Suc­cess­ful re­moval of nail pol­ish from jeans a tricky af­fair


I AC­CI­DEN­TALLY touched my jeans with nail pol­ish. How can I re­move the marks? – DM, Port El­iz­a­beth. Clean­ing jeans with any type of chem­i­cal is a non-starter, be­cause it will pull the colour.

My car­pet cleaner guru uses pure ace­tone and min­eral tur­pen­tine to re­move nail pol­ish marks. He starts off by drip­ping the ace­tone onto the stain to soften it. Then he drips turps onto the mark, work­ing al­ter­nately with a weak mix­ture made with low foam­ing de­ter­gent, drip­ping and mop­ping un­til the stain has been re­moved.

While this sounds ef­fec­tive for car­pets, treat­ing the jeans is an­other mat­ter. Try a lit­tle turps on an in­con­spic­u­ous place, to see how it af­fects the colour. If the re­sult is ac­cept­able, you could try care­fully on the nail pol­ish mark, us­ing an ear bud. You might have to de­cide whether to pro­ceed or leave well alone and live with the mark.

COULD you ad­vise me on how to re­move lichen and moss from wooden deck­ing? I have been told that one can use a high pres­sure hose, but that this could dam­age the wood. – BR, Ken­ton-on-Sea I spoke to Basie Botha of Perma-Chem who, in­ter­est­ingly, had re­cently cleaned his own deck. He as­sured me a high-pres­sure hose would not harm the wood.

But there is an­other step. Add a litre of Jik to a litre of hot wa­ter and spread this over the sur­face. The mix­ture should in­hibit any re­growth of the lichen and moss. Leave on for half-an-hour, wipe off and al­low to dry. It would be ad­vis­able to seal the deck to pre­vent any re­cur­rence of the prob­lem. I am send­ing you Basie’s con­tact de­tails so you can dis­cuss suit­able treat­ments.

MY HUS­BAND suf­fers from pso­ri­a­sis and his pil­lows have be­come ex­tremely stained, even though the slips are washed each week. I have put sep­a­rate slips on be­fore the top ones and wash the pil­lows, but this makes no dif­fer­ence. Any ad­vice would be grate­fully re­ceived. – DS, Port El­iz­a­beth. My im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion con­cerned your hus­band’s skin con­di­tion, which could be ag­gra­vated by over-use of strong de­ter­gents. With this in mind, I spoke to a dis­trib­u­tor of Amway prod­ucts, who felt that their SA8 laun­dry de­ter­gent could be the an­swer. It comes in both liq­uid and pow­der form.

I was in­ter­ested to hear that one of his clients uses the prod­uct specif­i­cally be­cause of their chil­dren’s skin con­di­tion, which is ag­gra­vated by strong de­ter­gents. The com­pany claims that its prod­ucts are ef­fec­tive at re­mov­ing the most stub­born stains yet are “der­ma­tol­o­gist tested” and ex­tremely gen­tle on ev­ery­day clothes and mod­ern fab­rics.

I am send­ing you the dis­trib­u­tor’s con­tact de­tails, and sug­gest you have a chat to him. He can put you in touch with an agent who lives nearby.

I HAVE a cro­chet top which I have un­rav­elled into balls. I wish to cro­chet a short cardi­gan. How do I straighten out the cot­ton to start the new item? – MP, Port El­iz­a­beth. Un­ravel the cot­ton and wind it into loops around the back of a gar­den plas­tic chair, for in­stance. The next step needs care, be­cause you have to steam it – back­wards and for­wards with a boil­ing ket­tle, or per­haps a steam iron. This pro­ce­dure works for wool, and I see no rea­son why it shouldn’t work for cot­ton as well. Home mar­ket ý I am look­ing for an old-style enamel dou­ble boiler. Per­haps a reader has one, stuck in the back of a kitchen cup­board and no longer in use. – Jack, (041) 364-2222. ý I am a hoarder of note! Does any­one have a use for keys that are no longer in use, empty per­fume bot­tles and var­i­ous pens, in­clud­ing Park­ers, that need re­fills? – WCM, 081-039-8989.

For ad­vice e-mail Gwen at

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