Renovation & Design

Clean suede boots with rubbing alcohol

Question: I have a pair of tan suede boots and I spilled black copier toner on them. I know you’re supposed to vacuum the toner, but instead I rubbed what I could. Then at home, I put Oxyclean on them and ran them through the washing machine with cold water, twice. Is there anything else that can be done? Bertha

Answer: Great that you did not put the boots in the dryer! Begin by spraying the area with a spray bottle containing rubbing alcohol. Dab the suede with a cloth. If the ink transfers, continue to dab the stain. Allow the boots to dry. If the stain remains, gently rub the area with fine sandpaper, being careful not to damage the textile. Worst-case scenario, dye the boots black to hide the stain.


Question: I was going through your book, Household Solutions 3, about laundry. My question is, can I use chlorine in my washing machine to wash whites? I have never done this. I hope you have an answer for me. Thanks, Joanne

Answer: Yes and no. While there are many alternatives to full strength bleach, including borax, washing soda, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, some people prefer to use bleach. Never add chlorine bleach directly into your laundry, this can cause holes in your clothes (personal experience). Instead, read the manufacture’s washing machine instructions for bleach. Add the amount of bleach, specified by the manufacturer, five minutes into the cycle as this will give the laundry detergent time to clean.


Question: Any hints on how to remove fold line wrinkles from a plastic tablecloth? I tried warming it with a hairdryer and smoothing with my hand, but no luck. The backing seems too synthetic to use even a low temp iron. I don’t want to damage the iron. What about soaking it in a tub of warm water? I’d like the tablecloth to look as real as possible, so thanks for any ideas. Irene

Answer: Soaking it in the bathtub with a bit of hair conditioner should do the trick, this is the easiest process for getting rid of the wrinkles.


Question: Help! I had a red blanket on a white leather couch. The red bled through onto the couch and now the leather is tinted red. I tried leather cleaner, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, even bleach and nothing worked. Do you have a solution? Mona

Answer: Your safest bet, is to leave the stain alone and allow the dye to fade on its own. Second option, purchase a leather cleaner and use it according to the instructions on the packaging. Third option, purchase Sunlight detergent laundry soap, use water and a soft cloth to clean the area. Option four, spray the area with hairspray, and wipe. Always test on an inconspicuous area first.


Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups, check out her website:



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