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Stained Relations Between New Furniture, White Carpet

ALSO: * A deserted desert house; * Refrigerator leverage

September 12, 1998|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Question We recently had some furniture made for us in Mexico and found that some of the stain used on it rubbed off on our white carpeting. We understand that the stain was made by combining paste wax and creosote. What can we use to remove these marks?

B.D., Claremont

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Answer Your choices may be limited, says Mark Bausman of Bausman & Father Furniture Refinishing in Huntington Beach.

Creosote is a chemical not typically used in this country, and it can create bad stains on carpeting or upholstery. Try using some paint remover in an inconspicuous area to see if that draws up any of the stain.

Otherwise, call in a professional, who will probably have cleaning chemicals not available to the public.

As a precaution, clean the legs of the furniture with paint thinner and coat any wood that would be in contact with the carpeting with shellac to keep the stain from bleeding again.

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Q I recently bought a second home in the desert, and I won't be using it during the summer. Is there anything I should do to the house to protect the interior during the hot weather? I've heard that one should keep pans of water in the house to evaporate and prevent damage from dryness. Is there anything else?

L.T., Laguna Niguel

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A Leaving pans of water out might create too much moisture inside the house and cause mold and mildew grow, says Pete Gorman of Rancho Lumber in Westminster.

A better solution: Set the air conditioner on at a high temperature, maybe 90 degrees, to keep the house from getting up to 120 degrees or more. You can also invest in a climate-control system for the house, which measures and regulates the humidity inside and protects any valuable wood products that might be damaged by too much or too little humidity.

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Q Our 10-year-old refrigerator has side-by-side doors, with the icemaker-water dispenser on the freezer side. The lever that switches the function from ice to water is stuck on the water side. Could this mean that a piece of ice is stuck in the ice chute?

C.R., San Clemente

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A The answer is going to depend on the model of your refrigerator, says Tom Houlihan of Orange County Appliance Parts in Garden Grove.

On some models, the problem could be that a piece of ice is causing the lever to stick. You could try emptying the freezer temporarily and letting the freezer defrost to get the ice to melt. It could also be a mechanical problem with the lever mechanism, in which case you'll need to disassemble the lever and take it to a parts store to get the right match.

If you have a question about your home or garden, Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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