Citronella oil helps keep blood­thirsty mozzies at bay

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Puzzles, Cartoons & Gwen - GWEN BISSEKER [email protected]

We en­joy an evening meal on the pa­tio, but mosquitoes are be­com­ing a prob­lem. What is the best way of dis­pelling them? – JG, Jef­freys Bay.

On a calm evening, citronella can­dles work well. You should find them in a gift shop. The No Fly can­dles avail­able in big su­per­mar­kets are an al­ter­na­tive. The non-toxic can­dles, which con­tain citronella oil, are plain white and not fancy but quite ac­cept­able.

Citronella oil, ob­tain­able at phar­ma­cies, can also be used on a cloth – a wipe over the an­kles is a good idea! Of course, one of the many com­mer­cial prod­ucts can be used for this pur­pose.

In re­sponse to an item in your last col­umn, I have a tip for mak­ing crispy ba­con:

Heat oven to 180°C. Line a bak­ing tray with bak­ing pa­per. Lie ba­con strips on the pa­per. The best is streaky ba­con, and SPAR is my pre­ferred brand. There are usu­ally 10 rash­ers per packet and they are evenly cut.

Cook for eight to 10 min­utes and turn over for a few min­utes, but watch it, be­cause it cooks quickly at the end.

You can cook toma­toes and sausages in the pan at the same time, but re­move them when they are ready be­cause they cook at dif­fer­ent rates to the ba­con.

If you like crispy ba­con, you will never cook it any other way! – WJ, Port Al­fred. Many thanks for your ad­vice – I was hop­ing a reader would come up with a tried and trusted method!

I have a small but use­ful pot, which I think is made of alu­minium. It has de­vel­oped a dark colour in­side, and I won­dered whether there was a way of light­en­ing it so the pot looks a bit more pre­sentable. – WL, Port El­iz­a­beth. Alu­minium is a soft metal, so in clean­ing you must not use wash­ing soda, am­mo­nia, bleach or bi­car­bon­ate of soda, which will cause fur­ther dis­coloura­tion.

To re­move the colour, boil a mix­ture of two ta­ble­spoons of vine­gar in one litre of wa­ter for 20 min­utes. Two tea­spoons of cream of tar­tar in­stead of the vine­gar also works well.

An­other old method is to boil ei­ther ap­ple or rhubarb peel­ings in a pot of wa­ter. Rinse out thor­oughly in hot wa­ter and rub with a coarse cloth.

How can I re­move a blood stain from a sheet, caused by an un­no­ticed scratch on my arm? – BG, Port El­iz­a­beth.

At this late stage, it may be dif­fi­cult to re­move the stain. Fresh bloods stains re­spond well to an im­me­di­ate soak in cold, salty wa­ter – a cup­ful of salt to two litres of wa­ter. Note that hot wa­ter will set the stain.

It might also be worth try­ing a soak in suit­ably di­luted Su­per 10, the mar­vel­lous stain re­mover avail­able through GNLD prod­uct dis­trib­u­tors. There are a num­ber of stain-re­mov­ing prod­ucts, both on the su­per­mar­ket shelves and from agents, that could be ef­fec­tive against old, en­trenched stains. Reader “SN”, for in­stance, found Mr Mus­cle kitchen cleaner very good for dis­solv­ing blood stains on sheets and shirts. Rub them with it and then wash in the usual way.

Fi­nally, there is bleach, but this must be care­fully used in the pro­por­tions given on the Jik con­tainer – quar­ter-cup (62.5ml) bleach to five litres of wa­ter. Soak for five to 15 min­utes and then rinse and laun­der as usual.

I was won­der­ing if you know of any­one in the Port El­iz­a­beth area who fixes porce­lain? The items are an old wash basin and jug. – KS, Port El­iz­a­beth.

Un­for­tu­nately, my usual con­tacts ap­pear to have left PE or no longer un­der­take this kind of re­pair. If there is any­one in the area with the ex­per­tise to help, I would be glad to hear from you.

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