Jar offers easy way to unpeel fresh garlic
Also: Bugged by maple bug stains and in need of removal idea and storing potatoes
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
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.