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Dear Reena,

Is there a way to remove perfume from clothing? My pedicurist doused my legs with fragrant oil and I am allergic to perfume. It won’t happen again, but in the meantime just washing my cords has not removed the odour. Flora

Dear Flora,

Soak your pants in either white vinegar (the smell of vinegar will evaporate), or washing soda and water or borax and water. Leave for 30 minutes and wash as usual. Make sure that you pour the entire contents of whichever product you choose into the washing machine. Doing so will not only freshen fabrics but will also clean out the hoses in your washing machine.

Dear Reena,

Please tell me what you mean by “HE” detergents for front-end-loader washing machines.Thank you. Glyn

Dear Glyn,

HE stands for high-efficiency detergent which is specially made for front-end-loading washing machines. HE detergent produces fewer suds and makes good use of water inside the machine. HE detergent is not suited for older washing machines and may become a problem over time. Since HE detergent produces less sudsing, excess detergent residue is less likely to remain in fabrics from one cycle to the next. Typically, HE detergents do not cost more than normal detergents and they are becoming readily available.

Using proper HE detergent for your high-efficiency, low-water washer will enable your laundry appliance to perform as it should.

Hi Reena,

We were away from home for 10 days and left a sick koi fish in its own five-gallon water container, inside a very large, brand new, fully insulated shed, size 24×10 feet with a high ceiling. Anyhow, while we were gone the fish died, the water turned to a thick, black consistency and the fish must have been floating for several days and left a sickening smell inside the shed. We have left the shed door open on either side to allow the air to pass through. When the doors are not open we have a ceiling fan that runs all the time. The smell has let up just a little but it still stinks like rotten fish. We would really appreciate any suggestions you may have. My husband thinks we should just spray “Febreze” in there but I don’t really think that will do the trick. We are hoping you have a great idea as to what we should do. Thank you kindly. Susan

Dear Susan,

You may want to consider renting an ozone machine. This little machine is not recommended for regular use but it is great for enclosed areas that have had smoke or flood damage. The machine lets out a molecule called O3 (which of course is oxygen with an extra molecule attached). The third molecule escapes into the air and absorbs all odours. These machines can be rented at tool rental retailers as well as some hardware stores.

If the machine is not an option for you, the best idea is to overpower your home with another smell but something not damaging to your health. If I were you, I would visit a gift shop or candle shop and purchase a bunch of soy candles. I have a few soy candles that carry a nice, long-lasting scent without even being lit. If you choose a soy-based candle, make sure that you put it into a votive because as it melts it needs to be contained. Put several of these around the room and soon your shed will smell nice once again.

Hi Reena,

I purchased new burgundy towels and have washed them four times but they continue to shed fluff. My bathroom is cream so you can imagine after every shower the fluff is everywhere. What can I do to stop the towels from shedding? Thanks in anticipation. Carol

Dear Carol,

New towels shed in two ways: Sometimes the fibres actually come off towels spreading lint to everything around. The linting factor should diminish after five washings. If the towels are dark, colour migration may occur and appear to be lint. Make sure that you empty your lint traps after washing towels. If you have washed them several times and they are still shedding you probably purchased towels that are not well made or defective. If possible, ask for your money back. I once had a similar problem with an expensive feather jacket. The jacket shed horribly and left me feeling like Big Bird. I contacted the company and ended up receiving a full refund.

Feedback from readers:

Hi Reena,

With regards to whether or not to add salt to water to make it boil faster, I have one important fact to add: Do not add the salt until the water is a little warm, otherwise if you are using stainless steel pots you will oxidize the bottom turning it from shiny silver to that copper/blue/purple stained-like pattern. My very expensive pots did this and so I set out to find out why. Cheers, Rob

Hi Reena,

With regards to cleaning stainless steel appliances: You suggested wiping them down with olive oil. Furniture polish also works wonders and it’s very easy to apply. Kim


Hi Reena,

With regards to cleaning LCD surfaces: The big no-no is to avoid glass cleaner as the surface of normal LCD panels is plastic, and glass cleaner contains ammonia. The type of alcohol often recommended for LCDs is “isopropyl” which can usually be found in the drugstore in high-purity version. Beware that “rubbing alcohol” may be far from pure — look at the package label, as some alcohols on the store shelf have a substantial proportion of other ingredients. Keith

Fabulous tip of the week:

When removing old wallpaper, trying to get that last thin (sometimes not-so-thin) layer of glue is difficult. I’ve found that using one of those big pouf mesh sponges made for the shower works great. The mesh breaks up the glue if it’s soft enough and applies some moisture to continue softening the glue. The best part is that it rinses so quickly and completely. Now, the wall still needs a wipe and rinse with a cloth, but the worst is done. Give it a try sometime. Best regards, Marcy

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