Question: I was washing my hands and noticed that my wedding ring has become crudded up because I don’t take it off when I wash dishes. My jewelry cleaner is almost finished, and I got to wondering if there is a way to clean jewelry without using store bought cleaners? Marg
Answer: In the past I used toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean rings, until I was told by a jeweller that toothpaste is too abrasive. I now mix one teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, one tsp. of household ammonia and half a cup of warm water into a cup. Drop your rings into the solution and let soak for 10 minutes. Brush with a soft toothbrush and rinse with water. If you prefer not to use ammonia, you can opt for vinegar instead.
Question: A while back, you published a recipe for a taco seasoning mix. I made it several times, and really enjoyed it. I was wondering if you have a recipe for a chili seasoning mix. Thank you, Robert
Answer: Combine the following ingredients together: one-quarter cup chili powder, two tablespoons of cumin, one tbsp. onion powder, one tbsp. paprika, two tea spoons of garlic powder, two tsp. brown sugar, two tsp. salt, one tsp. oregano, one tsp. cayenne pepper, one tsp. mustard, half tsp. black pepper, quarter tsp. cinnamon and two bay leaves. Omit cayenne pepper if you do not like spicy food. Store in an airtight container.
Question: How can I soften a knitted sweater? Joan
Answer: The easiest solution for softening a knit sweater is to wash it as usual and then soak it for one hour in about eight litres of warm water and 1/4-cup of hair conditioner. Rinse and dry according to the care label. If you do not own conditioner, replace it with vinegar.
Question: I found a bag of large marshmallows in the back of my pantry and they are somewhat crusty. Can they still be used or softened, or should I just chuck them? Also, I made a cheesecake that required a pan of hot water to be added to the stove as it was baking. I used an aluminum 9x13 pan, and now the pan has turned black from the water. Is there a way to clean it, and is it still usable? Thank you for your help. Bertha
Answer: It does not take long to soften a bag of marshmallows. Seal the bag well and hold the bag under running water, or set the sealed bag in a bowl of hot water for five minutes to soften them.
The easiest method for restoring the aluminum pan is to spray it with oven cleaner in a ventilated area, wait 15 minutes and scrub it with a non-scratching abrasive pad. A combination of lemon juice and baking soda is another option, but this combination requires additional time and scrubbing.
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. Please send Reena an email if you have a great question, suggestion or tip.