Silestone needs some conditioner for ‘mistake’
QUESTION: I had Silestone countertops installed in my new house four years ago and made the big mistake, at great expense, of having them honed because I like a matte effect. Unfortunately, they show every mark and although the marks can be wiped off, the result is uneven and unsatisfactory. I have tried granite cleaner but the surface is still patchy. Is there something I can apply to provide a more overall finish? Outside of removing them I am stuck with countertops which irritate me every time I look at them! Many thanks, Sylvia, Winnipeg
ANSWER: I wouldn’t call honed Silestone a mistake, however it is true that matte finish isn’t quite as carefree as the polished version. Silestone recommends the use of a conditioner: “The use of a conditioner is purely temporary and will require either repeat applications to maintain a consistent lustre on the surface or thorough cleaning to remove it.” Daily cleaner for honed Silestone should be a pH balanced general-purpose household cleaner such as dish soap, and water.
QUESTION: I hope you can help me with the cork floor in my kitchen. We have had the cork flooring for quite some time but lately chips have come off on some places. How can I fix this? I hope you can help me. Sincerely, Ineke (St. Andrews)
ANSWER: Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak (Quercus Suber). The bark is harvested approximately every nine years without causing any harm to the tree. As a result, cork is a truly sustainable flooring product but even the best things in life have their ups and downs. To repair the damaged floor, begin by confirming that your floors are solid cork and not veneer. Veneer cork cannot be repaired or sanded and must be replaced. To replace veneered cork, remove moulding and pry up the damaged plank andreplace with a new cork plank (you may want to call a professional to help with this). Solid cork floors can be sanded using an electric floor sander or a coarse grade sand paper wrapped around a block. Next use fine grade sand paper to smooth the area. Clean the floor as normal. Check manufacturer’s finish to determine if the floor has oil or polyurethane finish. Finish by applying two coats of the correct finish (allow first coat to dry thoroughly before applying the second coat).
QUESTION: I have found your solutions so helpful. I would like to know how you can get rid of silver fish in my apartment. Lois (Portage la Prairie)
ANSWER: A mixture of two tablespoons powdered icing sugar and one cup borax spread in a few places along baseboards should do the trick to get rid of silverfish. Take caution around children and pets; borax is poisonous if ingested. It is also important to note that in order to zap silverfish permanently you will want to get rid of all excess moisture in the basement by purchasing a good quality dehumidifier. If infestation continues please contact a fumigation service.
Fabulous Tips and Feedback from readers:
To flatten plastic milk jugs pour about a cup of boiling water into it. Put the lid back on tightly. Shake very gently until it is all swollen and hot. Carefully take the lid off, pour out and place on the floor, handle side down. Step carefully in the middle just to push it down enough to make the ends start to collapse then move your feet one at a time to flatten each end. Keep standing, moving around a bit, until it is cool. Voila! Flat as a pancake and it stays that way so that ever-so-many can be packed side by side in a box. Joy, Winnipeg
Reena’s note: Take caution; this sounds somewhat dangerous.
With regards to light bulbs, I like to put a bit of “Never-seize” on the threads of the base. When these were made of brass, as well as the sockets, it wasn’t a problem. Now, being aluminum, and aluminum sockets and heat they tend to seize. Also, if you rotate the pliers clockwise, as you suggested, you will only screw the base in tighter. I find it works best to use a pair of needle-nose pliers and insert between the base and socket. Turn counter- clockwise and it splits the base and collapses it and makes it easier to remove. Keep up the good suggestions. Gerry, Winnipeg
I wish I had seen your solution to the fruit fly problem a few weeks ago, as we had an infestation in our house. May I suggest using a vacuum to suck the little buggers up instead of using hairspray? Once the flies are gone, dispose of the vacuum bag. Trish (Lake Winnipeg)
A few months ago a reader wrote in regarding mould on her bathroom tiles and her lack of success in removing it. I had the same problem — I removed it successfully using ‘Fantastic with Bleach’. It took two applications. It saved us from ripping out the tiles and replacing them. Anonymous
I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!