No need to come unglued over your car­pet woes

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

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.

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