Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Readers Solutions

By Reena Nerbas

Scratched Melamine

Dear Reena,

We own a large, decorative cabinet that was built for our upper landing to provide more storage and look good. It has a shiny melamine surface, and we were happy with it until a large scratch was made on the surface by someone dragging a large glass ornament over it while dusting. Is there anything that can be done to reduce or eliminate this unsightly scratch? Bruce

Dear Bruce,

SeamFil or paint are both effective at reducing the appearance of scratches on melamine. If the melamine color is dark you may want to soften a color matched crayon, fill in the scratch and then buff the area to blend the color.

Readers Respond:

Re: Holes too Large in Salt Shaker

I read about the salt shaker problem with regards to the salt pouring out too quickly due to the holes being too large. I took the lid off of my shaker and placed plastic wrap over the opening put the lid back on and poked holes through the plastic wrap; problem solved. Jewel

Re: Smelly Cupboards

What I’ve found effective to remove odors from cupboards or drawers is to put vanilla onto a cotton ball, put the cotton ball into a cup. Leave the cup in the cupboard or drawer. It may take a few days, but the odor gradually disappears. You may have to replace the vanilla on the cotton ball about once a week. Marion

Re: Hairspray on Walls

In reference to the lady who has trouble removing hairspray from her walls. I use Lysol bath foam (Lysol Tub and Tile) to remove hairspray on walls. I also spray it on my hairbrushes before washing with soap. Worth a try; as it works for me. Marion

Re: Removing Bathtub Ring
I made a small bag from old pantyhose and filled it with bits of hand soap e.g.: Dove or Ivory work like a charm. Additional Use: My trucker neighbor uses soap/pantyhose to clean his windshield and headlights while on the road, says it’s the very BEST. Doreen

Re: Black Goo on Carpet after Cleaning Broken Ballast Light
Your tip noted a 1970’s fluorescent ballast was replaced which would have probably been dielectric probably PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) carcinogenic, so that was why the electrician was reluctant to clean it up. It is not volatile, but skin contact is to be avoided. Dust and dry with oil absorber. Follow with any dry-cleaning solvent and more absorber dust. Wear protective equipment. Dispose of any cleaning material at Hazardous Waste site. David

Re: Black Goo on Carpet after Cleaning Broken Ballast Light

I read about 25 years ago that those old ballasts were made with PCB DANGER by one company and you could identify them by an “E” in the serial number. That electrician should have known that and owned up to the responsibility. Charlie

Re: Dryer Lint

I too had a problem with dryer lint messing up my outdoor patio space. To solve it, I placed a one-gallon black plastic plant pot (with drainage holes) under the dryer vent and put a 2-3 inch layer of coarse gravel in the bottom of the pot. The lint gets trapped by the gravel and can be picked off, or just disposed of and replaced with fresh gravel. Hope this works for your reader. Linda

When Cereal Losses Crunch:

  • Place cereal in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 4 mins. at 425 degrees. Cool and store in airtight container. Also works for chips and crackers.


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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