Lathered saddle soap gets grime off leather couch
We have a leather lounge suite and it has black marks where the head rests and on the arm rest. I bought some leather cleaner but it has not worked. Could you suggest anything that might remove these marks? – PM, Port Elizabeth.
There is something else you could try – saddle soap, obtainable from leather goods stores or saddlery shops. It is a glycerine-type soap and comes in a little plastic bucket.
Using a damp sponge, rub up a lather, and apply to the marks. Keep rubbing until all the dirt and lather are gone. If the couch is grimy, you will have to work in quite a wide area, to ensure an even result.
I was interested in your article about using washing soda and foil for cleaning silver. I’ve had great difficulty in getting washing soda, so Googled, “What is the difference between bicarb and washing soda?” There was a wonderful explanation, and even videos on how to turn bicarb into washing soda. This was done by the simple method of putting bicarb into a heavy pot and heating it up, stirring all the time with the object of drying the bicarb. The video shows how the bicarb seems to bubble while the heat rises, and eventually one is left with washing soda. It can also be done in the oven. – CT, Knysna
Thanks for the interesting information. It’s fascinating how this separation takes place through heating.
When the silver cleaning item appeared previously, several readers wrote in giving Spar stores as possible suppliers of washing soda, labelled MX19.
What is the best way to clean pewter? An old beer mug, won by my late father in a bowls competition, is looking a bit dull, standing on the shelf with some other trophies. – JG, East London.
Pewter is an alloy of tin and various other metals and at one time it was made to look as much like silver as possible. These days, many people prefer it to have that dull, more natu- ral-looking finish.
Cleaning with metal polish is actually recommended in some books, but wash the mug first in warm soapy water. Then polish with a good metal polish, or a commercial pewter polish. Large supermarkets could have it. Rub up with a chamois leather or a soft cloth.
If there are any bad marks, make a paste of powdered French chalk (from a haberdashery shop) and paraffin, and leave this on overnight. Then wash, dry and polish.
I have decided to try my hand at jam making, and would like the method of sealing the bottles safely. – JK, Uitenhage
I received an excellent method from “ZB” of Jeffreys Bay, who once ran a home industry business. This is how it is done:
The bottles must be clean and then sterilised in the oven until they are very hot. Put the wet bottles on trays, with brown paper on the trays, at moderate heat for about 10 minutes. The lids must also be sterilised. This can be done by putting them in gently boiling water. (“I used wooden tongs to fish them out,” said “ZB”.)
Fill the bottles with the very hot jam, fasten the lids and immediately turn the bottle upside-down. The small amount of air that has been trapped in the bottle then has to travel through the boiling hot jam and is thus sterilised. Turn the bottles upright when the jam is cool. What a neat solution!
I have lost the dust box for my Shark Sweeper, model U610S0. Can anyone help? I will be happy to pay. – Margaret, 041-5855522; 073-773-4765.