Lathered sad­dle soap gets grime off leather couch

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Puzzles, cartoons & gwen - GWEN BISSEKER

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!

Home mar­ket

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.

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