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Coffee in a sock trumps odour of mouldy bread

Dear Reena: I hope that you can help. A loaf of bread was left in our bread cupboard and became very mouldy. I have not been able to get rid of the smell and cannot use the cupboard now because of this.

Dear Reena: I hope that you can help. A loaf of bread was left in our bread cupboard and became very mouldy. I have not been able to get rid of the smell and cannot use the cupboard now because of this.

Do you have any ideas that could help get rid of it?

Barb

Dear Barb: Begin by washing the cupboard out with Murphy's Oil Soap. Next make your very own "coffee in a sock" air freshener.

Take a clean sock and place it inside of a cup. Fold the sock opening to the outside of the cup to form a vessel.

Pour fresh coffee grounds into the sock. Close the sock with a rubber band. Store the sock inside of the cupboard. Coffee is a wonderful odour absorber!

Dear Reena: I am having a problem removing rust stains from a white T-shirt. They appeared after washing so I am assuming the stains came from the washer tub. Can anything be done?

Donna

Dear Donna: Before tackling your fabrics, find out what is causing rust on your clothing. Check the machine or your water pipes or your bleach dispenser to see if any rust is gathering. Are there any leaks in the washing machine?

Read your troubleshooting guide in your manufacturer's manual. If you determine where the rust is coming from and solve the problem, your laundry will be a lot more fun to handle.

If you want to clean your machine and remove rust build-up, consider using a product called "Iron Out," available at hardware stores. Use it according to directions and ventilate.

This removes rust in washing machines, as well as dishwashers.

For fabrics: Your best bet is to pour either lemon juice or three per cent hydrogen peroxide onto the area. Sprinkle the stain with cream of tartar. Leave the white shirt in the sun for a day and wash. Sunlight is a wonderful mild bleaching agent and so is hydrogen peroxide. However, be sure to test on an inconspicuous area first.

Repeat until the stain is gone. If the stain remains you can use Rit dye remover to zap rust stains. Again, be sure to ventilate.

Dear Reena: We have a seven-by 10-foot living room wool rug that is approximately five years old. Last summer we had the rug dry cleaned, but in the fall we noticed a few tiny moths on the rug.

We have never had moths in our house.

When we questioned the drycleaner, we were advised they never had any sort of problem with moths.

We vacuumed the rug thoroughly, and a patch, approximately two or three inches in circumference, developed in the rug. We put the rug in the garage during winter to kill any moths, etc. We thought we had them licked. However, a few tiny moths reappeared along with larva.

As far as the rug goes, we feel it's toast for the living room. However, is there anything we can do to salvage it, and use it elsewhere in the house? Can we somehow treat the rug to get rid of these little critters?

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Maureen

Dear Maureen: Begin by sprinkling the rug with Borax or boric acid or crushed bay leaves. Do this only if you don't have pets or small children as these are poisonous. Leave for a day and vacuum (often) with an industrial-strength vacuum, being sure to change the vacuum bag. If moths continue to be a problem, call in a professional fumigator.

Dear Reena: When the wind blows a certain way, my wood stove stinks. I am not talking about while I am using it; I am speaking about months after we have stopped using it. Why does it stink?

Emily

Dear Emily: Like everything else in our homes, maintenance is required for greatest and safest results.

Take some time to clean out your stove. Remove ashes and dispose of them into a metal container with a lid.

Never place ashes in with your regular garbage. It is important to keep your wood stove free of creosote to prevent chimney fires.

Have your chimney cleaned twice a year.

READER FEEDBACK

Dear Reena: In terms of what can be done with used plastic grocery bags, I thought I would let you know that you can recycle plastic grocery bags at Safeway stores. There is a much-too-small green bin in the entrance of the store where they store the carts.

It is usually full, so it can be a struggle to jam bags in.

Linda

READER TIPS

- Spread peat moss over newly planted grass seed as opposed to covering the seed with straw. Peat moss absorbs and holds water similar to straw, but has the benefit of disappearing quickly into the soil after the grass begins growing. It also helps aerate the soil and gives the grass a better environment to begin its growth cycle.

- Coconut fibre is now being harvested as a good substitute for peat moss. It carries many of the same qualities as peat moss but is apparently more environmentally friendly. Coconut fibre is sourced from the husk fibres of coconuts and is a good use for what is often looked at as a waste product.

- To keep shelves and crispers in your refrigerator from looking dirty; lay rubberized shelf liners (available at dollar stores) on each shelf. Glass shelves will not look as crumby.

When you want to clean the fridge, just soak the liners in soapy water and wipe shelves.

SPUD-TACULAR DISCOVERY

My daughter was recently married and after the reception, we were left with piles of baked potatoes. I spent a few hours cutting the potatoes into slices, which I froze on a baking sheet and put them into sealable bags. What a blessing it is to be able to take potatoes out of the freezer and add them to hashbrown casserole and soups.

Bernice

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