Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Drywall Dust


By Reena Nerbas

Cake Mistake

Dear Reena,

I made a chocolate rolled cake that cracked when I unrolled it to add the filling. Is there a way to prevent the cake from falling apart? Thanks, Danielle

Dear Danielle,

Here are a few tips: Avoid overbaking the cake. Roll the cake with parchment paper (or a tea towel sprinkled with icing sugar) immediately after removing it from the oven. If the cake cools, the chance of cracks increases. Cool the cake in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Gently unroll the cake and add filling. If the cake happens to crack, cover with icing, whipped cream, toasted almonds or icing sugar.

Drywall Dust

Dear Reena,

When we moved into our house, there had been a lot of renovation work done and unfortunately the individuals who did those renovations failed to properly cover vents and flooring, meaning drywall dust was caked on all the new laminate floors, some of the cupboards and the closets. It’s nasty stuff and it is everywhere! We’ve tried cleaning it off the kitchen floors but nothing seems to cut through it – we still have a dim look to the flooring and it still feels grimy. Any suggestions? As well, do you have any tips on how to keep the floor from marking as soon as we step on it? We can see our footprints, water droplets, anything that touches the flooring, in nice little patterns all over my kitchen. Thanks so much! Alicia

Dear Alicia,

Make a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water. Add a few drops of dish soap (or cheap shampoo) to the mix. Wash the floors with a good quality micro fiber mop and dry with a towel. The walls can be washed in the same way. This recipe is wonderful but there are also commercial laminate cleaners that can be purchased from home hardware stores. Keep in mind that some types of laminate flooring mark a lot easier than others. Depending on the texture, finish, color of laminate and the direction of the boards, there may be nothing that you can do to remove water drop stains other than clean them each time they occur.

Cleaning Chandeliers

Dear Reena,

Do you have an effective way to spray clean chandeliers without using commercial preparations? Thanks, Izzy

Dear Izzy,

Here is a solution to clean a chandelier without scrubbing or polishing each piece. Begin by covering the floor with newspaper or hang an open umbrella under the chandelier. Into an empty spray bottle combine: 1 tsp. (5 mL) rubbing alcohol, 4 cups (1 L) hot water and 2 tbsp. (30 mL) dishwasher anti-spot agent i.e. Jet Dry. While the chandelier is off; spray the unit and let the liquid drip dry onto the umbrella or newspaper. Recycle newspaper or rinse umbrella in the bathtub.

Feedback from Smart Readers

Re: Coating of aphid excrement on vehicle

I found that magic eraser worked well without damaging the finish. I carry one to the car wash as it’s better than the sud broom there. Shauna

Re: Fruit flies

Canadian Tire puts out a product called TARRO, which is a small round fruit fly trap, the size of a small peach. It comes with a non-toxic liquid which you add to it. The fruit flies are immediately drawn to it. It’s see through and only $7.99. Sure works for me without any hassle! Marge

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Here is a recipe for powerful homemade dishwasher detergent and boy does it save me money! Into a clean and dry bucket combine: 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, half cup table salt and 5 packages Kool-Aid (any flavor). Use 1-2 tbsp. per load. Close bucket lid after each use. Submitted By: Katherine

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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