Thursday, April 5, 2012


Ask a Clean Person: Get Rid of the Easter Bunny, Seriously, He's Revolting

I found this totally gorgeous white rabbit fur muff at a thrift store a few years ago and, for whatever reason, put it in a closet in my parents' house and forgot about it for too long. I just rediscovered it, only to find that it has been infested by a team of some kind of creepy invertebrate that may or may not all still be alive. How do I de-bug it without harming the delicate, soft rabbit fur so that I can go ice skating, walk in winter wonderlands, and enjoy other old-fashioned winter fun with my beautiful rabbit fur muff?

Oh dear, well yes, this is certainly one of the perils of thrift- and vintage-store treasures: creepy crawlies. *scratches at self* Since you don't know precisely what the nature of the infestation is, your best bet is to go with boric acid, which sounds scary but really totally isn't. Unless you're a bug, in which case it's TERRIFYING because basically every bug ever haaates boric acid. Oh also! Every bug ever also hates bay leaves, which we've covered before but bears repeating. Maybe use both? Hey, why the heck not?!?

In terms of technique, find a lidded plastic storage bin with a good strong seal to it that's big enough to fit the muff — and here I'll pause to give everyone some time to crack their favorite muff joke. Wanna hear mine? "Q: Why did the muff cross the road? A: To get to the other ride!" — and spread a thin layer of the boric acid along the bottom. Throw in a few bay leaves! Then place the muff in the container and seal that sucker up. Leave it for a week or so? Then take the muff out and give it a thorough looksee in order to remove the bug corpses. I'm sorry to tell you that you're going to have to do this by hand, and if you're squeamish you can and should totally wear rubber or latex gloves. Actually? If you're really squeamish you should just outsource this to a furrier. Oh yes they do so still have those! Look 'em up in the Yellow Pages? You can also use a gentle slicker brush to pick through the fur. Slicker brushes are those things you all use on the cats you've gotten rid of.

Then to perk up your muff (it's taking all of my will to not subject you to another muff joke, people. I just hope you appreciate the ladylike restraint I'm showing here!) try some steam. Fur loves steam. If there's any staining, you can use a baby wipe or a mild shampoo, because what's fur, really? It is just hair! And then! Because it's just hair! You can blow dry your muff and now I'm actually going to have to stop because I'm about to be smote by God for my filthy mind. (Okay really it's because I have to go weep with laughter at my own "give your muff a blowjob" joke.)

Oh wait wait though! One last thing: whatever you do, DO NOT USE MOTHBALLS. They're real, real bad for fur! And they stink.

Help! I was hanging out at a fellow Hairpinner's house and got a couple of dark chocolate stains on her beautiful white-blue couch. What do I dooo?!

You run run run run run and grab the damn dishsoap ASAP is what you do. Actually, this is just a generally good rule of thumb: when things spill in the home, go for the dishsoap first. "Dishsoap and a sponge cures many, many ills," says the Clean Person who is forever choking on her morning coffee and spraying it all over her white bedlinens.

Because you're working with upholstery, you don't want to overdo it with the water, so get the sponge wet, give it a quick squeeze, splurt on some dishsoap (a dime-sized amount'll do ya), and give it another squeeze to activate the suds and get more of the water out. Then hit that stain with the sponge, being careful to tamp at the stain rather than rubbing fiercely, which will run you the risk of grinding the stain further into the fabric. You want to lift that stain up, not grind it down, ya dig?

If the stains lingers, get your hands on some OxyClean and make a paste of it with water but not too much water! Then let it sit for 15, 20 minutes or so (but not too long, lest you pervert the color of the fabric), and wipe it off with a damp  sponge or towel.

I inherited an awesome pair of white Prada patent leather wedge sandals that have about an inch of cork on the bottom. I'm not usually a white sandals type of girl, but these are great because they don't make me look like a little girl. Unfortunately, they're yellowed. I tried wiping them clean to no avail, and I can't just leave them in a bucket with bleach because of the cork. Any advice on how to get them white again?

You're going to think I'm crazy here. You're going to think I'm yanking your chain. You're going to think, "There's no way in HELL that I'm going to try this on my Prada sandals — PRADA, DO YOU HEAR ME, LADY, PRADAAA??" but I want you to take a leap of faith with me: the answer is a Magic Eraser.

I tried it on a green paint scuff mark I got on my patent Manolos ("MANOLOS, DO YOU HEAR ME, LADY, MANOLOOOS!!") and that scuff mark came right out, no damage to the shoes. I've suggested it to others with dirty patent leather of all colors, and they've all reported back to say that the experiment was a complete success. SO THERE.

Due to some art spillage/leaky sculpture action (don't ask), I have a stained gallery floor situation on my hands. Giant red food coloring stains on hardwood, like the biggest, messiest Easter egg dyeing party of all time. Is there any way to clean this, or am I about to get billed for new flooring? Please say it can be cleaned because I'm seriously broke.

Sort of oddly, this question came in just a day after I'd researched solutions for getting green food coloring stains out of things, and actually? No one ever really addresses green food coloring stains, mostly just the red ones. It's curious. (Except of course I research green food coloring stains because St. Patrick's Day happens to my constituents and I just want everyone to be prepared.)

Anyway! It turns out that this is what you're to do with red food coloring stains on floors and other surfaces: mix about 1/4 cup of ammonia with 1-2 tablespoons of dishsoap and a few cups of water, swirl it around to make it sudsy and use the solution to wash the floors with a sponge or old rag. You may also want a scrub brush to help move things along.

Previously: Game of Beds.

Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you curious to know if she's answered a question you have? Do check out the archives, listed by topic. More importantly: is anything you own dirty?

117 Comments / Post A Comment


Oof, that rabbit muff. Sure you don't want to let it join the jizzcliner on the curb? You know, the one with a pair of used bike shorts wadded up and jammed under the cushion?

Judith Slutler

@parallel-lines Yeah honestly? "Creepy invertebrates" that may or may not be alive? Toss it. I say this as an obsessive rescuer of old clothes and furniture.

Tuna Surprise


You don't think it should be dunked for a few minutes in the hot tub of terror that spews creatures from its jets? That should kill the suckers (or at least give them someone to mate with).


@Tuna Surprise We might need two people to get this soaking wet mushroom covered futon out first.


"The darkness grew apace; a cold wind began to blow in freshening gusts from the east, and the showering white flakes in the air increased in number. From the edge of the sea came a ripple and a whisper. Beyond these lifeless sounds the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives - all that was over. At last, one by one, swiftly, one after the other, the white peaks of the distant hills vanished into blackness. The breeze rose to a moaning wind. In another moment the pale stars alone were visible. All else was rayless obscurity. The sky was absolutely black.

A horror of this great darkness came on me. The cold, that smote to my marrow, and the pain I felt in breathing, overcame me. I shivered, and a deadly nausea seized me. I felt giddy and incapable of facing the return journey. As I stood sick and confused I saw again the moving thing upon the shoal - there was no mistake now that it was a moving thing - against the red water of the sea. It was a round thing, the size of a football perhaps, or, it may be, bigger, and tentacles trailed down from it; it seemed black against the weltering blood-red water, and it was hopping fitfully about. Then I felt I was fainting. But a terrible dread of lying helpless in that remote and awful twilight sustained me while I clambered upon the seat."

Anyhow, that's what I would think of every time I used that muff, if I were you.


@melis Related: I would think of those ear eels in the Wrath of Khan. I'm thinking of them now and will probably think of them anytime anyone says the word "muff" ever again.


@parallel-lines Holy crap. It's what I was thinking the entire time. I would be like, "Bugs. Nope nope nope, not gonna clean it." And that they would be in a bag in a trash can somewhere.


@melis "I turned away from the Swede as the docker rose with some effort. 'Well now, let's just take a little look and see what we got.' This he said to Matzerath, who had no idea what he was talking about but still concurred. Steadily repeating 'let's just take' and 'a little look,' the docker kept hauling on the line, but with more effort now, then climbed down the stones alongside the line and thrust--Mama didn't turn away in time--thrust his whole arm into the blubbering bay between the granite stones, felt around, got hold of something, grabbed tight, pulled, and crying out to us to stand back, swung something upward, something heavy and dripping, a spraying, living clump, into our midst: a horse's head, a fresh head, a real one, the head of a black horse with a black mane, which only yesterday or the day before may have still been whinnying, for the head was not yet rotten, did not stink, smelled at most of the Mottlau, like everything else on the jetty.

The man with the docker's cap, which was now pushed far back on his head, was standing over the horseflesh, from which small light green eels were furiously wriggling."


@frigwiggin @melis A challenger appears....FIGHT!

Prostitute Robot From The Future

Edit: yeah, move along, nothing to see here.


@Tuna Surprise Oh god. WHY did you bring that back up? I had successfully forgotten it.


This was the best post invented.@n

the angry little raincloud

I, for one, would enjoy hearing some good muff jokes. It's one of those days.


@the angry little raincloud Get rid of your muff, seriously, it is revolting.*

*This message brought to you by Rick Santorum Super PAC.

Prostitute Robot From The Future

@themmases Ack! You already made the joke (I should really read the comments more carefully).


@the angry little raincloud I use boric acid capsules when I get a yeast infection (yes, get rid of your muff, it's revolting), so I giggled even harder at the muff references.


@disgruntled co-worker I felt the same shame in the hyena thread when someone already brought up Law & Order. I just get really excited about Law & Order!


I do a chair dance when "Ask a Clean Person" materializes in my RSS feed.

Would putting the infested muff (yeah, I went there) in the plastic container and then putting the whole ghastly thing in the freezer do any good? Pre- or post-boric-acid-and-bay-leaves confinement?

H.R. Vixen

@HereKitty Yes! Seal it up (in a giant ziploc bag?), stick in the freezer for a couple weeks. And then do the borax/bay leaves thing, and the brushing, and the blowing dry. (I need some good muff jokes, seriously, I can't think of ANY) I have a friend who is a museum conservator, and this is what they do for items they acquire that may have,ahem, fellow travellers living on/in them.

Judith Slutler

@HereKitty A friend of mine is a theatre set designer, and apparently that's what her colleagues in the costume department do when bugs get into something. Sounds legit to me.


@Emmanuelle Cunt Thanks!


Noooo! Jolie, my two house rabbits are so sweet and clean and only destroy things a little bit by chewing on everything...but it's clean destruction!


@SuperGogo tell me more about house rabbits! i am intrigued by the thought of having something hanging around my house like a cat, but i'm allergic to cats (just cats, not all fur). are they adorable and wonderful? where do they poop?


@plonk They're litter trained! Most of the poops are in the box, but a few stragglers show up elsewhere. But because all they eat is hay and greens, they're never messy or smelly. The urine can be pretty stinky, but as long as the litter is cleaned out and freshened daily, it's totally fine. And yes, they're totally adorable and quiet and even affectionate in their way--they're not too happy on laps or being carted around, but if you sit on the floor with them, they LOVE being petted and will nudge or lick you to return the affection. Here's a great site to learn lots more: www.rabbit.org


@SuperGogo Bunnies. BUNNNIEEEESS. (I have wanted one for a long time--my boyfriend has an online friend who owns a bunny named Cilantro--but we have a kitty and that means no bunnies for a long time. Sads.)


@frigwiggin They can coexist! In fact, the bunny can sometimes bully the cat, depending on size, age, attitude, etc. Here's an article about acclimating them (including an adorbs gif of a bunny flopping down next to its kitty friend): http://www.rabbit.org/journal/2-11/cats-and-rabbits.html

sarah girl

@plonk Just know that they chew on EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. Like, rabbit-proofing a house is more intense than child-proofing.


@Sarah H.
Yep! My house bunny has her own bedroom, from which she is only allowed under supervision, due to an undying urge to nibble electrical wires.


@plonk My sister has one and she's just wonderful. Her boyfriend litterbox-trained her at his house. You do have to watch the chewing, but they provide hours of entertainment and joy. Joy, man. The photos she sends me often end up as backgrounds on my phone.


We used to have a little rex rabbit who looked just like the photo on this article. His name was Stewart, and he lived outside, but he was so cuddly. If you sat cross legged on the ground, especially if you were reading a book, he would crawl into your lap and fall asleep. He also would rock onto his hind legs and "box" with my cat.
He died a couple years ago, and I think he's the only pet my mother ever cried over. I miss that little guy.


@SuperGogo I would also like to recommend www.fuzzy-rabbit.com. If you have a rabbit in your life their guide to body language is very helpful.
My rabbit is the best roomate I have ever had EVER! *faints from resisting urge to post cute pictures*

sarah girl

@Saskquatch Yes! Learning about the body language is so fun. It is the most fulfilling thing the first time your rabbit does a full-on bunny flail, and you know that it means he is just unbearably happy! :)


@Sarah H. And the first time he flopped dramatically over to lay on his side (indicating supreme relaxation)? I thought he had a heart attack or something. Nope just being a bun.


@Sarah H. My sis calls that "happy hopping" :)

Judith Slutler

So, if I were to put something in my wardrobe to scare away moths (we have an occasional kitchen moth, but I am also paranoid about clothes-eating moths), what should I put? Ceder? A sachet full of bay leaves? I would love to hear some ideas.


@Emmanuelle Cunt I am definitely picturing one particular kitchen moth who drops by occasionally, like a neighbor who brings you zucchini every weekend all summer.


@Emmanuelle Cunt After doing a bunch of internet research last year I made sachets with cotton balls containing drops of peppermint oil, cedar chips, and bay leaves, and it has been working out ok. I refresh them every few months.

Judith Slutler

@themmases If they would bring me zucchini, I wouldn't murder them! But it's weird, one appears about every two weeks - so it doesn't even seem to be a real infestation. I keep all grain products sealed in plastic or glass containers, so I have no idea where the little fuckers are coming from. Honestly I wonder if they're coming in from outdoors somehow.


@Emmanuelle Cunt i was going crazy trying to find where mice were getting into my apartment a few years ago. i was chillin in the kitchen with the window open and those slidey screen insert things in it, and the mouse climbed through that shit. i don't even know how to describe it. i'm several floors up too- where did that mouse even come from??


@Emmanuelle Cunt Also about this (because I am the pied piper of moths) sometimes the moths can be living in your actual cupboards, like tucked into the cracks where the boards join (jerks). I did a white vinegar clean of every inch of the cupboards and that helped reduce the kitchen population.


@Emmanuelle Cunt I had that problem once with grain/carpet beetles (mine didn't look quite like either one, but that was the closest I could find and they did seem to like eating both things) and did eventually find a source-- behind the one door I never opened of a cabinet I went into all the time. I managed to get rid of them with much disinfecting of the entire inside and outside of the cabinet, throwing away any container that was open or closed if I found a body on it, letting some Raid dry in there completely and wiping it all out again. I also threw out any linens I found them on. It was extreme, but I felt really guilty because I was about to move out and it did work.

Judith Slutler

@baklava! Yeah, I did that, and yet, still approx. 2 moths a month! I am really trying not to freak out about it, because my roommates are all like "eh whatever we'll put up some flypaper maybe" and I don't want to come across as the nutty one who is obsessed with Moth Murder.(but in all seriousness, DIE MOTHS DIE)

Does Axl have a jack?

@themmases Ugh, carpet beetles. One or two show up once a week or so in various places in my house, and I can't figure out where they are coming from either. MYSTERY BUGS DIE PLZ


@armyofskanks The worst part was that I only saw one or two occasionally that I would kill immediately, so I thought I was so on top of them. Then I opened my cabinet to start thinning the pantry before the move, and met my nightmare.

Judith Slutler

@themmases aaaugh don't tell me these things, I am going to have a Moth Murder Meltdown.


@Emmanuelle Cunt Aaaah sorry but at least it was really easy to clean?

Does Axl have a jack?

@themmases *shudder* I suppose I should probably go looking for their lair this weekend, then. *double shudder*


@Emmanuelle Cunt They could be coming from the grocery store, already in your grains. It is the grossest thought imaginable. But we had a pretty bad problem with pantry moths and, after throwing out everything and transferring everything into glass or heavy duty tupperware, I also started freezing everything from the store. Like rice, pasta, etc. I just put it in the freezer when I get it home and put it in a jar or plastic thing after a day or two. The problem is the eggs (UGH THIS IS ALL SO GROSS) look like crumbs so you can't really tell by looking in a bag of rice if there are moths or not. Freezing=death before they become moths.


@moose I never want to eat again.

All Mimsy

I found a fox fur shawl in a thrift store yesterday, I considered buying it, but it was fairly expensive, and I just Know I wouldn't wear it enough to justify the purchase.
I keep meaning to buy baby wipes, but I never remember to get them when I'm at the store.

Jenny Cox

If you can unzip the upholstery, get at the stain from behind. This works well for stains on clothing, too. Push your dishsoap/water solution on the side of the fabric that wasn't stained, and push out the stain on the other side. Then you can sort of wick the dirty stain water away with your finger or a clean towel.

I learned that trick from middle school Home Ec! I also learned how to cook, sew by hand, sew with a sewing machine, make an efficient grocery list, and iron in that class. USEFUL.


@jenny_ I so wish I had taken home ec! Do they teach it for grownups?

As an aside, it was a requirement at my junior high, but they waived the requirement for the kids in the gifted program, which...offensive.

Jenny Cox

@carbonation They should! If you're good at taking hands-on directions from books (I... am not) Erin Bried's How To Sew A Button is good place to start. But Jolie should definitely teach Adult Home Economics. Ms. Jolie!! Community center course in NYC, Khan Academy videos for everyone else!


Depending on the finish on the shoes a Magic Eraser might not be what you want.
I used one to get paint stains off of a pair of leather boots and it took all the shine off of the leather. For boots this was fine, a perk actually, but might not suit everyone's needs.


@NeverOddOrEven Also, it sounds like these shoes aren't stained from something spilling on them, they're yellowed with age, which ain't gonna scrub out.


@Exene A Filthy Person was wondering about using the magic eraser on non-patent, white leather? I wore a pair of very dark blue jeans with these heels, and while it was striking, they left blue ink stains!


Um, A Clean Person (or other Clean People)? So, this happened to me yesterday: I had cleaned our shower with Comet and maybe didn't rinse it very well or something, and I guess the Comet got on my exfoliating gloves, because last night after I took a shower, I had a streaky red rash all down both of my thighs UNDER my skin, like a chemical burn...looks really bad and is still there this morning. It's not raised, just, like underneath, almost like a big rash of burst blood vessels. Do you think this is going to go away, or am I permanently disfigured? Help!

Jenny Cox

@melmuu AHHH. You'll probably be fine, but maybe call your doctor up or poison control?


@melmuu It'll go away, don't worry! In the mean time I'd think real aloe or some hydrocortizone cream would help.
Or coconut oil. It seems to do everything I could possibly need for my skin.


@jenny_ @NeverOddOrEven Okay, thanks you guys. I feel better.

Judith Slutler

@melmuu Honestly I'm sure you will be fine, get some nice cooling aloe on there.


Removal of food coloring stains is very relevant to my interests, so thank you.

Also, I am going to find many ways to work the phrase "perk up your muff" into conversation. *Snortlaugh*


fur storage in a mothy zone, halp? i bought one silly white rabbit coat at salvation army and inherited a mink cape (?), would never buy new but come on, i inherited a mink cape, i feel like i should give it some justice. moths ruined all my cashmere sweaters last year, after research i've taken to hanging the furs in a light-filled, busy area (my hallway...). anyway, outside of paying for fur storage (!), any tips from you stylish ladies to keep those jerk moths away from my insane cape?


@cc Moths hate peppermint, so store your furs with mint or pennyroyal sachets. Also, brush your furs and woolen garments regularly. The moths that eat them do it during the larva stage, not the fluttery stage, so you want to brush away any eggs that might be on there.

Judith Slutler

@dinos How do you brush woolen stuff? What do you use, would a lint roller work?


@Emmanuelle Cunt One of these?


@Emmanuelle Cunt
No, you've gotta channel your inner Bates with an old-school bristle brush. It gets more stuff off. Something like this one.


@dinos Ooooooh, classy! And double duty.


YOU GUYS! I just found an actual butler's instructions (adapted) on how to brush clothes. There are diagrams!


@Emmanuelle Cunt I have a soft boar-bristle hair brush that I use, because it was cheaper than getting a garment brush. I use it on wool, because I sadly have no fur, but wool should be brushed, too, instead of getting it dry cleaned constantly.


@dinos "brush away any eggs that might be on there.." Jesus Christ that is so gross.


Sorry again about your couch, Melis!


@Dancercise they weren't really CHOCOLATE stains were they?


About the couch situation. What about microfiber furniture? My living room furniture is microfiber, and the Google has told me that water can kill microbfiber dead, or else not, it depends, so good luck with that.

I know that my streak of luck and the stain-protective coating won't last forever. What do I do?


@TheLetterL Microfibre is usually pretty tough, I thought? I've gotten stains out of mine with Oxyclean paste and it hasn't hurt it.


@TheLetterL We have microfiber furniture that is older and we have been ready to get rid of it...so I've attacked stains with reckless abandon to see what works and what doesn't. I've had success with Resolve carpet cleaning Foam (the Pet version, because I can't get rid of my cats no matter how revolting they are). It doesn't leave stains and it pulls up a lot of dirt and grime, which is grossly satisfying. I spray to form a white foam coating, let sit for 3 minutes or so, then use a paper towel to wipe up. Has taken out a lot of run-of-the-mill scuffs and stains without damaging. BUT that's just with our microfiber! Don't know if others are different...


@MilesofMountains My understanding is that the main difference is the fabric's ability to tolerate water. Some are fine with water-based things, but others can be damaged and require special solvents and whatnot.

Now, I can't say how much water it would actually take to stain or damage a sensitive fabric, but my search was enough to convince me to think twice before running for a wet sponge.


@susiequsie Thanks for the tip! I may try test that out on a hidden spot.

just reading in a boat no big deal

@TheLetterL Windex! For real. Cleaned up a huge ink blot on a cream microfiber couch that I thought I had no hope of removing. The couch was exactly one day old *facepalm*.

Also: I might regret saying this, but in my experience, there's not really a way to mess it up. During my own microfiber emergency, I meant to spray Windex on a dishtowel and then dab it on, but I was on the phone with my mom and actually just clumsily sprayed the Windex two or three times directly on the couch. (The Windex thing was my idea and I had just called my mom for emotional support. At this point in the convo, I yelped and said I had to go.)

However! It totally worked out. I left the Windex there for a while and then I used a blow dryer on the spot. I am 100% positive this idea came from the internet so some Googling should give you more detailed instructions. Good luck!


@just reading in a boat no big deal Windex, you say? Good to know, especially since I'm sure I'll have it around anyway whenever the inevitable happens.


A Clean Person! What are you doing drinking coffee in bed?!


@SarahP I assume A Clean Person was looking for the most appropriate location from with to enjoy Squeeze?


@SarahP this was my first thought as well! Drinking coffee in bed is lovely, but dangerous. I had to break myself of that habit when I bought an actual, grownup bed instead of a shitty futon. I have an upholstered chair by a window that I sit in instead - still fabric, but at least it's stain-resistant.

And of course, now that means one of my favorite parts of a hotel stay is, wait for it, coffee in bed.


@SarahP For the joy of cleaning it after? (but you've never done that, right Clean Person? you can't like cleaning THAT much...right?)


@mishaps I would love to drink coffee in bed but I cannot seem to manage without spilling. Me and my coffee are forever banished to my chair, with a side table to actually set the coffee down on.


@mishaps I have an Aunt who religiously brews coffee before going to sleep, so that she can stash a thermos of it on the nightstand. In the morning the coffee is the perfect temperature and she wakes up by sitting in bed drinking coffee. I always admired the perfection of that particular ritual of hers.

Cupcake Coven

@SarahP I may have to do this. Anything to lessen the time between waking up and caffeinating myself.

George Templeton Strong

About the muff: Does the muff owner have pets? Maybe it would be unwise to bring it into the home. At our Christmas party some people put their coats on our bed. One of the attendees' vintage coat had a rabbit-fur-trimmed collar. Despite all the food and alcohol and cologne and body smells that must have distracted her my elderly hound roused herself and started body-slamming the bed like she was at a Clash concert circa 1980 to try to get to the coat. I know the guest didn't skin the rabbit that day and wasn't a fresh kill. Just a warning.


@George Templeton Strong HOW do you know the guest didn't skin the rabbit that day? I am skeptical.


@George Templeton Strong THIS. I have a pair of cowhide, dalmatian-spotted tennies from Boden that I have to keep locked up away from the cats, lest I come home to find said cats LOCKED in a BATTLE to the DEATH with said tennies.


@Mingus_Thurber haha that's so strange. Our cats mostly leave my shoes alone (My sister's cat loves putting things in shoes, but usually that's it)
However, I work with horses and GOOD lord all three of them love my work cowboy boots. They leave my fancy boots alone, thank god, or I'd kill a kitty. (I spent almost 300 on those suckers.) But I have to leave my work boots outside or else I will come out in the morning and one will be knocked on its side, and there will be a cat sleeping in the shaft. It's so strange looking.

Betsy Murgatroyd

@Mingus_Thurber My cat will angrily attack my leather gardening gloves. He's no fan of any gloves, but those white gloves are the bane of his existence. I have to hide them in the garage because he finds them just so he can kill them.

The Bitchuation

I'm assuming this boric acid approach would also work with pony skin shoes?? I have a couple thrifted pairs that have suddenly developed tiny bald patches on the leather...I assumed they had been chewed on by some creepy crawly but I can't find any other evidence of them.

btw that letter reminded me of when I worked in a costume storage place and was cleaning out old boxes when I opened one and screamed in terror...inside a box that was supposed to contain a child's muff (gross) was just a creepy pink baby face made of plastic, and a pile of tattered rabbit skin. BUGS had eaten everything but the plastic face that had been attached to the front of the muff. God only knows how long they had been at work in there, probably decades. Clean Person, you would have had a field day in that place!


@The Bitchuation Positively revolting. Everyone, either properly store or get rid of your creepy plastic baby heads and muff boxes. Muff remnants with faces are a thing no one wants to accidentally come across.

Mrs. PotatoHead

Love you, Clean Lady!
Another way to kill buggies in things is by freezing - learned this from an importer of international arts & crafts, which often can be infested. I guess I might not put crawly things in my food freezer, but I tried this during the winter with a mask I had that was *revolting* (just left it outside for a few 20 degree days) and it worked like a charm. Also, all bugs hate diatomaceous earth, which is non-chemical so you can dust anything with it(TMI: it's even used as a food additive for animal de-worming), but unless you're near a big garden store it would be hard to find.


@Mrs. PotatoHead Also, if you live in a hot area, leave em in your car in the full sun. The heat will kill em dead. An oven could work too. (Additionally, this is the best way to deal with bed bugs in clothes, as they can stand cold really well.) 5 hours at 150 F should kill anything you've got


@Mrs. PotatoHead It's very easy to buy DE on Amazon.com, like I did after my bb problem last year. I dusted the shi*t out of my bedroom.


@Mrs. PotatoHead My sister is a knitter and routinely bakes and then freezes her yarn to make sure she doesn't get moths. Before she freezes it she puts it in a ziploc bag so no bug corpses are in contact with her food.

Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter

Fur muffs are surprisingly heavy.
I know this because I went to see "Over My Shoulder" at the theater, and, during the big musical number where young Jessie Matthews is stripping off her expensive thirties day-wear to reveal a cute little tap outfit, she threw her white fur muff into the audience - And it hit me square in the chest (I was something like six rows back, so I didn't even try to catch it because I thought someone in front of me would!).

I didn't get to keep it though! Now the button that flew off Sarah Brown's suit during the Cuba scene in "Guys and Dolls" and hit me, that I've still got.


I misunderstood that as "bears, repeating, hate boric acid." And I was all "what on earth do you do to get a bear infestation?"



Haha as a wildlife biologist, I can tell you all sorts of ways to get a bear infestation.
I can also tell you the best way to get rid of a bear: I shit you not, Zucchini.



Magic Erasers are really handy to have and accomplish some amazing tasks. The latest one I've discovered is one I want to share with the entire world, or at least the world that loves drinking red wine from crystal glasses. (Don't go hatin', I get them on sale, for heaven's sake. There are great deals on the interwebs. Search for Reidel and Speigalau. When you get them, toast your fellow drinkers a lot. What a great sound when the glasses strike each other.)

No matter how well you rinse the glasses at night, and wash carefully by hand, the glasses will begin to stain at the bottom of the bowl. It's frustrating because nothing really seems to get rid of the stain, until you are rummaging under the sink and find the M.E. and think, "what the hell?". Magic, I tell you. Magic.


@KatieKazoo I've got another one! dip your dull record player needle in a Magic Eraser. Just one dip (hand upon hip optional) - don't move it around. Plays like new!


Aw, I saw the title of this one and thought it might be about cleaning pet rabbit related messes (SERIOUSLY, they are disgusting). Mine would have been:
Dear ACP, you know that cute thing rabbits do where they jump in the air and spin around ('Binky')? Well, sometimes my rabbit likes to squirt pee when he does that. And sometimes it gets on my dog, and stains his white hair pink, for some insane reason. How do I get rabbit pee out of dog hair? And off of walls? And the legs of my wooden furniture?

fondue with cheddar

@lue You seriously need to record a video of this behavior and put it on youtube.

sarah girl

@lue Binkies are the best!! The peeing not so much, but the binkies!

sarah girl

@jen325 This isn't lue's bunny (I think!), but a good example of binkies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCjBC8iKTxE

fondue with cheddar

@Sarah H. So cute! I've seen this jumping before but didn't know it had a name. But I specifically want to see the jumping and peeing at the same time. It's not funny, but it is. :P


@lue So I'm sure you've tried diluted white vinegar? I mean obvs it's for almost everything, most of the time, but since rabbit pee has an alkaline ph I think it helps to (literally) neutralize the odour.
A few of the rabbit websites mentioned upthread have specific cleaning tips as well as explanations on why rabbit pee is pink/red depending on their feed.


Nah, don't worry about it- it's funny. If I can catch him at it I'll totally upload it.
Yes! We do the vinegar. But I swear this stuff (the pee) can take paint off of walls. Very interesting about the pink, though. Good to know. His pee is usually yellow, but turns pink on dog hair. I never bothered to look into it, because I assumed it was a unique problem!


I would never use moth balls on my muff. Usually a little gentle cleaning of the cobwebs is sufficient. /singlegirl

fondue with cheddar

I'm curious about whether the magic eraser actually worked on yellowed patent leather. I used to work at a shoe store, and I noticed that old* white patent leather shoes always turn yellow, which I always assumed was irreversible because the coating on the leather just changes over time.

(I'm talking old. That place was notorious for keeping old inventory rather than putting it on clearance. Bad for business, good for me because I have a lot of vintage shoes that I got for free!)


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