Renovation & Design

Freeze leftover cookies to preserve the goodness

Question: I have a lot of leftover Christmas cookies, how can I prevent them from becoming freezer burnt in the freezer?

Answer: Homemade cookies store well for about three months, in the freezer. Layer the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment paper in a sealable container. Lay a sheet of plastic or foil over the top layer before closing the lid.

Question: I moved into an old home, and the concrete driveway is plastered with old stains. Is concrete cleaner an effective solution in bringing the driveway back to life? Edward

Answer: Concrete cleaner or degreaser is especially effective for porous concrete; here are a few alternatives and tips. The fresher the stains, the easier they are to remove. For new oil stains, cover the area with cheap kitty litter or Diatomaceous earth. Leave for three hours or more and sweep. For older stains, cover the area with degreaser and scrub with a stiff brush, making sure that all stains are covered. Another option is to pour hot water onto the concrete and scrub with dish soap. Leave for 10 mins. do not allow dish soap to sit on concrete for an extended period. Scrub with a stiff brush and rinse.

Muriatic acid is a strong option. Apply the acid following the manufacturer’s directions, and let it soak for several seconds. Keep in mind that muriatic acid is a very dangerous product; if you use it, wear rubber or latex gloves, safety goggles and protective clothing, and never wash it down storm drains. Test all solutions on an inconspicuous area first.

Question: How should I clean a felted tea cozy? How can I remove tea stains on a wooden trivet? Bonnie

Answer: The safest way to clean felted fabric is to gently blot it with a damp wash cloth and dish soap. Avoid rubbing and apply light pressure. If the stains remain, place the cozy in a sink with hot water and fabric detergent. Use your hands to agitate the fabric. Air dry. If you are not comfortable wetting the fabric, consider drycleaning the cozy. To clean the tea stains on a wooden trivet, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub the stains until the tea marks have disappeared. Rinse with water. Murphy’s Oil Soap is an alternate option.

Question: Should I dust or vacuum first? My vacuum is five years old which isn’t that old, but I don’t think it is sucking up the dirt. Kimberly

Answer: The consensus is dust first and vacuum second. This makes sense because as the dust flies up and settles, the vacuum will suck it up. Help your vacuum efficiently clean by changing the filter regularly, replacing the bag if it is more than half full and investigating to ensure that there are no obstructions in the hose.

Tips for the New Year

Sometimes when I am working at the kitchen sink, water splashes onto the window above the sink. I have found that using a coffee filter to wipe the window, cleans the window without any effort. Sharon

After purchasing fish at the store, transfer the meat to a sealable bag. Place the bag onto a bowl of ice. As the ice melts, the water stays confined in the bowl. The fish stays fresh longer and keeps from spoiling. Bernice

I had a hard time sleeping because my feet felt so dry. I would wakeup several times a night to reapply cream onto my skin. I have discovered that rubbing petroleum jelly onto my feet is the answer. My feet are soft, and I finally feel comfortable when I sleep. Michelle

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.

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