Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Tips for Removing Marker Stains

By Reena Nerbas

Marker Stain on White Sweater

Dear Reena,

I marked my white cardigan with a blue permanent marker. You said once before to use bug repellent to remove marker but I had already used a stain remover and then rinsed in cold water. Is it too late to try bug repellent? Should I hang the cardigan in the sun, would that help? Betty

Dear Betty,

Sunlight will not help such a prominent and permanent stain. The treatment depends on the textile but if the garment is unwearable you have nothing to lose by experimenting. Here are a few options: Spray the area with bug repellent and blot with water until marker is gone. A nurse recently told me that she uses waterless hand cleaner to get permanent marker out of fabric. Other possible solutions: Mr. Clean original cleaner, hairspray, rubbing alcohol, WD-40, Sunlight laundry bar soap or soak the stain overnight in paint thinner and wash. Repeat as necessary (test everything on an inconspicuous area first and rinse between attempts).

Mothball Odour in Camper

Dear Reena,

We bought an old camper. The previous owners used mothballs inside. As a result, all of the foam mattresses smell like mothballs. I washed everything and have left the windows open and placed a raw onion inside. I washed the camper with Mr. Clean and Comet. What can I do to get rid of the mothball smell in the mattresses? I’ve had them outside for about two weeks. Thanks for your help. Jean

Dear Jean,

When you’re desperate, you’re desperate and mothballs are one of those odors that can linger for years! Instead of temporarily covering the smell with air freshener spray, you need to kill it. Vodka neutralizes most odors on contact and then evaporates. Pour vodka into a spray bottle and proceed to spray the smelly areas within the mattress. If you do not want to use vodka; make a solution of 50/50 ammonia and water. Spray the mattress liberally. Air dry. After the mattress is dry, sprinkle with baking soda. Leave for a day and vacuum.

Liquid Smoke

Dear Reena,

What is liquid smoke used for? Mannie

Dear Mannie,

You may have seen recipes that call for liquid smoke, the purpose of this product is to impart barbeque or smoky flavor into food. Liquid smoke is sometimes used by people who do not have a charcoal grill, but enjoy smoky flavor. Many liquid smokes are all natural, and can be used safely. Some people use it in sauces i.e. barbeque sauce, stews and marinades. Other people report that they find it has a chemical flavor and prefer not to use it.

Fantastic Tip of the Week:

Looking for a healthy snack? Try homemade salsa! Salsa does not necessarily require cooking; however uncooked salsa has more of a bite. If you choose not to cook salsa, you may want to caramelize the onions before adding them to the salsa.

In a blender combine: 4 chopped Roma tomatoes, 1 small onion, 3 sprigs of cilantro (optional), 2 Jalapeño peppers, 2 garlic cloves, juice of 2 limes and half tsp. salt. Blend until desired texture is reached. If you choose to cook salsa, allow it to simmer for 15-30 minutes until thickness is appealing to you.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my website Reena.ca.

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