Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Leather and Lino


By Reena Nerbas

Smelly Leather Sofa

Dear Reena,

How can we get rid of a strange odor on the seat of our leather sofa? This occurs only when someone is seated on it. Nothing has been spilled that we know of. We wish to give it away, but want to improve it first.

Dear Barbara,

Like any other item in the home, leather requires proper care and maintenance. A large variety of leather cleaning products are readily available in stores. If you choose to opt for products that you already have on hand; wipe the furniture with dish soap and water on a dampened cloth. Wipe once again with a water dampened cloth. Some people choose to clean leather with 1-cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1-cup water (test on an inconspicuous area first). Air dry. Or and this is a very popular choice, clean leather with saddle soap, and wipe with a damp cloth.

Replacing Old Lino

Dear Reena,

My existing linoleum needs replacing; the seams have started to come apart. A sub-floor was nailed over the existing tile about 25 years ago which we painted before the present linoleum was installed. How do we remove the existing linoleum and the glue to the sub-floor? Geraldine

Dear Geraldine,

Since the flooring is more than 20 years old, you may want to have it checked for asbestos before proceeding with floor removal. You will want to work in sections to make removal easier. Some people use a skill saw (equal to the depth thickness of the underlayment) to remove flooring, others use an X-Acto knife and a long handled scraper to remove flooring. Use pliers to remove all staples from the underlayment and flooring. If the floor is glued, pour hot water onto the glue to remove it, or purchase a commercial solvent.

Budding Potatoes

Dear Reena,

How can I prevent my potatoes from budding? Thanks, Sam

Dear Sam,

It is often said that if you place an apple in a bin or bag with potatoes, the potatoes ripen faster. Put this theory to the test and you will likely find that it’s false. As apples release ethylene gas the ripening process actually slows down. Potatoes stored without an apple becomes soft and shriveled faster.

Feedback from Smart Readers

Re: Scuff marks on vinyl flooring

Dear Reena,

To remove scuff marks on vinyl flooring, wipe with a dry paper towel. Anonymous

Hi Reena,

I want to let you know about my husband’s approach to removing scuff marks. A retired school principal, he still twists the ball of his walking or running shoe on such scuff marks wherever he encounters them. Old habits die hard–especially when they work! Brenda

Smart Tips of the Week

·        It can be frustrating to hang scrappy sundresses because they so often fall off the hanger. The solution is to use pant hangers, the kind that have a couple of clips. Clip onto the straps and they’ll stay put. Submitted By: Pieta

·        To seed pomegranates in a hurry, I score the peel. Twist and open the two halves. Loosen the peel from the flesh. Turn one half upside down onto the palm of my hand and hit the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until all of the seeds are out. Submitted By: Johnny

·        I have noticed that it is easy to choose a perfect avocado if you follow this one rule: Look at the stem. If the stem is yellow-green the avocado is good. If the stem is brown, it’s too old. Submitted By: Jackson

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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