What part of ‘stainless’ doesn’t this steel get?
QUESTION: I purchased a brand new stainless steel fridge. I am having a hard time keeping it clean and free from scratches. I am planning to own this fridge for a long time, any advice on how to keep it looking good? Margaret (Austin, MB)
ANSWER: Stainless steel is a popular choice for home and commercial kitchens. Begin by cleaning with dish soap, water and a soft cloth (or vinegar and water). Glass cleaner is another option to remove smudges and fingerprints. Or use stainless steel cleaner but be careful. Some stainless steel cleaners contain chlorine which is damaging to the surface therefore always test on a small inconspicuous area before using on the front of your fridge. After cleaning, always dry stainless steel with a soft cloth and work along the grain.
If scratches do occur, the stainless steel cleaner sold with the appliance may help to repair. Other options that have had great success are Revere Copper Cleaner and Scratch B Gone (test on an inconspicuous area first).
QUESTION: I recently noticed that my 1970’s “Gibbard” medium brown colored wood bedroom suite headboard is full of hand and fingerprints behind my pillow. I have tried furniture polish to remove the prints that are probably skin oil and hand lotion etc. but it is not budging.
I am reluctant to try harsh detergent since the finish is fairly glossy. I inherited the bedroom suite 7-8 years ago so that’s how long the prints have probably been collecting. The prints are behind my pillow and I didn’t notice them until I recently moved. Can you provide me with a safe product or solution to clean this surface please? Shelley, Winnipeg
ANSWER: Begin by sprinkling cornstarch onto your headboard and working it into the areas. Leave for an hour and buff. If the fingerprints remain, wash the headboard with Murphy’s Oil Soap according to the directions. Follow-up with mineral, baby or olive oil. If stains remain you will need a more aggressive option such as refinishing the surface.
Extra tidbit: While cooking supper last week, a blob of oil leapt out of the pan and found its way onto my jeans. I quickly worked cornstarch onto the spot and the grease disappeared!
QUESTION: I recently purchased your book series which I often refer to but I have a question that is not addressed in the books. At a garage sale last fall I purchased a few terracotta pots. I would like to put the pots in my garden as decorative pieces but I want to grow moss along the sides of the pots to add character. How would I go about doing this? Hermina, Winnipeg
ANSWER: Blend together dried or purchased moss (or moss spores), 2 cups yoghurt (or buttermilk). Paint the combination onto the pot using a paintbrush. Put pots into a plastic bag to create a humid environment. Put the bag in a shady spot for about 9 or 10 days. Continue to water the containers regularly to keep the moss alive and growing.
QUESTION: I always read your arti- cles for household solutions in my newspaper. I have a question regarding red ants in my kitchen. We have sprayed ant killer, but after one week these red ants show up again. My home is fully carpeted even in the kitchen. Please tell me any solutions to get rid of these red ants as we have toddlers at home. I would appreciate your help and time. Thank you. Amber, Winnipeg
ANSWER: There are some ants that don’t just come and go in your home foraging for food, but actually establish a colony inside. These ants may infest food products. Spraying a residual repellent insecticide to control foraging workers may provide only short-term control. Non-repellent insecticides such as Phantom Liquid or Phantom Aerosol sprayed inside would be a better choice than repellent insecticides, because the ants don’t know it is there, these non-repellents unknowingly are tracked back to the nest by the workers.
However, it is important to note that you have toddlers at your home therefore any solutions regarding poison or borax and icing sugar are out of the question. Keep bay leaves in your cupboards to repel ants. Sprinkle cin- namon in cracks wherever ants may be entering your home. One other option is to combine peppermint oil with rubbing alcohol and spray wherever you notice ants.
Fabulous Window Cleaning Tips of the Week!
* Dry windows outside in one direction then inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know which side is the offender. * To clean window sills, pour diluted rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub the entire surface. Then dust off the sill with a clean cloth.
* Never wash windows in direct sunlight, since it causes heavy streaking. Cloudy days or night time are usually best. Also, you might want to buy an extension for your squeegee if you have tall windows.
I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!