Riem­pie bench stench sorted with am­mo­nia so­lu­tion

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Puzzles, Cartoons & Gwen - GWEN BISSEKER [email protected]

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.

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