Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Dealing with Sticky Messes

By Reena Nerbas

Removing Sticky Substance from Clothes

Hi Reena,

I recently leaned into a tree band around the elm in our yard and got the goopy stuff all over my left shoulder. I tried: soap, putting it in the freezer and water to try and get that goop off but it just won’t budge. Do you have any solutions for removing that sticky stuff from clothing? Help! Carmelle

Dear Carmelle,

Smear the area with one of the following: Mayonnaise, WD-40, Goo Gone or peanut butter to remove the goop. Next apply dish soap to the area to avoid a grease stain. If the stain remains apply a mixture of 2 tbsp. washing soda and one quarter cup water onto the stain. Let it sit for one hour and wash as usual. It is important that you avoid putting the clothing into the dryer until the stain is gone. Reapply the treatment until the stain disappears. Another option is to scrub the area with a bar of Sunlight laundry soap and water, the stain will eventually disappear.

Shoe Polish on Leather Furniture

Dear Reena,

I used shoe polish to fix the color on my leather sun faded couch. The leather took the polish very well, the fading was gone and the couch developed beautiful shine upon buffing. Unfortunately, to my horror the polish now stains the garments of people sitting on it. Can this be rectified or have I ruined my couch permanently? Chris

Dear Chris,

It is true that leather on shoes is tanned differently than leather to make shoes. Shoe polish cannot be absorbed into furniture; the shoe polish remains on top of the textile and makes a sticky mess. You can remedy this challenge with patience and time. Your best bet to remove shoe polish from leather furniture is to buff it with a soft cloth, a little water and dish soap or fabric detergent. Buff gently until the cloth no longer picks up color. Wipe the entire couch with a damp cloth.

Feedback from Wise Contributors

Re: Water spots on wood floor

Dear Reena,

Marianne had a problem with water spots on her hardwood floors. Not sure if this will work for her but I have laminate flooring in my dining room and could not clean it without getting water spots. A friend told me she always cleans her floors with a spray bottle of Windex and a microfiber cloth. I have been using Windex ever since and no longer have trouble with water spots. Ellen

Re: Painting a fridge

This is in reply to Lynette who wanted to know about painting refrigerators. Instead of painting the fridge, I found a great solution for renewing an old fridge. I used wood grain MACtac to cover my fridge panel. It was cheap, easy to care for and looks great. You can also purchase MACtac in plain white or colors. Anonymous

Re: Coating of aphid excrement on vehicle

Recently Clare wrote in about having to park her vehicle under trees resulting in a coating of aphid excrement and dust that was difficult to remove.  A few years ago a friend introduced me to a commercial product called “Goo Gone” and it pretty much cleans anything and everything off your car including tar without damaging the finish.  The good news is that it is available at most hardware/automotive stores. Submitted By: Shirley and Linda

DIY Water Globe

Are you a member of the ‘I Can’t Possibly Remember to Water My Plants Everyday Club’? Here is the solution for you:

Find an empty glass bottle with a long neck so that you can push the neck far into the soil i.e. wine bottle or glass Coke bottle. Hold the empty bottle upside down 3-4 inches away from the potted plant. Push the neck of the bottle into the soil on an angle towards the plant to make a hole. Fill the bottle with water and quickly flip the bottleneck into the hole trying not to spill. The top of the soil may feel dry but under the top layer the soil remains damp. Refill the bottle as needed.

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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