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Ask Reena – for Mar. 1, 2010

With such a wide variety of hardwoods available, what works for one floor will

not necessarily work for another.

Q. Have you found a way to remove orange pop stains on carpet? Whenever people visit

they ask me where the orange stain came from. It is very visible and I would like to get rid of it. I have had no success with commercial carpet cleaners as of yet. Any ideas will be very much appreciated.

— George

A. What you will need to do is make a recipe that requires products from around the home. Into a 2-cup measure drop 1 teaspoon Dawn dish soap and 2 cups water. Stir. Next, pour the solution onto the stain. Lay a white cloth onto the area and press with an iron on medium setting. Make sure that you do not

scorch the carpet by leaving the iron in one place for too long. Replace the white cloth with a new white cloth and press. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Q. On “Canada AM” you once gave a solution for burnt pot bottoms. Can you repeat the process?

— Sandy

A. Sprinkle the bottom of the burnt pot with a layer of powdered dishwasher detergent. Fill the pot one-quarter full with water. Boil for five minutes and remove from the element. Leave for an hour and wash as normal.

Q. Is there any way to remove a ring made by a hot cup on a stained and lacquered oak desk top?

— Jackie

A. I always thought that watermarks on furniture were tricky to remove. Now I realize that they can be zapped by applying a combination of mayonnaise and some ashes from a wood stove or fireplace. Leave for about 10 minutes and wipe. Non-gel, non-bleach toothpaste also works well. If neither solution does the trick this means that the finish of the wood has been stripped and your best option is to refinish the area.

Q. I like to use vinegar, dish soap and water to wash my hardwood floors. However, I am noticing that although it cleans the floors I am seeing marks on the floors. Every time I walk on them with bare feet I can see footprints (also most slippers

leave an imprint). Drives me crazy! Is there a solution? Much appreciated.

— Donna

A. With such a wide variety of hardwoods available, what works for one floor will not necessarily work for another. Here are a few effective options to try:

Option 1: Into a bucket combine 1 gallon warm water and 2 tea bags. Wipe the floor. The tannins in the tea will leave the floor looking clean.

Option 2: Into 2 gallons warm water drop 3 tbsp. household ammonia, and 1/4 tsp. dish soap. Mop the floor to dampen (no need to rinse).

Option 3: Purchase Hardwood Floor Cleaner by Bona. Clean with a good-quality microfibre mop (test all applications on a small, inconspicuous area first).

Q. Here is a challenge that the carpet cleaners couldn’t help me with. My 75-pound dog stepped on a glue trap (for mice). In an attempt to get the trap off, he stomped it into my off-white, acrylic berber carpet. The trap pulled away but not without leaving some residue behind. The hot steam has left the surface loops stiff and discoloured. Any ideas before I have it cut out?

— Diane

A. Before you run for the scissors try the following solution. If I were you, I would pour boiling water onto the area and blot, blot and blot until every tiny little bit of glue is gone.

Worst-case scenario: Spray the area with WD-40, leave for 10 minutes and blot with dish soap and water.

Q. I need a solution for removing mould on painted surfaces. I’ve used bleach on a spot in my bedroom lower corner and the mould keeps reappearing so I’m most interested in what you have to suggest. Thank you so much and hope you keep the information coming.

— Carol

A. The problem sounds more like a structural problem which you may want to look into so that the problem will be permanently rectified. In terms of cleaning the area, why not try something less toxic than bleach? Instead switch to 2 cups of white vinegar and add 10 drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an antifungal and will tackle the mould problem. Add to that vinegar and you’ve got a powerful combination!


To get something out of a heat register or from under the fridge, add an empty paper towel roll or gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little “stringy things” off.

— Glenda

To give your microwave a great cleaning combine: 4 tbsp. of lemon juice with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe, 4-cup bowl. Boil for five minutes in the microwave, allowing the steam to condense on the inside walls of the oven. Wipe clean.

— Lawrence

Reena Nerbas is a professional speaker and the author of three national bestsellers, Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions, Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets and Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives. Books and Household Solutions 1, 2 and 3 Cooking/Cleaning Gift Packs are available online or by calling: 204-320-2757. I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Check out my website:

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