What part of ‘stain­less’ doesn’t this steel get?

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NER­BAS

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!

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