A Lightning Round of Solutions for Annoying Situations

Welcome back to Ask Mary, where I, your humble columnist, respond to your questions. Got a vexing issue? Send it over.

Today, in the Annoying Situations category we’re tackling white dryer lint on dark clothes, rust-stained marble, moss and mildew, and HSA fees—all in no particular order. Let’s go.

Q: I’ve given up laundry softening products by switching to wool dryer balls (thank you) but now I have a new problem. These white dryer balls are like little lint magnets. That’s a good thing when drying loads of whites, but not so good when it’s a load of dark items that come out with annoying white lint.

A: I know what you’re talking about and that’s the reason that I have a set of black wool dryer balls that I use only in dryer loads of dark-colored items. It’s easy to switch back and forth as long as the dryer balls are handy—black dryer balls in dark loads, white ones with white loads. Problem solved!

Q: Do you have any idea how to remove rust stains (possibly from hard water) from my marble shower stall? I tried lemon juice and baking soda and scrubbed for a long time but not much was removed. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.

A: Marble maintenance is a tricky topic because it is soft and porous as natural stone products go, making marble surfaces an easy target for all kinds of stains. You need a “poultice” which is a paste you apply to the stain that you allow it to sit for many hours to draw out the stain. And it needs to be made from ingredients specific to that particular stain or nothing will happen at all. That could explain why your lemon juice baking soda scrub did exactly that–nothing. 

My best advice is to invest twenty-bucks in a commercial product especially formulated to remove rust stains from marble and granite. I’m confident that TeRust Poultice Powder, (about $20) will do the job provided the stain has not been permanently set, which I doubt. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly and keep in mind that it may require multiple treatments to achieve full success.

Q: I know you have informed your readers about a thousand times on this, but please indulge me again. What is the name of the moss spray you’ve written about in past columns? As I recall you said you can just spray it on and it does all the work for you.

A: The product you’re referring to is Wet & Forget Moss Mold Mildew & Algae Stain Remover. It really is the most amazing outdoor product because it removes moss, mildew and algae stains  from just about any surface. 

Dilute with water per instructions, apply using a garden sprayer (or a high-quality, professional, hose end sprayer like this one that will spray up to 28 feet to reach areas liking siding, walls, awnings, etc) and forget it. The product goes right to work to removal stains on any exterior surface—no scrubbing or rinsing necessary. Then each time it rains, it continues to gently removes the moss, mildew and algae. Wet & Forget is non-caustic, non-acidic and contains no bleach. It can be used on ANY outdoor surface materials including roofs, siding, decks, walkways, driveways, brick, RVs and boats; awnings, fences, fountains, gazebos, greenhouses, hammocks, lanais, patio furniture (all types); outdoor rugs, pots, patio umbrellas, play equipment, pool liners, retaining walls, shades and storage units. The list goes on and on—and on. Great stuff.

Q: I recently retired from a job where I had and health insurance with an HSA (health savings account) plan. I opted to leave the HSA account undisturbed until needed sometime in the future. I no longer contribute to it, however. The new company holding this HSA is wanting to charge for statements and also a monthly fee to hold my account. Do you know of any companies that I could transfer my HSA money into that would not charge me a monthly or annual fee?

A: Many credit unions offer fee-free HSA accounts. Check with yours or if you are not a member of a credit union, look around in your area for one that you can join. Also, read “How to Join a Credit Union” by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Provided it is simply an HSA savings account—not an investment account—chances are very good it will be free of fees and miscellaneous charges. Credit unions are like that.


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2 replies
  1. kddomingue says:

    Okay, I’m allergic to wool so wool dryer balls in any color are a no-go for me. I’m also sensitive to synthetic fragrances so I make my own detergent and use vinegar with a few drops of essential oils for scent as a fabric softener. I also line dry my clothes indoors and fluff them in the dryer for about ten minutes with a damp, lint free cloth to get the stiffness out of them. But I wage a weekly​ battle with lint on my dark clothes. Any ideas to combat this issue would be appreciated!

  2. Beth A. Weekes Bell says:

    After reading this column today, I went to Amazon and ordered the wet & forget moss remover and garden sprayer. I am willing to give it a try as I have moss growth on the one side of my house that I have battled.


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