Renovation & Design

Use steel wool to restore that worn-out wok

Question: I read that one could restore a wok, but I cannot find the information. Although I have never used any sharp utensils on the wok, the centre is black and the food sticks. Any suggestions? Many thanks, Aurise

Answer: It sounds like your wok needs re-seasoning and a really good cleaning. For a metal, non-coated wok, scrub with an S.O.S steel wool pad and dish soap. Always dry your wok thoroughly. Oil the wok with a soft cloth and a coating of cooking oil. Heat the wok to burn the oil off. This should work well whether the wok is an element or electric wok. Be cautious not to burn yourself. The results are amazing. Some people also use Bar Keepers Friend or oven cleaner — ventilate as much as possible. If using oven cleaner, wait for three hours before cleaning the wok with a scrubby pad and make sure to wear a mask and gloves. Rinse well with water. If using Bar Keepers Friend, leave it for 20 minutes before scrubbing the stains and grease. Season the wok with cooking oil.

Manitobans share great ideas!

Get better-smelling feet. Sprinkle baking soda directly into your boots, sneakers or shoes. As you know, baking soda absorbs odours, so why not? Or soak your feet in tea each day to cut down on odours. — Josh

If you eat food that is too spicy to handle, don’t reach for a glass of water, the best solution is to drink milk. — Suena

Test for rotten eggs. Put an egg in a cup of salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, if it floats it’s bad. — Len

Newspapers lining the vegetable compartments of a refrigerator will absorb moisture and keep veggies crisp, longer. — Beatrice

Use a lightweight pot for boiling pasta, add salt and oil. Water will come to its initial boil faster and will return to boil faster, too, saving time and preventing the pasta from clumping at the bottom of the pot. — Beatrice

Save clean carrot scrapings, celery leaves, outer onion layers and vegetable peels. Freeze them in a sealable bag or plastic container. When you have a soup bone or chicken carcass, throw everything in a pot to make lovely homemade soup stock. — Beatrice

To unstick a jar, a rubber glove or bottle gripper will give you the power you need to open the stickier ones. However, these are not always available, so carefully wind a rubber band snugly around the lid and twist. — Herman

When pills develop on clothing, use a rough piece of steel wool, run it over the material and the pills disappear. — Sandy

Hang all of the framed pictures sitting in your basement. The cheapest and best material with which to hang pictures is copper wire, of a size proportioned to the weight of the pictures. The wire is hardly noticeable, yet strong and durable. — Carpenter Joe

Get rid of ants. Wash a large natural sponge, press it dry. Into the cells, sprinkle white sugar, and place it near where the ants are troublesome. The ants will soon collect upon the sponge and take up their abode in each cell. It is then necessary to dip the sponge in boiling water. The sponge may be set over and over again. — Rebecca

Make your own furniture polish. Mix two teaspoons of lemon oil and one cup of mineral oil in a spray bottle. — Cheryl

Clean all of the baseball caps in the house. Set them in the dishwasher on the top rack, along with the dishes. When finished, reshape the bill, and put over a pan to air dry. — Amy


Re: Car Freshener

Dear Reena, Your column mentioned using scents to mask the smell of smoke in a car. Changing the cabin air filter may be a permanent fix, instead of masking the smell. We bought a used car apparently owned by a heavy smoker. Changing these filters solved the problem for us permanently for the years that we owned the vehicle.

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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