Renovation & Design

Hot tips to remove melted candle wax

Question: I own a wooden desk, I made the mistake of placing a red candle on top without a holder and after sometime I moved it only to find that the wax of the candle left a red ring on the wood, that I can’t seem to remove. How can I lift this stain without damaging the wood or its finish (which is either lacquer or varnish)? Regards, Selina

Answer: Candle wax often dyes surfaces, making it difficult to remove. Begin with one or more of the following solutions (being sure to clean with water between attempts): Goo Gone, Murphy’s Oil Wood Soap, Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo, or Sunlight bar laundry soap. If all else fails, lightly sand and refinish the area.

Question: How should fresh basil be picked and stored? Kailynne

Answer: If you plant your own basil, you can pick the leaves whenever you need them, but early morning is the best time, after the dew evaporates and before the sun rises. The departure of oil content is the best. Look for fresh green leaves when buying basil. Gently wash and dry the basil leaves. Wrap with paper towels and seal in plastic bags or containers. Basil can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. Since dried herbs are often more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, you need less. The correct ratio is one tablespoon of fresh herbs equals, one teaspoon of dried herbs.

Question: I own one-year-old maple hardwood flooring, and along one wall in my dining room the hardwood is a bit tacky. Do you have a suggestion for removing this? I have used a very damp cloth to clean and Multi-Purpose Flooring Cleaner a couple of times. The floor is not exposed to the sun and I am baffled as to why this only happens in that one area of the room. Jake

Answer: The most common cause of sticky hardwood floors is high humidity or poor ventilation. As the room becomes humid, the coating on the floor softens, so investing in a dehumidifier is a smart idea. With regards to floor cleaner: Look for a product that specifies that it is formulated to remove build-up on floors.

Question: I bought a hot water bottle, but I can’t use it because the latex smells too strong. How can I get rid of the smell? Thank you, Lorene

Answer: Begin by taking the bottle outside; freezing temperature does wonders for killing odours. Also, in order to relieve yourself of the annoying scent, sprinkle baking soda and water into the hot water bottle. Let sit for a few hours and rinse with vinegar or vodka or toothpaste and water. If the smell remains you will likely be stuck with the stink until it wears off over time.


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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