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Dear Reena,

My husband decided to put a really hot cardboard pizza box on my brand new solid wood table. I removed the thin tablecloth off of the table to shake out the crumbs and found a white square imprint. After trying to figure out what it was and using some Pledge with natural orange oil, I soon remembered the wonderful pizza we had a few days prior and figured out that this is a heat spot on my table. Help! Is there anything I can do to fix this? Sincerely, Christine

Dear Christine,

Place a tea towel onto the area and press with a warm iron over the pizza box spot. The warmth of the iron should draw out the mark.

Dear Reena,

I have the most embarrassing situation; my kids came home from school with lice! I feel like a terrible housewife and mother and now I am taking on the dubious task of getting rid of it. If I freeze all of the clothes and pillows and teddy bears will that kill all of the lice? Signed, Elaine

Dear Elaine,

First of all rest assured, it is a myth that lice only attach to dirty areas. They can make their homes on very clean heads. Although lice are a pain, there are much worse challenges in life. However, be prepared for an in-depth cleaning of your house. Vacuum everything and when you are finished, discard the vacuum bag outside of your home. Be sure to vacuum mattresses, vents, and all crevices in furniture, as well as your vehicles. You can purchase sprays to kill lice but they are expensive and carry a strong odour. Sprays do come in handy for non-washable textiles.

Myth No. 2, freezing kills lice. When you put lice outside, they go into a hibernating state and wake up when they are back at room temperature. Therefore, instead of carrying items outside, place teddy bears, jackets, blankets etc. into large plastic bags, close tightly and leave at room temperature for two weeks. Wash everything that can be washed in your washing machine each day until the problem is gone. Throw pillows and blankets into the dryer daily; the heat of the dryer kills lice.

Use lice shampoo according to directions and on all members living in the house, not just the kids. Check with your physician about shampooing babies. By shampooing everyone, you will save yourself a lot of headache for future outbreaks. Check all heads every day for two weeks near a window or under fluorescent lights.

Put all hair utensils in the dishwasher every day. Wash all tuques, scarves, mitts, area rugs, towels. Do not reuse towels and do not hang towels beside other towels.

Soon this problem will be gone. Neem shampoo is a great deterrent of lice. Hairspray in the hair, length of hair and cleanliness of hair do not make a difference. However, for young boys if you shave their head, lice are easier to see. Lice are non-transferable to pets.

Hello Reena,

I have a tall, clear, single-stem glass vase and I have been unable to remove etched cloudy water marks on the inside. I have tried everything from baking soda, salt, vinegar, denture tablets, with no success. Any ideas? Eunice

Dear Eunice,

When you used vinegar, did you heat the vinegar first? Soaking the vase with hot vinegar and then gently rubbing the surface with fine 000 sandpaper is a good solution for slightly etched glass. You can also soak the vase in hot water and citric acid (available at your local pharmacy, you may need to order it in). If the etching remains, the condition is permanent. Also see tip below.

Fabulous tips of the week:

  • Hi Reena,

I thought I would take a minute and send you a tip that my daughter learned while working in the restaurant business. If you want to “refresh” seldom-used glassware or crystal which has developed a slight film while sitting in the cupboard, but is not dirty, just hold the piece over the mouth of a steaming kettle, and polish quickly and easily with a paper coffee filter. Your glassware will sparkle again! Love your column, Reena! Frances

  •   When I was newly married and preparing to decorate cakes, I often beat whipping cream too long and noticed that after a while it turned into a lumpy mess. Not knowing that I had made butter I threw out the mess and started again. After a few years I learned that overwhipping the cream transforms it into a delicious bowl of homemade butter. Now when I have guests over I love to serve homemade butter. For anyone with the same desire, here’s how to make butter from scratch: Purchase whipping cream and add a pinch of salt so that it tastes less bland. Pour the cream into your food processor and let it run for a while until it thickens. It will then break into liquid buttermilk and butter. From here, you are able to separate the butter from the milk and use the fresh butter to spread. Reena
  • Make fancy butter shapes just like restaurants! Using soft butter, fill up chocolate moulds or silicone moulds. Make sure that the top is smooth and even. Place butter into the freezer for one hour. Pop butter out of the mould and store in fridge until guests arrive. Serve on a silver platter. Flower shapes such as roses are very popular.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Interested in grocery coupons? Check out my brand new blog/website: reena.ca.

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