Coun­ter­top re­pair prov­ing to be a prob­lem

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

QUES­TION: I would like to change my bath­room coun­ter­top and paint the cab­i­nets. What can I do, or should I “bite the bul­let” and buy a new counter? Thank you, Sharon, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: Be­fore pur­chas­ing a new coun­ter­top there are a num­ber of prod­ucts avail­able for restor­ing drab-look­ing coun­ters. You can try a com­mer­cial lam­i­nate or fi­bre­glass cleaner, such as 3M Marine Fiber­glas Cleaner and Wax, 3M Marine Fiber­glas Re­storer and Wax, Gel-Gloss or car­nauba wax (car wax). Re­mem­ber to test ev­ery­thing on an in­con­spic­u­ous area first. You may want to look into pur­chas­ing spray-on counter re­storer.

If your counter is dam­aged by dents and scratches, filler can be used. One of the fillers that cur­rently ex­ist on the mar­ket is “Seam­fil” by Kam­pel En­ter­prises.

If all else fails, it’s pos­si­ble to resur­face your counter in­ex­pen­sively with a piece of wood and a thin sheet of lam­i­nate counter avail­able at large hard­ware stores for about $35 per sheet. For an even less-ex­pen­sive so­lu­tion, paint both the cab­i­nets as well as the counter — just make sure to check with your lo­cal paint store about the best paints to use for th­ese projects.

QUES­TION: I have two ques­tions: Is it safe to dump cof­fee grounds down the kitchen sink? Se­condly, do you have a so­lu­tion that can be ap­plied to a win­dow to make it look frosted? Diane, Inglis

AN­SWER: Some pro­fes­sion­als say it is okay to dump cof­fee grounds down the drain if you run enough water to flush them com­pletely out of the plumb­ing sys­tem. How­ever, it takes a lot of water in most houses to rinse them that far. Chances are you will even­tu­ally need to call in a pro­fes­sional plumber to un­clog your pipes.

A bet­ter idea is to add cof­fee grounds to your pot­ting soil or garden — plants love cof­fee grounds. For now, dump grounds into a con­tainer out­side. When spring ar­rives, add the thawed cof­fee grounds to soil around trees or in the garden.

To frost your win­dows, be­gin by giv­ing them a thor­ough clean­ing. Next, dis­solve four heap­ing ta­ble­spoons of Ep­som salts into one cup of beer. Leave for 25 min­utes. Us­ing a paint­brush, ap­ply the so­lu­tion in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion.

To re­move frost­ing, wash the win­dows with vine­gar and water and a good-qual­ity mi­crofi­bre cloth. There are also frost­ing sprays avail­able in stores.

For a longer-term frosted look, pur­chase clear self-ad­he­sive shelf pa­per or frosted win­dow film.

QUES­TION: I fried a sausage in my fry­ing pan with grape seed oil. Now I have residue in my pan and can­not get it out — the bot­tom and sides have a yel­low­ish film. Can you please help me? Thanks, Iona, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: Un­for­tu­nately I have no idea whether you are tack­ling cast-iron, non-stick, alu­minum, porce­lain or some other fry­ing-pan makeup, but here are a few op­tions for clean­ing stain­lesssteel fry­ing pans.

Be­gin with the eas­i­est so­lu­tion, which is to sprin­kle the pan with bak­ing soda and enough water to cover the bot­tom of the pan. Boil the so­lu­tion for five min­utes. Turn the el­e­ment off, leave to cool and scrub. Bo­rax or dish­washer de­ter­gent and water can be used in the same way.

If you are des­per­ate, try ei­ther water and am­mo­nia or oven cleaner. Be care­ful not to com­bine one cleaner with an­other and ven­ti­late well by clean­ing the pan out­doors.

QUES­TION: I have a laun­dry prob- lem. A lip re­pair (like Lyp­sol) went through the washer and dryer and has left greasy stains on the front of my good sweat­shirt in sev­eral places. Any ideas how this can be han­dled, or is this now a per­ma­nent stain? Also, when grease stains ap­pear on pil­low cases (af­ter guests) how can I get them out? Mar­i­lyn, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: You are not alone — I’ve re­ceived many let­ters from peo­ple in the same predica­ments. Here are two op­tions for both chal­lenges: Soak fab­rics in hot water and Oxy Clean, or soak the fab­ric sep­a­rately in a half-cup of Arm and Ham­mer wash­ing soda and enough hot water to cover the clothes for 30 min­utes. Wash as usual. Air dry. Re­peat un­til stains are gone.

If all else fails, you can zap stains us­ing RIT dye re­mover ac­cord­ing to the di­rec­tions on the box. Note: Fab­ric color will be sig­nif­i­cantly light­ened.

Feed­back from Man­i­to­ban who cares

It just ‘floors’ me that your ar­ti­cle about con­sid­er­ing new floor­ing (porce­lain or ce­ramic) didn’t men­tion how th­ese ma­te­ri­als con­duct sound. We are presently in lit­i­ga­tion be­cause the noise con­ducted in a wood-frame older condo has ru­ined our quiet en­joy­ment. It amazes me how of­ten peo­ple choose th­ese lovely ma­te­ri­als and don’t give a thought to what may hap­pen down­stairs.

Per­haps you could add a sen­tence or two about what may hap­pen to the un­lucky ones be­low (maybe in granny’s bed­room if you live in a house) if th­ese floors are not prop­erly in­stalled with sound con­duc­tion in mind. Thanks, love your ar­ti­cles. Judi Fab­u­lous tips of the week

Ever been frus­trated by the pud­dle of water that col­lects on the floor af­ter a shower? Sew a piece of Vel­cro to the shower cur­tain, ad­here the other sec­tion of Vel­cro to the wall. Dur­ing show­ers, at­tach the cur­tain to the wall to close all gaps.

If your key gets frozen in the lock of your car and you don’t have lock de­icer, use hand san­i­tizer in its place. The al­co­hol in hand san­i­tizer is the main in­gre­di­ent in lock de-icer, so they will both work.

Want your sled to go faster down­hill? Just spray the bot­tom with non­stick cook­ing spray. This method will also lubri­cate an in­ner tube, shovel or lawn­mower blade. I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a col­umn? Can’t re­mem­ber a so­lu­tion? Need a speaker for an up­com­ing event? Check out my brand

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