Jar of­fers easy way to un­peel fresh gar­lic

Also: Bugged by maple bug stains and in need of re­moval idea and stor­ing po­ta­toes

Windsor Star - - HOMES - REENA NERBAS

Q I avoid pur­chas­ing fresh gar­lic bulbs be­cause I don’t like to take time to re­move the peel from the bulbs. Do you have an idea of how to re­move the peel with­out the headache?

A Place the gar­lic bulb in­side a Ma­son jar. Se­cure the lid and shake as hard as you can for 20 to 30 sec­onds. The skin will sep­a­rate it­self from the bulb — and your headache should be a dis­tant mem­ory.

Q My friend is a big fan of yours and she sug­gested I con­tact you about my stairs, which have a smooth rub­ber tread on the sur­face. Usu­ally they prove to be im­pen­e­tra­ble, ex­cept for scratches, but I re­cently put a rag with car wash­ing so­lu­tion on them and there is now a faded area. Can you sug­gest how I can ‘re­new’ them?

A It is dif­fi­cult to say with­out know­ing the type of floor tex­tile and the con­tents of the car wash­ing so­lu­tion. Your best bet is to con­tact the man­u­fac­turer of the floor­ing. They will be able to rec­om­mend a prod­uct safe to use on your floor­ing, with­out dam­ag­ing the war­ranty.

Q Do you have any so­lu­tions for re­mov­ing white wa­ter stains on a stucco house? The wa­ter drips off the roof onto a taupe colour.

A The most prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion is to use wa­ter to get rid of wa­ter stains on stucco. Us­ing the gen­tle set­ting of a pres­sure washer or spray hose, spray the en­tire af­fected area. Or for a stronger so­lu­tion, some con­trib­u­tors had great re­sults clean­ing their stucco with one part muri­atic acid and 10 parts wa­ter. Use ex­treme cau­tion, safety gog­gles and skin pro­tec­tion, as this is a pow­er­ful and dan­ger­ous chem­i­cal. Test on an in­con­spic­u­ous area first.

Q This fall, there’s been a bumper crop of maple bugs. They tend to gather around doors in the hun­dreds wait­ing for a chance to get in where it’s warm … and a lot man­age to get in­side. We try not to squish them, but some in­evitably get stepped on. They ex­crete bright red fluid. Will the stains ever come out of our car­pets?

A Ac­cord­ing to con­trib­u­tors who have shared your ex­pe­ri­ence with maple bugs — also known as box el­der bugs, the two most com­mon so­lu­tions are: Scrub the area with Dawn dish soap and wa­ter. If the stains re­main, spray the area with WD -40, then scrub and wash with dish soap and wa­ter. As a last re­sort, wipe the area with shav­ing cream, then rinse with wa­ter.

FEED­BACK FROM WISE CON­TRIB­U­TORS

Re: Clean Win­dows

I am a reg­u­lar reader and en­joy your columns very much. Re­cently, I pur­chased clean­ing vine­gar on a friend’s rec­om­men­da­tion, it is great. How­ever, I can­not re­call you talk­ing about it. Per­haps read­ers would be in­ter­ested to know that if you use vine­gar straight in a spray bot­tle, you will have the “spark­li­est” win­dows on the block. Sub­mit­ted by: Phyl­lis

Re: Stor­ing po­ta­toes

I came across a men­tion you made in your ar­ti­cle about stor­ing po­ta­toes. The per­son who wrote to you said she stored her po­ta­toes with her onions. I re­cently read that po­ta­toes should be stored sep­a­rate from onions, which I have started do­ing. Your sug­ges­tion was stor­ing po­ta­toes in a plas­tic bag in the fridge I haven’t tried that, but I cer­tainly do keep spuds and onions sep­a­rate, for what it’s worth. Sub­mit­ted by: Va­lerie

TRAVEL TIPS

Re­tain shirts with crisp and

■ straight col­lars while trav­el­ling, by rolling up a belt and plac­ing it in­side the col­lar. The belt helps the col­lar hold its shape. Sub­mit­ted by: Brian

When I travel, I al­ways email

■ my­self my driver’s li­cence, pass­port and all travel doc­u­ments. This way, if my bag gets lost or snatched I still have all the pa­pers that I need.

Sub­mit­ted by: Ir­win

Know how to say, “Where’s the ■ bath­room?” in the lan­guage of the coun­try you are vis­it­ing. Sub­mit­ted by: Me (Reena)

Reena Nerbas is a pop­u­lar mo­ti­va­tional pre­sen­ter for large and small groups; check out her web­site — reena. ca — to ask a ques­tion or share a tip. Dis­claimer: Ev­ery user as­sumes all risks of in­jury or dam­age re­sult­ing from the im­ple­men­ta­tion of any sug­ges­tions in this col­umn. Test all prod­ucts on an in­con­spic­u­ous area first.

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