No need to come unglued over your carpet woes
QUESTION: I am in a quandary! I have glued my area rug with double-sided tape to my existing carpet... and now it seems an impossible task to remove the tape from the carpet (I live in a rental apartment). I need your solution to this mess that I have created. Thank you, Gizele (Winnipeg)
ANSWER: What I would do in your case is soak the carpet with the hottest water that the carpet can stand. Doing this loosens the glue, making it easier to scrape adhesive residue. Another option is WD-40; open the windows in order to ventilate the room. Spray the carpet, let sit for 10 minutes and wipe up all sticky residues. Clean the carpet area with dish soap and water. Rinse with water and pat dry. QUESTION: I am taking on a new challenge this year which is growing my very own basil. My best friend buys basil at the store. How should fresh basil be selected and stored? Barb (Piney)
ANSWER: Basil is now more popular than ever! If you grow your own basil, it should be picked just as the plant begins to bloom. Early morning hours are the best time, after the dew has evaporated and before the sun is high. The oil content in the leaves is the best at this time. When purchasing basil, look for leaves that are bright green and fresh-looking. Limp wrinkled leaves with black spots are good indications that basil is old.
Basil leaves should be rinsed lightly and dried. Wrap in paper towels and seal in a plastic bag. Basil can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Dried basil (like other dried herbs) can be substituted for fresh in recipes however use only one third of the amount of the fresh required. QUESTION: The inside of my washing machine tub has a dirty ring around the top; soap scum I would think. So I am wondering what I can use to clean this, please. Really enjoy reading your column! Lynn (Winnipeg)
ANSWER: Like most items in life they require general maintenance and cleaning. Over time washing machine odours can transfer to clothing and the problem snowballs. Cleaning your machine regularly will help to keep it fresh and ready for use.
Unplug your washing machine before cleaning it! Unclog the filter regularly — open it up and remove the debris that has accumulated. Clean the detergent drawer — a wipe over with a cloth should remove gunged-up bits of soap — use an old toothbrush to get into small areas. Scrub the inside of the tub with one cup of vinegar and a half-cup of baking soda.
For regular use, add vinegar or washing soda or good ’ol borax to all cycles. This removes odours and stops soap scum, lime scale and mildew. Always leave your washing machine door slightly open when not in use to stop it from smelling bad and encouraging growth in your machine (gross). Extra tip: Cutting down on liquid fabric softener will keep the machine cleaner, longer. QUESTION: I enjoyed hearing you speak at our office Christmas party and since that time my colleagues and I have had an ongoing debate that I am hoping you can settle. Can pizza be baked on a coal BBQ grill? Tammy (St. Malo)
ANSWER: Yes, for that wood-oven taste made famous in Italy, barbecue your pizza. Prepare the coals for grilling. Use the indirect method if you have a covered grill. Move the hot coals to the sides of the grill in a circle just larger than the pizza.
For extra flavour, sprinkle mesquite or hickory chips on the coals. Place pizza on the grill four to six inches above the coals. Cover; cook 15 to 25 minutes or until crust is brown, cheese is melted and centre is hot.
To cook a pizza on an open grill, place the pizza on a sheet of heavy duty foil or on a foil pan four to six inches from medium coals. Cover with foil tent; cook 15 to 25 mins. QUESTION: I need advice on cleaning paintings. I’ve heard about using bread, but that doesn’t work! Maris
ANSWER: For regular cleaning, gently dust paintings with a soft paint brush, baby toothbrush or shaving brush. According to restoration experts, years ago, the bread trick was a great way to clean oil paintings, but bread sold in stores nowadays does not clean oil paintings as it used to. There’s a product called ‘GoJo Hand Cleaner,’ the original, not the orange-scented or the abrasive formula. You may need to order it online, but this cleaner yields great results. Valuable paintings, however, need to be trusted to specialist conservators. Fabulous Tips of the Week:
Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place for no longer than one year. If refrigerated, it will thicken and turn cloudy.
To reheat pasta, place it in rapidly boiling water for one to two minutes or pour boiling water over pasta in a colander to heat it through. Drain and serve immediately.