Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Squeaky Clean Window Cleaner Recipe

By Reena Nerbas

Bathtub Ring

Dear Reena,

I would love to know what to use to remove a bathtub ring. Thanks Lorraine

Dear Lorraine,

Clean the bathtub on a regular basis. You may need to wash out the bathtub weekly or more often, depending on how many people use it. While wearing gloves, sprinkle a dampened green abrasive cloth with either baking soda or washing soda and borax. Wet and scrub until the tub is clean. Rinse and dry with a rag. For tough stains apply 3% hydrogen peroxide/baking soda or cream of tartar and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Put cream of tartar in a bowl and drip in hydrogen peroxide until you have a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let dry; scrub away the dried paste and watch the eye soar disappear.

Cracking Wood Table

Dear Reena,

I am wondering if you know how to prevent further cracking (from dryness, I assume) on my beautiful, wooden dining room table? I polish it every week and then every two weeks I leave oil all over it, hoping it will absorb it and stop the cracking. We aren’t able to put a humidifier in our home, but do you have any other suggestions on how to save this table from destructive dryness? Thanks so much for your help! Kathleen

Dear Kathleen,

A wide array of products ranging from oils, waxes, and sprays are available for furniture care. However, contrary to popular belief wood does not need to be “fed”. The best way to care for furniture is simply to maintain a stable environment. No amount of oil or other materials will keep wood from drying out if the humidity level is too low. A good-quality paste wax designed for furniture can be used to add a protective layer to the wood finish and give it a soft shine. Paste wax, protects the finish without penetrating the wood and keeps dust from binding with the surface the way car wax makes water bead. Pick a wax that matches the color of the wood (for instance, a lighter wax for maple and a darker one for walnut). If the wood finish is cracked or rubbed away, skip the paste. Do this only once a year and apply the wax sparingly. Do not use spray polishes or lemon oils as they can leave the surface tacky, which attracts dust. Contrary to what the makers of spray-on furniture polishes claim, you don’t need fancy chemicals to clean and protect wood furniture, even if they are your prized possessions. In fact, those products can do more harm than good. According to one expert at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, “Some sprays have additives that will never come off. They crosslink chemically over time and become insoluble. A lot never completely dry and they attract dirt, darkening the finish which can decrease the value.” Source:

Cleaning Windows and Glass

Dear Reena,

Not so long ago you published a household recipe for cleaning windows and glass. Unfortunately, I’ve misplaced the article. Would you be so kind as to let me know what the ingredients are as I have some glass tables and doors that I would like to clean. Thank you so much. Carol

Dear Carol,

I have had a number of requests for this recipe therefore let me take this opportunity to reprint the information: Squeaky Clean Window Cleaner Recipe: In a spray bottle, combine 1 tsp. (5 mL) inexpensive shampoo or dish soap, one quarter cup (60 mL) rubbing alcohol and fill remaining portion of the bottle with white vinegar. Spray and wipe.

Hairspray on Walls

Dear Reena,

A follow up to my last question: I am still trying to get hairspray off the bathroom walls and have had no luck using rubbing alcohol and water. I am wondering if you have another suggestion. The walls are painted with a top-of-the-line latex acrylic paint. Regards Judi

Dear Judi,

Since rubbing alcohol did not do the trick, your next step is clean the wall with shampoo diluted in warm water. Another wonderful option, apply shaving cream to the stained area. Leave for 5 minutes and scrub.

Fantastic Tip of the Week

·        Avocados never ripe when you need them? Solution: Buy well in advance, ripen, mash then freeze them with a little lime/lemon juice and a little salt. Just thaw and serve or incorporate into your favorite recipe. Cheers, Rowena

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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