Renovation & Design

Colour safe bleach keeps fabrics bright and fresh looking

Question: What is the difference between bleach and colour safe bleach? My socks look dingy after I play soccer. How can I keep my white and orange socks looking new? — Cathy

Answer: Colour safe bleach is made using hydrogen peroxide while bleach is made using sodium hypochlorite. Colour safe bleach is the easiest method for keeping coloured fabrics bright and fresh looking, without damaging the colour.

Question: What is the secret that hotels use for keeping their towels white? — Cathy

Answer: While not all hotels subscribe to the same practice in cleaning towels, the following is common among many. They begin by treating all stains using stain remover, if the stain disappears the towels move on to the next stage. Some hotels soak the towels in a solution of a half-cup of baking soda, half-cup of laundry detergent and enough cold water to cover the towels. Other hotels use a combination of cold water and bleach. Finally, the towels are transferred into a washing machine and washed using warm water. An important rule is not to overstuff the machine so that all fabrics have room to swim. Washing soda or borax are also options for pre-treatment. When fabric softener is not used, vinegar is often an alternative.

Question: What is the fastest way to peel potatoes? — Syd

Answer: Like me, you may not have access to a commercial potato peeler, but don’t be too upset because they are a pain to clean after use. Here is a method that does not require extra purchases. Use a sharp knife to score the skin/peel of each potato around the middle. Leaving the skins on, boil the potatoes in water until cooked. Drain the potatoes and transfer them into a bowl of ice water. Use clean rubber gloves to pull the skin off the potato. Depending on how you are preparing the potatoes, you may want to boil them once more to heat them.

Question: How can I clean spider webs off of the light fixtures in my backyard? Thank you, Joanne

Answer: The swish of a broom is an easy way to remove webs because brooms are small and easy to store nearby. A shop vacuum is another option. Even though you get rid of the web, it won’t prevent them from rebuilding.

Question: What is the easiest way to ice cupcakes if you don’t have piping bags or frosting tips? — Braya

Answer: Make sure that your icing is not runny. Use a retractable ice cream scooper or melon baller to portion the icing. Scoop, plop and smooth. Done in seconds, and every cupcake will have an equal amount of icing. Don’t forget the sprinkles!


Manitoba tips — keep ’em coming! 

— To prepare meatballs all the same size, roll the mince into a log, slice off pieces of equal size and roll with your hands. — Anonymous Winnipegger

— I hate wasting food, so when I finish a product sold in plastic containers (mayonnaise, peanut butter, mustard, ketchup, jam, etc.), I cut the container opener using a carpet cutter (watch your fingers). I cut them open at the mouth and scoop out the rest with a spatula. You’ll be surprised at the quantity you would have thrown away. I also cut toothpaste tubes open using scissors and find enough paste for several days. — Anonymous Winnipegger

— I use heavy-duty Velcro strips to prevent my bathmat from slipping. I can’t risk another fall, and this handy hint gives my confidence that the mat won’t move. — Robert

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Email your tips and questions.




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