Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Nail Polish Spill

By Reena Nerbas

Adhesive Stain on Upholstery

Dear Reena,

I recently picked up a used rear window, and left it in the back of my van, leaning up against the rear seat. The black adhesive softened in the heat and some transferred to the upholstery fabric, leaving an ugly black streak stain. What can I use to remove this adhesive stain from the fabric? Thanks, Dave

Dear Dave,

Spray the area with WD-40 and leave for 10 mins. Wipe the black adhesive with a cloth. Wash the upholstery with dish soap and a cloth dampened with water. Air dry.

Update from Dave: I found something else in the shop that works really well too: Brake parts cleaner spray (smells like dry-cleaning fluid, some people say it’s the same thing as). Neat thing about it is that it evaporates and also cleans up with dish soap and water.

Nail Polish on Clothing

Dear Reena,

I was shaking my nail polish not noticing that the lid was not on tight. It spilled all over the front (bottom) of my sweater.  It is made of 51% acrylic, 28% wool and 21% polyester. Neela

Dear Neela,

Nail polish must be cleaned up as quickly as possible before the paint sets. Spray with hairspray, wipe with a cloth and wash as usual. Repeat the process. If the stain remains, soak the area with a generous amount of white vinegar. Leave for one hour and blot. Next pour one quarter teaspoon dish soap and a generous amount of water onto the area. Blot to lift remaining color. If the stain is still present, wipe it with acetone and a cloth (test on inconspicuous area before applying it to carpet). Extra Tip: If you ever spill nail polish on vinyl flooring, immediately sprinkle sugar on top. The nail polish crumbles and is very easy to clean up.

Burnt Popcorn Smell

Hi Reena,

My son burnt popcorn in the microwave. I tried everything to get the smell out but nothing worked. Can you give me some suggestions other than buying a new microwave? Thanks, Wanda

Dear Wanda,

Don’t worry you are not alone; this happens all the time! Your best bet is to overpower the burnt smell with a pleasant aroma. In a microwave safe bowl combine water and a few teaspoons of vanilla for baking. The more vanilla, the stronger the smell. Put the bowl inside the microwave and set the microwave to cook until the vanilla boils over and flows into the cracks and corners of the microwave (where the foul odor is coming from). When the microwave stops, let the liquid sit for one hour. Wipe the microwave with a generous amount of vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice. Dry the microwave and unplug it. Stuff the microwave with LOTS of crumpled up newspaper. The ink in newspaper will absorb any remaining odor. Leave newspaper for at least a few days. Remove the newspaper. Store a bowl of baking soda in your microwave when not in use.

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Re: Shrunk Rayon Fabric

Dear Reena,

I found that ironing rayon while it is still damp will stretch it back to its original size. Maria

Sweet Tips of the Week

  • Extend the life of freshly cut flowers by adding a teaspoon of sugar to the vase every time you change the water.
  • Store sugar cubes with cheese to prevent the cheese from becoming hard.
  • Remove grass stains on denim. Combine one quarter cup sugar with enough water to make a paste. Scrub solution onto denim stain and leave for 5 mins. Wash as usual; repeat if stain remains.

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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