Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Sharpening the Frost Scraper

By Reena Nerbas

Leftover Lemon

Dear Reena,

Often a recipe calls for a half teaspoon of lemon zest. The rest of the lemon goes into the garbage. If I was to zest the whole lemon and juice, can lemon zest and lemon juice be frozen? What is the best way to do that?

Hi Mary,

You never need to throw fresh lemon into the garbage. Either grate the entire lemon rind (excluding the stem) and place the zest into a sealable container and freeze (the juice also freezes well). Or zest as much as you require and put the remainder of the whole washed lemon into a sealable freezer bag. Close the seal and place the bag with the lemon, inside the freezer. Whenever you require zest, take the lemon out and use your grater to zest as much as you need of the frozen lemon. Place the remainder back inside the bag and into the freezer for next time.

Gritty Residue in Washer

Hi Reena,

Lately I have noticed a small amount of sandy grit-like matter in the bottom of my laundry tub after removing my clothes. Some of this grit clings to my wet clothes, and is evident on the dark loads. I can rub one of these small particles between my finger and thumb, and it crumbles easily. I have a top loading machine, which is 14 years old. I usually wash in warm water and rinse in cold. Any suggestions where this gritty material might be coming from? I have already washed down the inside of the tub by hand, but didn’t find any soap film residue. Sincerely, Joanne

Hi Joanne,

It is always a good idea to periodically wash out the tub of the washing machine with one or two cups of vinegar. However, when this occurred in our home, it was because our water well was on the brink of collapsing. This may be a serious issue in need of attention and the knowledge a professional plumber. If you own a tank water heater, place a bucket underneath the flush valve at the bottom of the tank. It is a good idea to periodically flush the sediment from the water heater. If you do not have one already, you might want to consider installing a sand filter.

Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances

Dear Reena,

I have a large stainless steel fridge and freezer and the cleaners I have tried don’t seem to be working very well. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Marnie

Dear Marnie,

Here is an easy cleaner that you can make at home. Into a squeeze bottle pour; 50/50 olive or baby oil and rubbing alcohol. Squeeze contents onto a soft cloth and wipe the stainless steel surface. Polish with a dry, soft cloth (test on an inconspicuous area first).

Feedback from Reader Who Cares

Update Re: Rust stains on a faux marble sink counter-top

Hi Reena,

The sandpaper that you recommended worked very well to remove the rust stain from my faux marble counter. It took about a half hour of elbow grease. I’d say about 98% of the rust stain was removed. The good news is that it did not harm the finish in any way – still feels smooth. Thank you so much. I would never have thought of using that. Lesley

Smart Tips of the Week!

·        Try clear mascara for those unruly eyebrows.  Works like a charm and so easy. Submitted By: Carol

·        We’ve all done it: we get up in the morning to that first hard frost of the fall, and have to dig last year’s plastic frost scraper out of the trunk, or from under the seat. And, the problem is, it’s dull and won’t even scratch the hard frost on your windshield. No, don’t dig out your credit card as a back-up (we’ve all done that, too!). Take your frost scraper into the house, and find a long flat emery board (nail file) and place it flat (rough side up) on the countertop. Hold your dull frost scraper blade at about a 45 degree angle, and rub it back and forth lengthwise on the emery board. Four or five strokes should do it, check with your finger for sharpness. Don’t try to sharpen it by running a sharp knife again the scraper blade – this will give you an uneven surface and make a bad scraper even worse. I’ve rejuvenated many dull frost scrapers this way, even made a few last the rest of winter. Submitted By: Dave

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