Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Rust Stains on Countertop

By Reena Nerbas

Rust Stain on Vanity Top

Hello Reena,

We recently had new sink faucets installed. The previous taps, unbeknownst to us, had corroded and left a very pronounced rust stain on the faux marble countertop. The new faucet base, unfortunately, doesn’t cover this mark. The light beige vanity top is 30 years old. I have tried lemon juice, but no results. I have tried undiluted bleach (a soaked thickness of paper towels applied to just the stained area). I have left this on for a week, keeping it wet at all times. There has been very little fading. Do you have any advice for me? The stain is a good size and is very noticeable. Help and many thanks, Lesley

Dear Lesley,

To remove stains from cultured marble countertop, the best solution that I have found is to sand the stain with wet medium grit sandpaper. The stain should be gone in seconds (test on an inconspicuous area first).

Storing Cheese

Dear Reena,

I noticed that my local grocery store leaves blocks of cheese on the counter beside the cash register. Can I store my Superstore No-Name marble cheese block at room temperature? Thanks, Martin

Dear Martin,

No-Name Superstore blocks of cheese require refrigeration. Some high quality cheeses left in the original package and not exposed to air can be kept in the fridge indefinitely. However, cheese changes after opening and may be stored in the fridge for up to two months. Another storage option is to cut cheese into manageable pieces and freeze individual blocks in sealable bags. Thaw and use as normal. The disadvantage to freezing cheese is that it becomes crumbly and more difficult to slice. To overcome this challenge, slice cheese before freezing. Put a piece of wax paper between slices, bag and freeze.

Moist Baked Potatoes

Dear Reena,

I peeled too many potatoes and want to bake them. I am worried that since they are a few days old, they will taste dry if I bake them. Should I just throw them out? Zenith

Dear Zenith,

Even though the potatoes have lost their peel, they haven’t lost their appeal. Spray them with Pam or simply massage with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake as usual.  This leaves them moist and good tasting, and prevents waste.

Cleaning CD Player

Dear Reena,

I recently pulled my old CD player out of storage and found the rubberized non-slip coating has become soft and sticky, what can I do to restore it? Thank you, Raymond

Dear Raymond,

Using old rags and cotton swabs, wipe sticky areas with 99% pure Isopropyl alcohol. The treated spots may appear greyish but the sticky surface should be a distant memory.

Shoes Sharing Suitcase

Dear Reena,

I travel a lot with my job and pack shoes and clothes together in my suitcase on a weekly bases. Do you have any ideas as to how to prevent my clothing from becoming soiled from my dirty shoes? Thanks. Peter

Dear Peter,

Either put your shoes in a drawstring bag to keep them separate from clothing. Or put each shoe inside an old sock for travelling. When you return home, remove the shoes from the socks and leave the socks inside the suitcase for the next trip.

Smart Tips of the Week!

·        Put a dry tea bag inside smelly shoes to absorb odors. Submitted By: Lesley

·        Fit two bowls inside a microwave at the same time. Place one bowl on the microwave surface and place the other bowl on top of a mug. Submitted By: Lesley

·        To prevent dust build-up on a television screen, gently wipe with a fabric softener sheet. Submitted By: Michaela

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Corporate Presenter on the topic: Harness the Power of Words? Check out my website reena.ca.

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