Glue, tile dust should do the trick


QWe live in a 1930s her­itage home and there is nat­u­ral tile in front of the fire­place. Un­for­tu­nately, the tile has been scraped by the bot­tom of a chair. We have tried to fix it but with no luck at all. Would you have a sug­ges­tion for us? Robert, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: For many sur­face scratches you can buff them out with fine-grit sand­pa­per or fine steel wool. A popular handyper­son ex­pert trick is to pur­chase one tile to match the scratched tile, sand the tile to pro­duce tile dust, cover scratches with in­stant glue and pack the scratch with the tile dust. Gen­tly sand after the glue is set. QUES­TION: I am newly mar­ried and want to take good care of my home. At my wed­ding shower, a con­ver­sa­tion broke out about some of the nec­es­sary ar­eas in the home that peo­ple for­get to clean. What do you think they are? Ka­ley (StPierre-Jolys, MB.) AN­SWER: Great ques­tion! Kitchen sponges and dish­cloths are of­ten left too long be­fore chang­ing. Other for­got­ten ar­eas of the home may in­clude: the space be­tween ap­pli­ance and counter; be­hind ap­pli­ances, floor and wall vents; ceil­ing fans; top of fridge; pillows (dec­o­ra­tive and bed­room); and mat­tress clean­ing. QUES­TION: I am so frus­trated with hol­i­day bak­ing. I follow ev­ery recipe ex­actly as it states and my cook­ies and cakes al­ways burn. What am I do­ing wrong? Candice (Rosenort, MB.) AN­SWER: It is im­por­tant to note bak­ing times are only guide­lines, be­cause ovens typ­i­cally bake at dif­fer­ent rates and vary slightly when it comes to tem­per­a­ture. Weather (hu­mid­ity), al­ti­tude, oven pans (i.e. glass vs. metal) and oven mod­els will change the out­come of your food. You are the boss of your oven and bak­ing time is done, when you say it’s done. Be­gin by pur­chas­ing or bor­row­ing an in­ex­pen­sive ther­mome­ter to test your oven tem­per­a­ture. Check bak­ing 10 min­utes be­fore the recipe states it’s done. If the tooth­pick comes out clean, bak­ing is com­plete. If bak­ing is brown­ing too quickly on top, cover it with foil. QUES­TION: How do I clean road-salt stains from my rub­ber car mats? I tried vine­gar and it doesn’t clean very well. Bill, (Win­nipeg) AN­SWER: Be­gin by beat­ing the mats with a broom to re­move most of the loose dirt and dust. Then vac­uum the mats un­til no dirt re­mains. Us­ing ei­ther dish soap or car­pet sham­poo and wa­ter, cre­ate lather and dis­trib­ute onto the salt stains. Then scrub with a stiff brush, rinse and let air dry.

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