Dear Linda,

For underarm perspiration stains on shirts, rub with Sunlight laundry soap before washing. Or combat underarm stains by setting the shirt in half cup (125 mL) washing soda or borax or white vinegar and 2 cups (500 mL) water and soaking or boiling. Wash as normal. Or sprinkle with 3% hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar (test first). Leave for a few hours in the sun and wash. Another option is to soak stains in mouthwash before washing. If the shirts were previously machine dried, the stains are set and therefore may require more than one of the solutions above.

Holding Kitchen Mat in Place

Dear Reena,

I have a small floor mat under the kitchen sink. What can one do to stop the mat from moving around when you walk on it? Hope you can help. Carol

Dear Carol,

Here are a few options for keeping your mat in place. Glue self-adhesive foam or rubber shelf liner or a bathtub mat with suction cups to the bottom of the mat. Or purchase aerosol rubber spray at your local hardware store, spray the bottom of the mat and allow a few hours of drying time. Once the floor mat is back in position and has repeated weight on it, the mat should stay put. Or apply double sided tape under the mat; the disadvantage of this option is that you run the risk of adhesive sticking to the floor over the years.

Fabulous Tips of the Week

  • Add a little beef stock to your poultry gravy, it improves the taste immensely. Submitted By: Tim
  • Make a tool wrap with the help of an old pair of jeans. Cut off a 10-inch section of one pant leg, measured from the bottom hem. Rip the inseam out but leave it attached at the hem. Place the fabric on a flat surface, inside facing out. Put tools on fabric, fold closed, roll up, and tie with the inseam. Submitted By: Tim

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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