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Renovation & Design

A light polish can bring a DVD up to snuff

Petroleum jelly also works as a temporary fix... sometimes

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If your limited-edition X-Men collector set has a scratch, a bit of polish and some elbow grease might just get your discs working again.

QUESTION — I was wondering if you know of a way to clean DVDs that are scratched. You mentioned to use peanut butter to clean CDs. I tried this on a CD, and it worked. I also tried it on a DVD, and it did not work. Thanks, Nancy

ANSWER — Scratches on DVDs are common and depending on the extent of the damage cannot be repaired. If the scratch runs from the edge toward the centre, your chances of repairing the damage is higher than if the scratch runs along the disc itself. Begin by wiping the disc with a soft cloth; this will remove any lint or fine hair that is causing the disc to skip. You can then attempt to repair the scratch by gently wiping it with Brasso or Turtle Wax or check out DVD scratch repair kits on the market or bring the disc to a DVD repair professional. Petroleum jelly is sometimes a temporary solution for a homemade DVD, using a soft cloth wipe a small amount of petroleum jelly onto the DVD and then remove the excess, test the DVD, if it works copy the DVD onto a new disc so that you have a new version. With that said, my favorite solution is to boil the DVD for five minutes, let soak for an hour and gently wipe with a soft cloth and vinegar (use at your own risk), I made two deep scratches on my DVD with a needle and fixed the unplayable DVD with this method. When the DVD is running again, record it onto a new DVD (just to be safe).

QUESTION – My kid has gum stuck in his hair, is there anything I can do to avoid a haircut? Berry

ANSWER – Absolutely, take a blob of peanut butter and run it through his hair. Gently slide the gum along his ends until it’s out. If peanut allergies are a concern, use WD-40 or cooking oil or cooking spray instead.

Tips for the Best Bowl of Pasta

To measure the proper quantity of raw spaghetti noodles to cook, try one of the following options. Purchase a spaghetti measure gadget; or purchase a spaghetti fork spoon, use the hole in the middle of the spoon to measure out one portion of noodles (who knew?); fill a regular store-bought plastic water bottle opening with spaghetti; this is one serving.

Perfect Pasta Salad: Overcooked pasta becomes mushy, and undercooked noodles are tough and become chewy as they cool. Toss the salad with dressing while it is still warm, the noodles will absorb the dressing, making it more flavorful.

Al Dente: This Italian phrase means, "to the tooth" and refers to the cooking time. In other words, the pasta should be cooked so that it remains slightly firm and chewy instead of soft.

Prepare water for cooking pasta: Pour one cup of water and 1 tbsp. of salt into a pot. In terms of best pasta flavour, salt should be added to the water unless you are on a low-sodium diet because it does enhance the overall flavour. Cooking pasta in salted water means that the pasta will absorb some of the salt and therefore not taste bland. This cannot be corrected by salting the pasta later or adding salt to the sauce. All you end with is bland pasta with a salty exterior. You really should add quite a bit of salt to the water so it tastes like water from the ocean (don’t worry, most of this will go down the drain). Salt may be added before heating the water or once the water has started to boil. However, allow the salt to dissolve before adding the pasta.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email at: info@reena.ca. Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: reena.ca.

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