Dear Reena: I love your natural, non-chemical solutions. Is there anything that will remove the dark discolouration on the paint behind pictures hung on the wall? And is there a way to prevent this discolouration from happening?
I contacted my favourite paint store and asked them for advice on this question.
They said you are best off repainting the entire wall. Most paint fades over time due to sunshine — in other words, the discoloured area has been bleached.
Only by adding colour will the wall return to a solid hue.
To avoid this in the future, you can search out fade-resistant paints or close window coverings during peak daylight hours.
Dear Reena: I’m wondering if you have a homemade eyeglass-cleaner solution. I need something that is safe for plastic lenses that have been coated with an anti-glare and anti-scratch coating.
I received this recipe from an optician:
Fill a spray bottle three-quarters full with rubbing alcohol and one-quarter with water.
Add a few drops of dish soap. Shake to mix.
Begin with a small test on your lenses (just to be safe). Spray lenses and gently wipe with a soft cloth (not paper towels, toilet paper or tissues — these will scratch your lenses).
Dear Reena: The tile backsplash directly behind the stove has grease marks. Any solutions?
There are products on the market designed specifically for cleaning beautiful tile. Here are some suggestions in case you do not have access to commercial products.
Begin with a combination of dish soap and water and scrub with a non-scratching abrasive cloth.
Next, make a paste of baking soda and three per cent hydrogen peroxide, and scrub with a non-scratching abrasive cloth.
Worst-case scenario: clean the area with household ammonia (test on an inconspicuous area first).
Feedback from readers
Re: Spreadable butter
Dear Reena: I used the following recipe to double the volume for many years — especially when we lived in Senegal, West Africa, as butter was very expensive, having come all the way from France.
I purchased the lecithin at health/bulk food stores. It was a great way of stretching butter, plus it tasted just like butter, but with a softer consistency.
To make spreadable butter, combine 1 cup soft, salted butter, 1 cup safflower, canola or corn oil, 2 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp skim milk powder, 1/4 tsp lecithin.
Blend and pour into a lidded plastic container. Store in the fridge.
Alternative uses for Avon products
• Besides providing a delightful bath, leaving no tub ring, Avon Bubble Bath is a most effective product for lots of household cleaning needs and problems. Remove grease stains from clothes — even when the stain has been missed the first time and the item has been washed and dried. It’s effective about 95 per cent of the time.
Apply bubble bath full-strength to the stain, rub in and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Re-wash the item, making sure you rinse first to remove excess bubble bath (you don’t want a washing machine full of bubbles!).
Re-do if the stain doesn’t come out on the first try. Just be cautious on dark fabrics not to leave on for too long. Bubble bath is also great for hand-washing fine lingerie.
• I use Skin So Soft oil to soothe my aching muscles. It also soothes sunburns and softens hair when you use it as conditioner.
• Skin So Soft oil spray is what I use to repel certain ant species that gather around my windows. Spray product on windowsills to keep the little critters away.
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.
Ask a question or share a tip at reena.ca