Riempie bench stench sorted with ammonia solution
I have an old riempie bench which has a blanket over the riempies and my handmade porcelain dolls sit on it. The cat has urinated on them, and although I got the blanket and dolls’ clothes clean, the riempies and dolls still smell of urine. Should I rub them with vanilla essence? – HA, Port Elizabeth.
If rinsing is possible for the riempie and dolls, you can try rinsing with cold water and then saturating the items with household ammonia, straight from the bottle, rather than vanilla essence. Remember that ammonia has strong fumes, so take care. Follow this with an application of white spirit vinegar.
If these strong solutions are not helpful, rinse again with cold water, and then apply a 50:50 solution of hydrogen peroxide (from the pharmacy) and water. Give the items a final wipe down with clean water.
It would be best to test first with all these substances, in case they affect the colour.
Another possibility is the Kyron Laboratories product, Pheroma, obtainable from vet- erinarians. The strong plus for Pheroma is that it works by “combining chemically with offensive odours to render them odourless”, according to the manufacturers.
Reader “PR” of Port Elizabeth first recommended Pheroma, after using it successfully. The product is said to be nontoxic, non-irritating and biodegradable.
We have a problem – cats and dogs jump over our wall and leave their poo all over our garden. Please advise on a solution. – SD, Port Elizabeth. There was a similar query some time back, and there is no easy solution. You should be able to secure your property against dogs – your wall must be quite low – but cats are another matter, though they are probably not the guilty party, being quite fastidious in their ablutions.
Although this might not be acceptable, a row of little spikes along the top of the wall might help.
I got in touch with veterinarian Ingrid de Wet and she had an interesting response: “Most of the time cats will bury their droppings but sometimes they use them as territory marking and leave them out for all to see. The best solution would be to set up a camera to identify the culprits.”
If you can identify the culprits you can approach the “guilty” owners.
With the advent of summer, an imbuia side table has become rather sticky. What would be the best method of cleaning the table? – KT, Port Elizabeth.
Here is a homemade cleaner from my files, recommended by two experts on wooden furniture, Johan du Toit and Ralph Mothes.
Mix together four parts of white spirits (from the hardware store) and one part raw linseed oil. This can even be used safely on a French polished surface and will remove the wax and dirt but leave the underlying finish intact.
Mothes’ simple procedure is to fold up a coarse cloth into a pad that fits your hand and rub the mixture onto the surface, turning the pad as you work to expose clean cloth as it becomes clogged.
Once you have the surface clean, you can re-polish with a commercial product. Something else to consider is an e-cloth, obtainable online. This cloth, used damp, is for all hard surfaces, including wood.
Regarding the item about eliminating grass and weeds between paving stones and bricks, I find that white vinegar applied with a spray bottle works very well. – JH, Port Elizabeth.
Thanks for the suggestion. This is a proven method.