Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: A Question of Mold


By Reena Nerbas

Mold in Guest House

Dear Reena,

I own an insulated, waterproof, free standing building and use it as a guest room. It has an electric fireplace and an air conditioner. We did not use it this year, and recently I noticed green mold on everything even metal items. Last fall I put a wicker table and chair set in there for storage. How do I clean this and will I spread the mold if I move items to another storage shed. Please help; I have a big problem on my hands. Pat

Dear Pat,

You are not alone; this year many people shared stories of mold growth in areas that are ordinarily quite dry. Also, if the heater was not used and a dehumidifier was not functioning, moisture in the air would claim the perfect environment to build-up and cause a mess. In order to clean mold from wicker furniture, metal and walls; make a solution of 2 tbsp. household ammonia and one gallon of water. Wear a mask and gloves to scrub all areas. Rinse with water. Following a thorough cleaning of all items, mold should stay away, as long as the storage area is dry.

Moldy Cheese

Dear Reena,

If a piece of cheese has mold growing on it, should I toss it in the garbage? Can you please tell me if cheese is made out of mold? Thanks, Jordan

Dear Jordan,

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta cheese, with mold should be discarded. The same goes for any kind of cheese that’s shredded, crumbled or sliced. However, mold generally can’t penetrate far into hard and semisoft cheeses, such as cheddar, Colby, Parmesan and Swiss. So you can cut away the moldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. Cut off at least 1 inch around the moldy spot. Be sure to keep the knife out of the mold, so it doesn’t contaminate other parts of the cheese.

Not all molds pose a risk. In fact, some types of mold are used to make cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert. These molds are safe to eat.

If you’re not sure what type of cheese you have or what to do if it grows mold, the safe course is to discard it.”

In general, cheese is not made from mold and just like yogurt; starter cultures or good bacteria are added to start the cheese making process.

Did you know?

  • Certain cheese varieties are aged in a climate control room for 10 years or more!
  • It takes approximately ten pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese.
  • Cheese is rich in calcium and puts healthy minerals back in your teeth.

Feedback from Smart Reader

Dear Reena,

In response to a recent question posed to you about a sticky telephone keypad, here’s a solution that has worked for me for many years. On modern cordless phones (and TV remotes) the keypad is usually one continuous piece of silicon rubber. Some have small breather holes in them, while others are solid. One of life’s great mysteries is how oil from your skin tends to get behind the rubber pad and spoil the contact between the pad and the circuit board behind the pad, (spills, like coffee and pop will also cause problems). If you have small tools, take your phone silicone off (or remote) and wash the keypad in warm soapy water, rinse, blot, and dry with a hair drier. Also, using a Q-tip dampened with warm soapy water, clean the surface of the circuit board very gently, and wipe and dry with a lint free cloth. Reassemble, and enjoy. Of course, if your handset or remote is still under warranty, replacement might be your first option. Sincerely, Dave

Best Tip of the Week

  • Freshen your mattress every few months. Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over the entire mattress. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil i.e. orange or rose. Leave for a few hours. Slowly vacuum the mattress.

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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