Per­ma­nent marker need not be per­ma­nent

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

QUES­TION: My son is do­ing a sci­ence fair project on How per­ma­nent are per­ma­nent mark­ers. We are ex­per­i­ment­ing on var­i­ous sur­faces — linoleum, paint, wood and car­pet. We want to in­clude some green al­ter­na­tives for re­moval. Do you have any sug­ges­tions. If it doesn’t re­move from all the sur­faces that is OK be­cause it is just part of the sci­ence. Joy, Clear Lake

AN­SWER: My favourite less-toxic so­lu­tion for re­mov­ing per­ma­nent marker from hard sur­faces such as wood is bak­ing pow­der and dish soap. Cre­ate a paste and scrub the sur­face. Takes some el­bow grease but it will come off. Great sci­ence project topic, hope you get an A!

QUES­TION: Do you have a recipe for hand lo­tion made with oil and beeswax? Wilma, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: Here is an easy ‘Bee Nat­u­ral Hand Lo­tion Recipe’: Into a dou­ble boiler melt four ounces sweet al­mond oil and one ounce beeswax. Re­move from heat and add two ounces wa­ter and stir well. Add 10 drops Vi­ta­min E and 10 drops of your favourite es­sen­tial oil such as laven­der. Stir un­til cool. Pour con­tents into jars or metal tins.

QUES­TION: I heard you on the ra­dio and I am won­der­ing if you can help our fam­ily. We would like to spring-clean our kitchen oak cab­i­nets. Can you please let us know the best so­lu­tion? Linda, Plumas

AN­SWER: Di­lute one part dish soap in two parts warm wa­ter and clean the cab­i­nets us­ing a sponge or green scrub­bing pad (not steel wool). When clean- ing cab­i­nets, pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the area around cabi­net door han­dles and drawer pulls, these places tend to be the stick­i­est. Re­mov­ing cabi­net hard­ware be­fore clean­ing will make it eas­ier to clean.

Other op­tions for clean­ing are: Vine­gar/wa­ter or bak­ing soda/wa­ter or le­mon juice/bo­rax. For an­nual or bi-an­nual clean­ing use Mur­phy’s Oil and wa­ter. Af­ter cab­i­nets are clean you may want to buff them with a fur­ni­ture wax suit­able for your wood. Test all so­lu­tions on an in­con­spic­u­ous area first!

QUES­TION: I re­cently moved into a condo and am hav­ing trou­ble clean­ing the mir­rors in both bath­rooms. Af­ter clean­ing (I have tried wa­ter and vine­gar, Win­dex and air re­fresh­ener and then wip­ing them with newsprint) but they look smeared. Any sug­ges­tions for clean­ing the mir­rors would be most ap­pre­ci­ated. Con­nie, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: The wa­ter in your home may be a con­trib­u­tor to your streaky woes, there­fore try bot­tled wa­ter if your tap wa­ter is min­eral rich. Noth­ing beats a great-qual­ity mi­crofi­bre cloth for re­mov­ing streaky-look­ing mir­rors. Wa­ter and a cloth are all you need; mi­cro fi­bre dry­ing clothes are also a worth­while in­vest­ment, just don’t set­tle for the cheap stuff or you will be dis­ap­pointed. The fol­low­ing is my ab­so­lute favourite ‘Squeaky Clean Win­dow Recipe’: In a spray bot­tle, com­bine one tea­spoon (5 ml) in­ex­pen­sive sham­poo, onequar­ter cup (60 ml) rub­bing al­co­hol and fill re­main­ing por­tion of the bot­tle with white vine­gar. Spray and wipe. For ex­tra shine make a paste of corn­starch and wa­ter, wipe mir­rors and wipe with a clean cloth. Taken from House­hold So­lu­tions 2 with Kitchen Se­crets.

Ex­tra tip: To avoid foggy mir­rors fol­low­ing hot show­ers, smear shav­ing cream or gel over mir­rors once a month, re­move all ex­cess. Tips for Fix­ing Cook­ing Mishaps:

If a tomato-based sauce be­comes too acidic add a tea­spoon of bak­ing soda at a time to the sauce to re­duce acid­ity. Some cooks pre­fer to add sugar for the same rea­son. Sugar can also re­duce acid­ity of toma­toes used in sal­ads.

If you find that the sauce you are cook­ing is liq­uid and thin. Thicken with a com­bi­na­tion of flour and but­ter (add in small batches). Corn­starch is usu­ally a good thick­ener, but it might help to mix it with wa­ter first. A lit­tle goes a long way. Some cooks use dried potato flakes as an emer­gency thick­ener. If the sauce would not do well with these in­gre­di­ents, you may try a re­duc­tion. Al­low the ex­cess liq­uid to boil out of the sauce un­til it is re­duced in vol­ume.

I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them com­ing!

Noth­ing beats a great-qual­ity mi­crofi­bre cloth for re­mov­ing streaky-look­ing mir­rors. Wa­ter and a cloth are all you need.

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