I have a coffee table with a marble top, but I noticed there is a cup ring stain on it. How can I remove it?

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I have a coffee table with a marble top, but I noticed there is a cup ring stain on it. How can I remove it?
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Marble, like any natural stone, is porous and prone to watermarks and etching (surface damage by something acidic).

Both will appear as dullness.

You can remove the stain by using a solution of water and baking soda (or bicarbonate of soda) or marble cleaning product.

Make a thick paste of baking soda with water and spread the paste onto the stain. Allow to sit for several minutes, then wipe away and repeat if needed.

To maintain your marble, never allow wet dishes, glasses or water to sit on the tabletop.

Never use vinegar or citrus-based products on marble, and wipe any spills as soon as they occur – even water spills. Lastly, using coasters will save you a whole lot of elbow grease in the future.

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I constantly find cockroaches climbing up my rubbish chute and finding their way into my home, even when I keep the chute door closed. What should I do to keep them away?

This is a common problem that, according to Eugene Surendra of PestBusters, can be solved collectively. On your part, check the rubber lining around the hopper door. “Chute hopper doors have a rubber lining that acts like a gasket and is designed to be airtight to some degree. This will keep out odours and vermin. Wear and tear of the rubber lining can result in gaps that can provide cockroaches an entry point,” he says.

Replace your hopper door with a newer design that provides a tighter seal. Plant roach bait stations around the chute and in areas where you spot the pests.

Your Town Council should be involved in pest control, which usually means fogging “as it is the easiest way to spread the chemical”.

A one- or two-time fogging session is not effective in the long run, says Eugene. “If cockroaches are noticed during the exercise, pest control will need to carry out repeated fogging at closer intervals. Most times, the treatment is done on a quarterly basis, which is inadequate. Once the cockroach population is under control, there must be a monthly schedule,” he adds.

Even with regular fogging, there are several factors that can render this method ineffective:

• Fogging is done from the bottom of the chute. If there is a downdraft, the fog may not reach the top.

• Cockroaches can become resistant to certain classes of pesticides. The chemicals used need to be monitored and rotated.
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What’s the best way to keep my mirrors fingerprint-free?

Gather these supplies: Rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol), cotton pads, a microfibre cloth, a window cleaner or a vinegar solution.

Dampen a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and rub the mirror to remove any dried toothpaste, soap or dirt. Work quickly as the alcohol dries quickly. Next, mist the entire mirror with window cleaner or vinegar solution. Wipe from left to right, starting at the top, stopping to switch to a dry section of the cloth once one section is damp.

Step back and check for streaks, and go over any with a dry section of the cloth. Avoid getting the edges of the mirror wet as it can damage the mirror and cause a ‘black edge’.

Paper towels and tissues, though handy, are not ideal for cleaning mirrors as they leave residual lint on the surface.
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