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Subject Sticky Residue? Hope you can help me solve a baffling problem. I have a desk mat, one of the clear plastic "soft" variety--Artistic "Krystal View" is the brand name. When new, it was beautiful. I put photographs and important calendars under it since it is designed provide both viewing and a cushioned surface. Unfortunately, it's impossible to clean. I've tried liquid detergents such as Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid, cleansers (Ajax) and window cleaner (Windex) all to no avail. There is a sticky residue, perhaps from cellophane tape, on the surface of the mat and I cannot remove it. Any suggestions? These mats are expensive--around $25--so I'd like to return it to its clear appearance. 

Thanks for your assistance! -- Melanie    Melanie O. Massengale Systems Manager/Technician Reply

A: Peanut butter, Cooking oil, WD40. All of the previous remove sticky residues. Avoid "Dry cleaning" Solvents as they could damage the mat.

A: Sticky Residues:I have found that to remove sticky residue from many surfaces, use silicone spray. I prefer this to WD-40, cause it smells better. For labels on glass, plastic, etc, spray, wait a little, wash either in dishwater, or with a wet dishcloth and a few drops of dish detergent, and it's gone! Sometimes a reapplication is necessary if there's a lot of glue or whatever. I understand that this works, too, removing bumper stickers. Although it has to completely saturated, and has to soak longer, and usually you do have to reapply. I keep a can of silicone spray in my kitchen cupboard ALWAYS! (I even removed all the heavy glue from a plastic peanut butter jar, just to see if I could! It took a little work, but I did it!) --  (Ms) Jonnie T Williams "Jonnie" Reply
Try our "Sticky Residues Section"

A: Sticky Residue. Hi Melanie. Tupperware that has been in the cupboard for yonks will get that sticky, tacky feel to them like you speak of. Soaking in hot water with a powder bleach, (like one for babies diapers) will remove this.  Powder bleach is also good for whitening cotton/cotton blends, it is safe on coloureds. Helen. -- Ray & Helen Russell Comment


Q: Stuck Decanter Top Hi there,  We recently used my Mom's decanter for a party at my sisters place. This beautiful decanter is very special to my Mom. However some bright spark pushed the top too far down into the decanter and we now cannot separate the two. We do not want to break this decanter and it also happens to have quite a bit of Cherry inside. We do not mind loosing the cherry as we would really like to save the decanter. Please could you give us a solution. a.. We have tried resting it in hot water. NOTHING b.. We tried pouring oil around the seal . NOTHING c.. We twisted and pulled as hard as we could. NOTHING d.. We prayed really hard. NOTHING YET. Desperate -- Tracy Jutzen Cape Town South Africa Reply   (Ref:0503)

A: When you can't use lots of physical force to separate two "stuck" things, heat is often the best way to do it. The principle here is that when you heat something, it expands a little. When you cool something, it shrinks.

You need a temperature difference (what scientists call a "delta-t") between the outside (neck) of the decanter and the stopper. This causes increases the space between the two parts, hopefully enough to separate them. For example, you could tie a piece of cloth on the outside, soaked in hot water. You could even try ice on the stopper at the same time.

Another application of this idea is to apply a torch to a nut that won't come loose from a dirty or rusty bolt. The nut heats up faster. This helps to break the "glue" binding them together. -- (Tony) Comment

Q: Flaking and splitting nails What can I do to stop my nails from flaking and splitting? -- alicej Reply

A: It could be due to an infection, poor nutrition, excessive exposure to detergents or toxins. Nail health is affected by aluminum. stop using deodorants and antiperspirant -- Anne Burgess Reply 

Q: Freezer smell Hi, I hope you can help me. I bought a used freezer that has a strong smell of fish in it. Could you please tell me what to clean it with or put in it to get rid of this smell? Thank You -- Luann AKA Reply

 A: A previous contributor suggested that a saucer with some baking powder or baking soda will help get rid of smells in fridges and freezers. -- Ed

Q: Body oil stains. My husband has a very oily body. Our sheets on his side of the bed always end up looking dingy and dirty. I have tried bleach on the white sheets, but it takes a couple washings get it clean. I have a harder time with my prints and colored sheets and pillowcases. Please, does anyone have a solution for me. Thanks -- Betty Reply (Ref:0511)

Q: Body oil stains. Did you ever come up with a solution for your husband staining your sheets? My husband has the same problem. Sheets are expensive and I don't want to keep replacing them. Any ideas? -- Liz Wilson Reply

A: Change your husband! I had a similar problem with my car. The new model is much better -- Suzie Flame Reply  (The kind of comment I have come to expect from you Suze! Go Away!!!! -- Ed)

Q: Cleaning silver I have heard you can clean silver using a bowl of water with aluminium foil and another ingredient but I can not remember what that ingredient is. Can anyone tell me what it is and how use it. -- Michael C. Eames: Reply

Answer: Several books on tips describe this method. All that is required is aluminum foil, an insulating container, water and sodium bicarbonate or salt -- Edmund DaSilva Lisbon Portugal

Caution: The process removes a layer of metal so this method should not be used on sliver plated, antique or valuable items, it will remove gold plating very quickly. Ed

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