Renovation & Design

Let a jeweller clean your precious heirloom

QUESTION: I read your column regularly and find it very helpful. I have found an old silver locket that belonged to my mother and it is very tarnished. What is the best way to clean it? I would like to wear it on my wedding day as something old. I would appreciate an answer as soon as possible as the wedding is at the end of the month. Thank you very much. Lynne, Winnipeg

ANSWER: I typically clean silver with the use of a baking sheet, washing soda, water and aluminum foil. However, seeing as this piece is very special to you and a family heirloom, you may want to consider taking it to a jeweller to have it professionally cleaned. They often clean jewelry for free or for a reasonable price.

QUESTION: Enjoy your columns very much. My problem: A ceiling pipe leaked in our basement bathroom, resulting in water running down a wall-papered wall. The pipe was fixed but there are light brownish water stains on the wall. Any suggestion as to how to remove them? I don't know if the paper is washable or not because it was there when we bought the house. Thanks in advance. Anna, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Not knowing whether or not the paper is washable hinders you from spraying the discoloured area with liquid. Either leave as is or scrub with a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you are comfortable adding liquid to the area then spray with 50/50 bleach and water or hydrogen peroxide and water, or WD-40. Whatever solution, always test first. Worst-case scenario: cover the area with a light coat of touch-up paint or replace the wallpaper.

QUESTION: I purchased a pair of Calvin Klein black stretch lightweight denim jeans. They have a strange smell; I would say it is a chemical smell. I have washed them about six times and have tried anything I can think of to remove the smell with no success. I would have returned them except for the fact I bought them at an outlet store in Palm Springs. I hope you can help because they fit so nice and I would like to be able to wear them. Pam, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Your best bet is to soak the jeans in white vinegar and water for a few hours. Wash and wear. The smell is, like you said, caused by chemicals and will eventually dissipate. You can still call Calvin Klein's head office regardless of where the jeans were originally purchased and ask for advice, since the jeans do carry the brand label.

QUESTION: I so much enjoy reading your column in our weekly newspaper and always getting so many helpful ideas. On my kitchen chairs, the wood arms get sticky when resting on them. Would you have a solution to this sticky problem? Many thanks. Roger, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Clean the wood with a bucket of soapy dish soap water, rinse with clean water and wipe with a soft cloth. Next dry arms with a rag. Give the arms a light coating of either baby oil or olive oil. Remove the excess. If the arms are still sticky, sand and refinish the wood.

Fabulous Tip of the Week!

Before pouring brownie batter into a baking sheet, line the sheet with parchment paper. Make sure the paper hangs over both sides of the pan. Pour the batter over the paper and bake. After the brownies are baked, lift the paper out of the pan and cool. This makes cutting easier and saves your pans.

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 new videos/blog/website:


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