Solutions & Substitutions Column by Reena: Frozen Blueberries

By Reena Nerbas

Mold Stains on Laundry

Dear Reena,

My son started washing his own laundry at home. He insists on using cold water to wash everything because he says that hot water fades colors. I noticed that when he pulls some of his t-shirts out of the dryer, they have mold stains all over them. Is this because he does not use hot water (I never have this problem)? ~ Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,

First of all, good for your son that he is putting time and effort into learning the art of laundry care. After all, with the amount of money that many people spend on clothes, it stands to reason that we want them to last! Cold water is a smart choice when it comes to water and energy conservation. It is also important to note that water temperature 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) or hotter is best for getting fabrics clean. It sounds as though you hit the nail on the head, in order to get rid of mold on his t-shirt, he requires hot water. He may also want to experiment with detergents specifically designed for cold water washing.
In order to avoid faded colors in fabrics, simply avoid the use of the dryer because the heat of the dryer will fade colors quickly. To prevent mold growth, clothes must dry quickly. Hang clothes outside or lay them flat to dry, and iron them when damp or dry.

Rusty Flatware

Dear Reena,

Do you have a solution for stainless steel flatware coming out of the dishwasher with what appears to be rust marks and stains? Brand new stainless sets come out of the dishwasher with these stains and they look horrible. In speaking with the manufacturer, they suggest insuring that we wash the entire cutlery batch free of deposits. Why bother using the dishwasher then? We have older sets of cutlery that are more than 20 years old and this problem doesn’t happen to them. Has the quality of stainless cutlery gone down or is the dishwasher responsible? Any advice would be appreciated. ~ Ernie

Dear Ernie,

It sounds as though you have purchased inferior, imported steel cutlery, because typical acceptable stainless steel flatware has a composition of 18% chromium and 10% nickel, and true stainless steel should not rust easily. This will likely continue as an ongoing challenge, you can switch detergents from liquid to powder or powder to liquid and add rinse agent to the dishwasher. And you may be inclined to soak cutlery in white vinegar after taking it out of the dishwasher and then polishing each piece so that it always looks clean. Avoid detergents that contain citrus as this can add to the rust. Your best bet, like you suggested is to forget the dishwasher all together for this particular cutlery.

Fabulous Tips from Readers:

Dear Reena,

I thought I would share my “tip” for dealing with bathroom mold. I have a tiled shower, and the grout was constantly growing unsightly mold. I grew tired of the constant cleaning, and my solution involves about 90 seconds of work performed after each shower: I keep a separate towel to wipe down the tile, and I haven’t had a mold problem in years! ~ Dana

Hey Reena,

Just wanted to share with you something that I discovered; I was at a party and looking great, when all of a sudden I realized that the back of my earring had disappeared! I quickly pulled a pencil out of my purse and broke off the eraser on the end. I then used the broken eraser as a stopper for my earring and it worked perfectly!
~ Linda
Frozen Blueberry Tips:

• When it comes to using frozen blueberries in a recipe, do not allow them to thaw first. Adding them while frozen will preserve the texture and prevent them from bleeding into the other ingredients and changing the color of your baking. Note: If the skin is not broken, a blueberry will not bleed color.

• Before adding frozen blueberries to your pie crust, sprinkle the crust with 3 tbsp. cornstarch right before adding the berries. Doing this extra step absorbs liquid and prevents a soggy crust.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my website