Keep­ing pie crust from shrink­ing on plate

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

them in­side. I have the idea this kills all dust mites or an­i­mal dan­der. Is this a myth? Thank you, Darci (Hazel­ridge)

AN­SWER: No, it’s not a myth. House dust mites are mi­cro­scope bugs that pri­mar­ily live on dead skin cells reg­u­larly shed from hu­mans and their an­i­mal pets (hope you’re not eat­ing right now). Dust mites are harm­less to most peo­ple. They don’t carry dis­eases, but they can cause al­ler­gic re­ac­tions in asth­mat­ics and oth­ers who are al­ler­gic to their fe­ces. Win­ter is a great time to freshen your house by toss­ing mat­tresses, stuffed toys, cush­ions and pil­lows out­side for at least 24 hours. As long as your fabrics are able to with­stand mois­ture, you will be do­ing the en­tire house­hold a favour by clean­ing with lit­tle ef­fort. For now, put pil­lows in the freezer while you are wash­ing linens.

Ex­tra tid­bit: One ounce of dust con­tains nearly 42,000 liv­ing dust mites.

Note to teenagers who don’t like mak­ing their bed: A study in Fe­bru­ary 2005 by Kingston Uni­ver­sity in London, Eng­land, showed that leav­ing your bed un­made each morn­ing, with the sheets ex­posed to air, al­lows the sheets to dry out and sub­stan­tially re­duces the num­ber of dust mites. QUES­TION: We have an apart­ment and over the past few days there are moths fly­ing around. My daugh­ter is par­tic­u­larly wor­ried about the pos­si­ble dam­age to her wool cloth­ing. Do you have any sug­ges­tions on how we should get rid of this prob­lem? Re­gards, Eileen (Win­nipeg)

AN­SWER: Get rid of moths us­ing one or a com­bi­na­tion of the fol­low­ing: Cloves, dried laven­der, pep­per­mint, rose­mary, mint, thyme, cin­na­mon sticks, eu­ca­lyp­tus, pep­per­corns, dried le­mon peel and cedar (chips, balls, planks or es­sen­tial oil cedar-lined clos­ets, draw­ers or trunks). These nat­u­ral fra­grances are de­light­ful to hu­mans but will keep moths away. You can make sa­chets to stash in draw­ers, trunks or hang in clos­ets us­ing pretty cot­ton fabrics, plain cheese­cloth, muslin, linen or clean ny­lons (knee-highs or cut panty­hose). Or place leftover soap sliv­ers into a vented plas­tic bag and pack them away. Fabrics will smell great and stay pro­tected.

Dry clean­ing or thor­oughly wash­ing items in hot wa­ter (tem­per­a­ture above 48 C for 20 to 30 min­utes) kills all stages of in­sects. This is the most com­mon and ef­fec­tive method for con­trol­ling moths in cloth­ing, blan­kets and other wash­able ar­ti­cles. For items that can­not be hot washed, wrap in plas­tic and place in the freezer for a day.

Moth­balls con­tain­ing the chem­i­cals naph­tha­lene or paradichloroben­zene are a dan­ger­ous so­lu­tion. The balls pro­duce vapours that, in suf­fi­cient con­cen­tra­tion, will slowly kill in­sects. How­ever, if the con­tainer is not air­tight, the chem­i­cals only weakly re­pel adults and any lar­vae al­ready on clothes con­tinue to feed. In ad­di­tion, the balls give off a dis­tinc­tive and un­pleas­ant smell that can be very dif­fi­cult to re­move even af­ter clean­ing. They are poi­sonous and must be kept away from chil­dren and pets.

Blan­ket Moth­proof­ing Recipe: Com­bine 90 mL eu­ca­lyp­tus oil, 500 mL de­na­tured al­co­hol, 2 cups soap flakes into a jar and shake. Add 5 mL so­lu­tion to 4.5 L warm wa­ter. Soak blan­ket (do not rinse). Hang blan­ket to dry. Taken from House­hold So­lu­tions 3 with Green Al­ter­na­tives

Change your vac­uum bag reg­u­larly to en­sure you are get­ting the lar­vae out of your home.

Out­stand­ing Tips Sub­mit­ted by Read­ers:

A few years ago, I had the idea to try us­ing a crazy car­pet as a “dust­pan” for fill­ing bags for yard cleanup, and found it re­ally speeds up the job. At first it will hold the bag open ly­ing on its side, so you can rake or push lots of leaves and twigs into the bag. Next it holds the bag up­right as you fin­ish fill­ing it. An­other bonus is that the plas­tic car­pet pro­tects the bag and re­ally cuts back on the rips you can get from sharp twigs. Ron­nie

Use cof­fee fil­ters to pro­tect your dishes when mov­ing. They work great. Jes­sica Reena’s tip: Place paper plates be­tween glass plates when mov­ing from home to home. When you ar­rive at the new home, the wa­ter may not be hooked up and as you un­pack your dishes, you will have paper dishes to eat off.

I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them com­ing.

Cute lit­tle guy, isn’t he? A ter­mite can be one of the most de­struc­tive in­sects

known.

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