Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Dealing With Stains Left by Coloured Wax and Paint

By Reena Nerbas

Wax Dye on Oak Desk

Hello Reena,

I own an oak desk, I made the mistake of placing a red candle on top without a holder and after sometime I moved it only to find that the wax of the candle left a red ring on the wood that I can’t seem to remove. How can I lift this stain without damaging the wood or its finish (which is either lacquer or varnish)? Regards, Frank

Hi Frank,

Candle wax often dyes surfaces making it difficult to remove. Begin with one or more of the following solutions (being sure to clean with water between attempts): Goo Gone, Murphy’s Oil Wood Soap, Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo, Sunlight bar Laundry Soap or a product called Krud Kutter. If all else fails, lightly sand and refinish the area.

Paint on Jacket

Dear Reena,

I have latex-oil formula stain by Behr (in a light mint green) on my new misty mountain (royal blue) technical performance outerwear  shell 100% polyester backing, 100% polyvinyl chloride lining, and 100% polyester interlining. The care label says, “Do not iron, bleach, dry clean and tumble dry. It is now one week later and I just noticed this stain a couple of days ago, it is on the underarm and some on the side of the jacket. I do hope there is something that can be done to the positive. I have not done anything thus far. Thank you, Adelon

Dear Adelon,

According to the Behr website, “Dried spills (on fabric) must be cleaned with lacquer thinner or paint remover.” In doing so, test on an inconspicuous area first, if the stain is mildly noticeable you are best off leaving it. Worst case scenario, have the jacket re-dyed or use a color match marker to cover the stain.

Feedback from Readers Who Care

Re: Winterizing Sue’s trailer

I read about your information on how to insulate a trailer. I would recommend that the house insurance be contacted as some insurance won’t pay if bales are used for insulation because of fire. ~ Cecile

Re: Winterizing Sue’s trailer

I have a glass back door and it gets quite cold in the winter, I use bubble wrap to insulate. You wet the flat side and the glass and press. It works. I can sit by the door and not get cold. In the spring I take it off and wash the windows. Two jobs done in one and no sticky tape. Regards, Leanne

Re: Smelly Pipes and Smoke Smell Removal

Hi Reena,

I love your advice and innovative uses for everyday products. I would be concerned about using any chemical like Drano when trying to get rid of a “chemical” odor. I would suggest replacing the small metal drain pipe at the sink drain and the p-trap (u-shaped pipe), ABS piping will react to strong chemicals that create heat and weaken the seals.

TSP solution is very effective on cleaning smelly walls, ceilings and trim. Rinse with vinegar and water (you can add some lemon juice to this mix). Curtains and any other washable surfaces need to be cleaned as well. Air out the room well. Furnace filters and any other source of air circulation will need to be washed/changed. The above comments are based on my personal experience. Vera

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