Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Doors and Tea Bags


By Reena Nerbas

Paint for Front Door

Dear Reena,

I am in need of repainting my exterior front door. Before painting, I must choose paint but I don’t know if the paint currently on the door is latex or oil. Do you know how I can figure that out? Aron

Dear Aron,

Using a cotton ball, wipe a small section of the door with rubbing alcohol. If color is removed, the paint is likely water based. To paint over latex; lightly sand the door to promote good adhesion and paint with a coat of primer before applying two or more coats of good quality paint. If the door is currently oil based; completely sand the door well before applying primer and good quality paint. Choosing cheap quality paint often ends up costing you more because you need more coats for good coverage, not worth the headache in my opinion.

Tea Bags

Dear Reena,

How many times can I use a tea bag before it is garbage? Thanks. Darren

Dear Darren,

It depends on the tea and the strength that you desire, in my opinion tea only tastes good with one tea bag use. But others suggest that white and/or green tea bags can be used 3 to 4 times. Some people agree that a black tea bag may be re-used all day, but should be tossed at the end of the day so that bacteria does not grow on the bag. Others argue that the bag can be used the next day as well, as long as the bag sits in water in the fridge overnight.

Feedback from Readers Who Care:

Re: Lubricating Doors

Dear Reena,

Your column suggested using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) for lubricating door hinges as being better than sprays like WD-40. I’ve never tried either since we use the best thing and that is; a solid stick lubricant. It does not wash off easily, does not attract dust (is not sticky like petroleum jelly), does not stain if you get it on clothes, does not dry out, safe if pets lick it, never needs reapplying if used thoroughly in the first place, prevents moisture from entering.

Great for use on car lock mechanisms, door hinges of all kinds, drawer slides, filing cabinet slides, kitchen cabinet type hinges, squeaky floor joints (if you can get it in there) and zippers. Available at home hardware stores or on-line.

Additional tip: To prevent the rubber seals of your vehicle doors/trunk from becoming frozen shut in the winter, especially after washing, condition them with mineral oil (baby oil) or a silicone dielectric grease before winter rolls around. Clean door seal with soap and water. Let dry for a day or so. Apply mineral oil onto a wet rag, then apply liberally and thoroughly to seals and let soak in (don’t close door). If possible leave door open overnight if safe to do so (park in garage). If you’ve applied too much, such that the seal is still wet to the touch, wipe off any excess. To prolong life and keep them like new, do this in fall just before it gets cold, then in spring and mid-summer. Submitted Anonymously

Re: Cigarette Smell in Home

As a tradesman who gets into many homes, I find the most obvious places for cigarette smoke to accumulate are: In the air ducts, they need to be thoroughly vacuumed and brushed. Ceiling tiles that are removable, that is the quickest place for kids to hide cigarette butts when they hear Mom coming. Submitted By: John

tea bagA Cup of Hot Tips

  • Rub a damp tea bag onto mirrors to remove fingerprints.
  • Reduce puffy, swollen eyes. Freeze wet tea bags for 5 mins. Place cold tea bags on closed eyes.
  • Rub your hands with a wet tea bag to get rid of odors caused by handling 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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