Remove hairspray residue
I had a longterm house guest, who was an abundant user of hairspray. When she moved out recently, I noticed that the bathroom door, which she always stood in front of to do her hair, is coated with the sticky residue from her hairspray. The door is a stained polyresin door, and I’m unsure as to how to get the residue off without ruining the finish. Can you suggest any solvents? Thank you. — Debbie K., email
Test a small area and use rubbing alcohol. That would work the fastest. Simply apply it with a sponge and rinse it off with a sponge dampened with water. If you’re unable to use that, try a spray bottle with 1/3 fabric softener or shampoo to 2/3 water. Shake it to mix, then spray and wipe.
In your recent column concerning detergent buildup in towels, your solution was to use borax in the wash cycle and vinegar in the rinse. My question is, how much vinegar do I use and should I keep rinsing until there is no more soap in the rinse cycle? — Dewey D., email
Wash your towels alone (without any other articles of clothing), in hot water at the highest water level, and use baking soda, washing soda, borax or Charlie’s Soap (www.charliesoap.com) instead of your usual laundry detergent. Use 1/4 cup (up to a cup if you’re able to) vinegar in your rinse cycle — using the fabric softener reservoir — and a double rinse cycle. Then dry. If you find that the towels still have buildup and are still quite scratchy, continue to launder with the above products. It might take a couple of washes to remove all the residue. You might need to check the hardness of your water, too.
I give our old prescription bottles to our veterinarian. I have trouble getting the labels off of some of the bottles. Can you help me? — Barb R., email
If soaking them in hot, soapy water doesn’t work, use vegetable or baby oil, rubbing alcohol, Goo Gone or WD-40. Any of them will work to remove the adhesive from plastic.
I need storage boxes for holiday decorations, etc. So far I’ve resisted the temptation to buy the plastic ones at the store because there might be something large enough around the house that I can reuse. Any ideas? — Anne H., email
For holiday storage, I really like giant popcorn tins, plastic coffee canisters, large plastic kitty litter buckets and shoe boxes. The plastic bags with zippers that comforters come in work well for garland, wreaths and stockings, too. I did invest in some plastic totes. You can find the Christmas-themed totes and even plastic laundry baskets on sale after Christmas.
photo by rutlo