Monday, January 26, 2009

Is there anything I can do to stretch out my shoes? They're too tight in the toe area.

Absolutely! Page 6 of Blind Dates Can Be Murder suggests that you use a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag. Press it into the toe of your shoe and carefully fill the bag with water until that area is full. Repeat for the other shoe and place in the freezer for at least 24 hours. The water will expand as it freezes thus stretching the toes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

How can I clean my light fixtures without ruining the finish on the frame?

Page 212 of Elementary, My Dear Watkins recomends that you spray cleaner onto your cloth and not directly at the crystals or glass. Carefully wipe only the part you want to clean otherwise the cleaner might leech into the frame though nicks and cuts. This could eventually corrode the finish.

Or, for a chandelier, remove the crystals if they're removable and hand wash them in warm water with a capful of vinegar and a drop of dishwashing liquid.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vitamin E Stain

Hi folks,

Happy New Year to you all!

I thought you might enjoy this recent exchange with a reader, who ended up solving her own problem.

Q - I just squirted vitamin E oil on my blouse. Is their any way to remove the stain?

A- Hmmm...that's a new one on me! Sounds like a person I know who squeezed a capsule and it popped, shooting the liquid into her eye. Turns out, it was her dog's stool softener, which led to plenty of joikes (at least her eye wouldn't be constipated, etc.), but it ended up being pretty serious and actually burned her retina. She's fine now. Anyway, your note reminded me of that experience.

Any oil-based stain is always best removed with a professional stain-removal product such as Shout. You could also try rubbing in a little water that has been mixed with a dab of Dawn dishwashing liquid or similar (any of the ones that promise to draw grease away from the dishes).

Let me know if neither of these approaches work and I'll take a look at some of my reference books for you. Is it really oily, or is that just what it's called? Because that could make a difference in how to treat the stain.

Follow up email - Thanks for your suggestions. I sprayed it really good with Shout and let it set for a while, then checked it and it was still there, then I put salt on it and let it set for several hours. I could still see the stain, finally I sprayed it really good with hair spray and let that set for a few hours and it finally came out.

My final comments - I was glad to hear back and to learn that the stain finally did come out. Though I wouldn't recommend using salt and/or hairspray on all fabrics, I'm glad it really worked out in this situation. Way to go!