Renovation & Design

Use hot water to keep your towels fresh

Question: I need help cleaning hand towels. Mine always get dark and greyish where people repeatedly wipe their hands in the middle of the folded towel, and I cannot get these darker areas clean with regular laundry soap. I have tried soaking them in laundry detergent, bleach — which is risky when they are lighter colored towels and letting them sit for hours with stain remover on them. They just end up looking like dirty towels no matter how much I wash them. Do you have any tips for me to try? At this point when they get too bad, I am just using them for rags. Thanks! Lori

Answer: This may be an issue of the dye not being colourfast. I had a similar experience, I finally realized that it was a result of the products people were using on their face and hands. In my case, the towels are permanently ruined because the towels were ‘bleached’. It sounds like your towels are also discoloring because of products. Try tossing the towels into the bathtub and soaking them in hot water and either washing soda, baking soda or borax. Whenever washing towels, use hot water for the best cleaning results. In the machine, add one-cup vinegar to the load. Lastly, Egypt, Turkey and Portugal are known as the manufacturers of some of the best towels in the world; spend a little more and they should last you awhile.

Question: What is the best solution for storing a fake Christmas wreath? Amrit

Answer: Begin by blowing the dust off using a hair dryer. Next place the wreath inside an empty garbage bag with salt, and shake. If you happen to have one of those plastic bags that you get when you purchase a blanket, that is a great storage option! You can also use a suitcase, plastic bin, or cover it with a plastic bag, make a knot on the bottom and hang it on the wall where your decorations are stored. Wherever you store it, make a note of it so that you are not scrambling to find it in November.

Speaking of Christmas decorations:

Store small tree decorations in empty egg cartons.

To store gift wrap rolls so they don’t unravel, cut an empty toilet roll vertically. Wrap the toilet paper roll around the gift wrap.

The Best Catch of the Day

For the perfect, flaky texture to cooked fish, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

When frying fish, cook the skin side down first, and leave it alone. The skin might stick at first but should release within minutes.

To get rid of the odour after cooking fish, boil a little vinegar on the stove to absorb the smell. Add cinnamon or essential oils to the pot if desired.

To reduce the smell of fish while cooking, soak it in milk for 20 minutes before cooking. Wrap the fish in parchment paper while cooking: only use parchment paper if cooking temperature does not exceed 400 degrees. When reheating, cover the fish pan with aluminum foil.

For safety reasons, avoid refreezing fish that was already thawed.

While cleaning your fish tank or bowl, only remove 50 percent of the water. Use the water removed to water your plants, the nitrates are great for plants.

If you use vinegar to clean your fishbowl, make sure that the bowl is well rinsed before re-adding the fish. If you live in a city, consider using distilled water, instead of tap water to avoid adding chemicals that may hurt the fish.

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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