Renovation & Design

Ironing will help your mask look sharp

But hot water and good detergent are the real keys to sanitizing

QUESTION – Is there merit to ironing the masks? I have a routine: When I come back into my condo, I immediately wash my hands and mask. When my mask is dry, I iron to get the wrinkles out and to reset the pleats. P.S.: I always enjoy your tips! Thanks, Gisèle

ANSWER – According to some experts, ironing your mask is an extra step in sanitization; however, this will only work for fabrics that do not melt from the heat of the iron. The overall consensus is that washing with hot water and heavy-duty detergent will sufficiently kill bacteria and clean masks. Ironing will help the mask look nice, but is not necessary.

QUESTION – I am hoping you might be able to direct me, as I am trying to remove laundry labels placed by a personal care home on articles belonging to my aunt who is now deceased. These articles are in very good condition and need to go to some needy individuals, but before donating them I feel compelled to remove the labels with her name on them. Any suggestions other than blacking out her name would be most gratefully accepted. Thank you very much for your attention to this request; keep safe and well in these troubled times. Barbara

ANSWER – I am very sorry to hear about your aunt. This is a common grievance, since the labels are glued on in order to stay secure. Consider spraying the edge of the label with WD-40 or rubbing alcohol to loosen the glue. Leave for 20 minutes and then peel the label. Another option is to press the label with an iron; while the fabric is hot, peel the label off.


• Masks should not be stored in plastic bags after being used. They need to dry out, so store in a paper bag. We were told this at a senior talk on the pandemic. Love your column. Claudia

• Love your column! Just a further suggestion regarding the care of masks: After you launder your reusable mask, put it into a paper envelope rather than a plastic bag. Have a set of envelopes, one for each day, and rotate them. This saves on plastic pollution. D.

• This is in regard to butter stored in the fridge being too hard to spread onto grilled cheese sandwiches. If Wayne owns a microwave, he can soften a bit of butter that way; intermittent short "zaps" is all he needs. Otherwise, put a bit of butter in the pan, melt and spread to evenly coat surface of pan, then put down one slice of bread. Put cheese on top of bread. When cheese starts to melt and/or when bread starts to toast on bottom, remove bread and set aside. Melt another bit of butter in pan/grill and place second slice of bread in the melted butter. Assemble sandwich and continue grilling. This method is a bit more fiddly but perfect for someone who really wants to use butter and doesn’t have a microwave. Linda

• Here’s what I do to "nutritionize" grilled cheese: In the summer, especially, take a lot of lettuce from the garden and stuff it into the sandwich as soon as it’s off the griddle. The lettuce stays surprisingly crunchy. Or take a handful of kale, chop it coarsely and place it on one buttered slice of bread and top it with the cheese. Then add the other slice. Melt a bit of butter in the griddle to cook one side, flip the sandwich and add a bit more butter if necessary. Very chewy and delicious. Maureen

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 to: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


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