Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Perfect Rice


By Reena Nerbas


Dear Reena,

How do you remove foil that is stuck to an oven bottom? Priti

Dear Priti,

While the following isn’t an instant solution; it is effective at removing foil without damaging the porcelain finish of your oven. In a cool oven, lay a hot, wet rag on the oven floor, leave for 20-30 mins. Use a little liquid dish soap to lubricate the area and scrape the foil with a plastic scrub pad, plastic scraper, or a credit card. The foil will eventually burn off over time.

Extra Tips: On the subject of using a credit card to help with messes; here are a few other solutions for old credit cards. Use them to smooth caulk or grout, makes a good straight edge for measuring or drawing lines, use it to scrape an aquarium without scratching the glass, good foot scratcher.

Cleaning Vinyl Tablecloths

Dear Reena,

Do you have any tips for cleaning flocked vinyl tablecloths stained with coffee and other food stains? Mary

Dear Mary,

Begin by checking whether the tablecloth is machine washable as many vinyl fabrics may be tossed into the washer and then air dried. Other options for cleaning: Scrub stains with non-bleach, non-gel toothpaste and a green scrubby pad or clean with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub stains. Hand wash in the bathtub with heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Wooden Table Has Lost Shine

Dear Reena,

I have an old wooden table that has lost its shine. What are the steps that I can take to bring back the brilliant luster? Thanks, Bernard

Dear Bernard,

Wood is wonderful because it often has a second life to it, but we need to get to the next layer to make it shine. Clean the surface of the table with water and vinegar. Next polish the furniture with a soft buffing cloth and your choice of oil: Olive oil, English Oil, Danish Oil or Minwax Wipe-On Poly.

Feedback from Caring Reader 

Re: Water stain on dining room table

Dear Reena,

While I won’t discount the mayonnaise solution you offered (I have had no experience with it). I’d like to suggest that one of the commonest causes of this is a shellac finish, rather than a varnish or wax one, on the furniture. Shellac, while it provides a lustrous sheen, is water-permeable, hence the use of coasters on the furniture. Fortunately, the solution here is both quick and easy; rub the area affected with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. This will lift the water out, and erase the ring like magic. Of course, if that does not answer, then others, like the one you suggested, should be tried. The good side is; if it does not succeed, it does the finish no harm. I grew up with a house full of Ontario walnut furniture, back in the fifties. A family with three boys in residence, we learned how to do a lot of fixing. John

Best Tips for Perfect Rice

·        Always rinse rice before cooking to remove excess starch.

·        Next put rice into a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 15 mins.

·        Drain rice.

·        Add rice to boiling water and add a few drops of lemon juice or cooking oil and a pinch of salt.

·         Mix gently. Boil for 10 mins. (may vary depending on stove temperature). Strain and eat.

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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