Reena Nerbas: Brushes best to clean seal on garbage unit

Dear Reena: What can I use to clean the non-removable rubber seal on my garbage disposal?

Allie

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The best tools that I am aware of for tackling this job are either a narrow toilet brush or a bottle brush. The bristles won’t damage the seal, and either brush is perfect for scrubbing away old food particles.

Dear Reena: We have a puzzling winter/spring invasion of a few ants at a time in our upstairs bedroom. We cannot figure out where they’re coming from. We have never had ants before in our two-storey condo. Why only in one bedroom? We find them in our overnight drinks.

Could they be coming through the vents from the basement? We have not seen any ants in the basement. How do we get rid of them?

Brenda

Yes, ants might be coming up through the vents. My first response would be to caulk all of the windows and doors. When we had ladybugs in the house, they disappeared after we resealed the windows.

Place bowls of 1/4 cup borax and one cup icing sugar near your bedroom vents (keep borax away from children and pets). Seal vents using aluminum tape. Vacuum often. If you spray the inside of the vents with a commercial ant killer, it will kill some of the ants, but the remainder might form a new colony.

Dear Reena: Can I use Iron Out in my washing machine to get rid of the musty, mouldy odour? I have tried everything.

Betty

You can try using Iron Out according to the directions on the bottle. However, the smell might be the result of something else — the underside of the seal not being clean, perhaps the hoses need cleaning, or the filter needs cleaning. Also, it is important to leave the washing machine door open whenever it is not in use to allow the basin to dry without trapping moisture.

Dear Reena: What is the easiest way to remove corn from the cob? And what is an easy way to butter corn cobs?

Bianca

Stand the corn on the cob in the hole of a Bundt pan. Hold the cob steady and make long downward strokes on the cob with a sharp knife, separating the kernels from the cob. If you are worried about scratching your Bundt pan, drape a paper towel inside the pan to protect the pan.

To smear butter on the cob with ease, spread butter on a piece of bread and wipe the cob with the bread. Or melt butter in a bowl and use a pastry brush to “paint” the cob. Or melt butter in a pot and lay cobs in the butter to coat them.

Readers’ hints

• I use makeup pads that come in a plastic sleeve. When reaching the centre of these sleeves, I was having difficulty grabbing the pad, so I came up with a solution. I push the pads toward the top of the sleeve/tube, twist it, then tie it with a twist tie. Now the pads are once again at the top of the sleeve/tube and easy to get at. Anne Marie

• Next time you make fajitas, add cooked pork, peppers, onions and seasoning to your baking pan. Next, cook powdered onion soup and water on the stove. Thicken soup with cornstarch (the way that you would gravy). Add this to the fajita pan for great flavour and texture. Bake to heat. Mary

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. Ask a question or share a tip at reena.ca

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