Renovation & Design

Turtle Wax will make those kitchen vents sparkle

Question: The vents in my kitchen are caked with grease. I used your advice and washed them in the dishwasher. When I took them out, they looked brand new. Is there any way to prevent dust and grease from quickly building up, so that I don’t need to clean them as often? JB

Answer: Reduce the amount of frying in your home and your vents will stay cleaner longer. Coat both sides of the vents with a soft cloth and Turtle Wax. The job takes a little time, but the results are worth the effort.

Question: I always enjoy your column and terrific advice on life’s many problems. I have a tall Contigo mug, which I mostly use for ice water, soft drinks, etc. I am NOT a coffee drinker. My husband accidentally switched his top for mine and now my top has a strong smell/taste of coffee.

I have tried soaking the screw-on top in a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for 24 hours. It helped somewhat, but the taste of coffee still lingers. Most unpleasant. Would you have any other suggestions for trying to get rid of the taste and smell, or will I need to purchase a new Contigo? Lesley

Answer: There are several solutions for getting rid of the smell, and it will continue to lessen over time. First step, wrap the lid tightly with newspaper and leave for 24 hours. If the odour lingers, wipe the lid with yellow mustard. Leave for one or two hours and wash with water.

Question: Can you tell me how to remove a heat stain from an oak table?

Thank you, Lynn

Answer: The first and easiest solution is to apply mayonnaise or non-gel, non-bleach toothpaste to the wood. Leave for 30 minutes and wipe. If the stain remains, cover the mark with a white cloth. Using the steam setting on your clothing iron, wave the iron over the top of the cloth, making sure you do not leave the iron on one area. Be cautious not to damage the finish of the wood.

Question: Every year we have an ongoing battle with fruit flies. Any ideas of how to rid ourselves of them? Kris

Answer: The first step is to get rid of the source. Store all fruit in the fridge until at least the first frost; this will greatly cut down on the fruit fly population. Eliminate exposed food sources such as bread, fruit, potatoes and crumbs. Wash dishes regularly and empty garbages, take out compost buckets and clean drains and garburators. Hang dishcloths instead of allowing them to sit in a damp pile; this is a perfect breeding area for flies.

Plant soil is another breeding area for fruit flies, therefore it is important to wait until necessary to carry plants inside for the winter.

Purchase a restaurant-style, funnel-cap vinegar dispenser. Fill with wine or vinegar. Cap and set near the kitchen sink. Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of fermenting fruit. Some people like to take this one step further and place the dispenser onto a cardboard glue board.

Extra Tip: Storing bananas during fruit fly season is easier than you may think. Store fruit in the fridge, inside an opaque plastic bag. The bananas won’t turn brown for several days, and they stay fresh longer than if left on the counter.

Another option is to purchase a fruit fly trap manufactured by Terro, Raid, or other such companies; these are available at hardware or department stores.

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


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