Red candle dripped on my 40-year-old white linen tablecloth and stuck to the table pad underneath. I have tried freezing the wax pad. What can I do to remove the wax without leaving any redness? Jeannette
Some messes are more difficult to clean than others. White wax is easy to clean but colored wax is tricky; smear the area with Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo before freezing. After fabric is frozen use a plastic putty knife to scrape away the wax. Next spray the area with fabric spot remover before washing (according to the directions). If the stain remains, pour 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the area and sprinkle it with cream of tartar. Leave in the sun for a day and rewash. Repeat until stain is gone. Or use RIT dye remover according to the directions on the box to whiten the tablecloth.
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I have an old Torchiere floor lamp which I really like, but it uses a tri-lite bulb with a large base. Since the new spiral bulbs came on the market I cannot find tri-lite bulbs to replace the burnt-out one. I phoned the hydro company and was told they no longer make large base bulbs. Do you have any ideas? Should I hang onto my ‘antique’ Torchiere lamp with hopes of someday getting a bulb? The way it is now, there’s no use in donating it to anyone as it is worthless without a bulb. Thank-you, Anne
Although I think donating the lamp is a nice idea, you are right the lamp needs a bulb. In many cases, you can convert Torchiere floor lamps to use a more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb.
Using a 30-60 watt fluorescent bulb, is safer and more energy efficient. For this project you may feel more comfortable hiring an experienced handy person to help you. You will need basic tools such as: screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical tape, wire nuts, and a drill (for drilling new holes if the existing ones are not ideally located). The parts you need should be available from your local hardware store. You can buy an energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulb with the attached adapter, rated at 30 watts with a light output of 2,000 lumens, a shallow conventional porcelain bulb socket, and a rotary on/off switch. The total cost is about $20, plus labour. Lamp adapters are often sold as kits — if possible, bring the lamp into the hardware store when you go.
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I read your column every time it is published and I, being a practical person, find your solutions and remedies very knowledgeable to read and pass on. First of all, I would like to know where to purchase your books. Secondly, can you tell me how to get barn smell out of coveralls? I have tried washing them in cold water, soap and salt (and vinegar). I never put them in the dryer but instead hang them on the line. Samantha
My favorite remedy for zapping foul odors from fabrics is washing soda and HOT water. It is true that cold water is a smart choice for laundry, however for tough smells and stains nothing beats the added power of heat. Hot water itself adds to the cleaning power without the addition of extra detergents or chemicals. Hot water once in a while also keeps the washing machine interior clean and reduces build-up of mold, mildew and odour! For tough smells and stains, boil machine washable fabrics in a stainless steel pot on the stove with water and washing soda. My three books are difficult to find in stores, they can be ordered online or by calling 204 320 2757.
Feedback from Caring Readers
We had the exact same problem as your reader with rust in the dishwasher on the tips of the rack. My husband cut the rusted tips off of the baskets and scraped them. He then used the dishwasher rack repair solution and applied new caps. My friend suggested a product called Glisten to remove the interior rust. Glisten did a magnificent job, my husband and I were amazed. Hope you give it a try. Janice
In one of your articles a lady wanted to know how to remove rust stains from Corelle dinnerware. All I do is rub a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser onto the spot, rinse and it’s gone. Thank-you, Anna
Fabulous Tips of the Week
• Dust your hands lightly with baby powder or flour before putting on rubber or latex gloves. This will help remove the gloves easily without having to take them off inside out.
• Keep a small bag of kitty litter in your trunk when driving in the winter. This will come in handy if you ever get stuck–simply sprinkle the ground around your tires with kitty litter to give your tires traction in snow and ice. You can also store the kitty litter in a large sealed tin such as old coffee cans or even in an empty lidded plastic milk jug (make sure to clean and dry the milk jug well before adding cat litter).
• Before bathing your dog in the bathtub, place a nylon or steel wool pot scrubber in the drain to catch all of the dog hair. Prevents dog hair buildup in the drain and pipes.
I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Interested in grocery coupons? Check out my brand new blog and website at www.reena.ca. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org