Yesterday, Ben the Grape lost his fourth baby tooth, another lower incisor. All four of those teeth didn't make their exits until the permanent teeth had already sprouted behind them, shark-style. (The teeth move forward to fill the space after the baby tooth departs.) He tied some dental floss to the bathroom doorknob, hooked the floss around his so-loose-I-can't-believe-it-didn't-fall-out-a-solid-week-earlier tooth, and nudged the door gently 'til there was a snap. I missed the whole thing—I was in the kitchen, utterly unaware at the agency and autonomy my kid was demonstrating.
He placed the tooth in a Dixie cup full of water to rinse off any blood, and undertook to post a "do not drink" sign on the cup. Of course, the handiest paper in the room was toilet paper, and he chose a green Sharpie permanent marker to pen his note. Yep, that marker bled right through to the white vanity counter, all right.
Would you believe I got the Sharpie ink completely off? First I tried Scrub-Free Mildew Remover, a bleach cleaning product. That got off a little. Then I used the internet, which told me Amodex ink stain remover is what I needed, but I sure haven't got any of that around the house. The internet also suggested rubbing alcohol, so I swabbed the stain a couple times with rubbing alcohol. It lightened up a little further. Then there were two more rounds of spraying the Scrub-Free on and letting it sit for 15 minutes, and voilà! The Sharpie stain is gone.
So Google searchers with countertop Sharpie stains, try this approach if you haven't got any Amodex.
You know what else is a practical solution? If your towels come out of the laundry smelling a little musty or faintly mildewy, try using borax (20 Mule Team is the main brand in the U.S.) in each washer load of towels. The box tells you how much to use, and damn, it actually works. I've been using borax for a month or two, and I finally returned a big fluffy bath sheet to innocuous freshness. The box of borax also touts its usefulness for general cleaning and freshening chores, but I haven't ventured down that path yet. You can find handy-dandy borax in the laundry aisle at your grocery store.
The last Orange's Handy Tip is the Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick, a mini roll-on with tea tree oil and other essential oils. I've found it at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, and it's also available online. This stuff has been killing my zits for a year or two, and I love it! It works its tea tree magic on inflammation and tames the angry pimple. It's also said to be good for bug bites and skin irritations—it does work nicely on those miscellaneous red bumps my kid sometimes gets. It smells herbal and it stings a little on more irritated skin, but it's so worth it.