DEAR MILLIE B.: How do I clean blood stains on a friend's leathercoat? Or should I take it to a cleaner?
P.L., DAYTON All leathers aren't treated the same; some are moreporous, more absorbing. This is why one cleaning tip doesn't removespots on all leather, and some spotters can be harmful.
Most leatherwear has a somewhat waterproof coated surface, usuallyrecognized by its shine. But, don't guess; the leather could bepermanently damaged with your choice of cleaners.
If the coat has a brand label/manufacturer, call downtown Daytonand Montgomery County Public Library Telephone Reference Center (225-9531) to ask for the brand's telephone contact. If you don't know themanufacturer or there is no contact number, take the coat to aleather-cleaning service found in the Yellow Pages.
DEAR MILLIE B.: I have a crystal salt shaker and can't get the lidoff the top. I left salt in the shaker for a long time, and I have noidea what the top is made of. I tried soaking it in hot water,another mistake; the salt caked inside. Any suggestions?
R.B., UNION Dry salt flows freely, so an oven may be what'sneeded to unpop the top. Warm the oven, then turn off the heat andplace the shaker on a cookie sheet, which will warm the glassquickly. A metal lid can take more heat than a plastic one.
Then, use a nutcracker tool or pliers to slowly twist and loosenthe lid. To protect the metal or plastic from scratches from thetool, wrap the top with a thin cloth or paper towel.
Once loose, lubricate inside the top with a solid or liquidshortening, and the lid should be stuck-free for more storage, withor without salt.
DEAR MILLIE B.: A hurricane lamp tipped over and spilled keroseneonto the cedar chest's top. I washed clothing to remove the smell,but I am not sure how to remove the smell from inside the chest. Anysuggestions?
C.B., YELLOW SPRINGS Kerosene soaks into wood and is difficult toremove. Since the oil in the cedar has been damaged, wash the woodwith a strong household cleaner - such as trisodium phosphate (TSP)from a paint store - to dissolve the oily kerosene penetrating thewood grain. Rinse; air-dry for several days. Then, apply fresh cedaroil to seal the wood.
DEAR MILLIE B.: Where can I donate old magazines, encyclopediasand old sheet music?
J.M., BEAVERCREEK How old is `old?' Do magazines cover cooking,homemaking, family life, sewing, traveling, sports, news, religion orwhat? How old are your encyclopedias? And, what type of music is thesheet music? Jot down a list of what you want to donate.
Scan the listings under `thrift shops' in the Yellow Pages, andcall to ask what donations are accepted. More possibilities for youroldies - ask neighbors if their church is having a summer yard sale.Call several `senior citizens' organizations' listed in the YellowPages about donating for their next yard sale.
Another possibility is `collectible value.' In one price guide,sheet music lists include two from Judy Garland movies - Be a Clown(1948) at $30 and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (1944) at$35. The same collectibles price list included $104 for the RollingStones' 1964 Poison Ivy .
DEAR MILLIE B.: I have an electronic bug killer that is supposedto kill flying insects. Will it kill bees and wasps?
V.P., DAYTON Not unless you can coax them from their nightlysnoozes. Bees and wasps buzz about during daylight hours, and bysundown they're ready to rest their wings. Nighttime lighting doesn'ttempt them to change their habits.
Your electrocuting device can lure more than a few fly-by-nightsfluttering around outdoor lamps. Most likely, the fluorescent tubeinside such a bug grid sends out ultra-violet rays to convince moths,millers, beetles, etc., that the sun's about to shine. The brighterthe light, the more fliers it attracts. As soon as they fly into thehot grid, they're goners.
By the way, other insects you won't find beaming your light's wayinclude flies (they prefer daylight), mosquitoes (few are attractedto light), glowworms (prefer darkness) and fleas, ticks and crickets(they don't fly).