March 6, 2016 |
If I made water softeners for a living, I'd sure as shooting be interested in consumer attitudes about hard water. Wouldn't you? That's a rhetorical question. No replies are necessary. It should come as no surprise, then, that Morton Salt, which makes water-softening products, found in a survey that 85 percent of American homes have hard water, though many homeowners might not know it, and even more don't know how to fix it. More than 90 percent of 500 Americans surveyed deal with soap scum or water stains caused by hard water, Morton said.
May 25, 2013 |
I often think about old things I'd like to be rid of - like about 40 years between me and my early 20s - but that's not possible until they invent a time machine. Now AARP, which knows old, is offering suggestions on the five old things you need to throw away during your spring-cleaning exercises this year. Piled-up plastic containers. Years-old plastics can leak harmful chemicals into food. Recycle them and buy a new set. Expired canned food. It doesn't last forever.
May 3, 2013 |
I get the impression that there are a lot of untrustworthy cats in this country from the number of remedies submitted to me on combating urine odors. Here's a step-by-step from reader Ed Zoller in Jacksonville, Fla.: If the area is carpeted, Remove the carpet and padding. Clean the area by scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush and a solution heavy with Pine-Sol or Lysol. Don't use ammonia-based cleaners; ammonia will intensify the odor and might even attract the cat for a return.
January 26, 2013 |
Our Jan. 11 entry about a hairline crack in a countertop brought some expert advice and more questions, proving once more that one should never take anything for granite. The hairline crack under discussion was about 22 inches long, and was in front of the sink. The countertops are five years old, and the installer is out of business. Marty Jensen of Blue Bell spent 44 years in the granite business, and, though retired, troubleshoots for trade organizations. He said the crack may be the result of a natural fissure or could be a pressure crack caused by the method of installation.
November 23, 2012 |
Question: We recently installed new granite tile countertops and backsplash in our kitchen. We are noticing that if we place a wet object on the countertop, the granite is stained in that area. Most of the time it fades in a few days, but lately, we are noticing the dark stains staying longer. Is there any way to remove these or to prevent them in the first place? Answer: We have granite countertops and don't have this problem, so I can only tell you what other readers tell me. Most water stains are only a temporary problem.
June 23, 2012 |
I'm calling to order this meeting of the readers with various dishwasher issues, only to let you kind folks know of a recent Consumer Reports study of — you guessed it — detergents. In the latest testing — results of which appear in the July 2012 issue — Finish Powerball Tabs and Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs earned the highest marks in CR's ratings of nonphosphate gels, liquids, packs, pods, powders, and tablets. (Laws in several states removed phosphates from dishwasher detergents a few years ago, which resulted in some cleaning challenges.)
February 24, 2012 |
One of my favorite lines from television was delivered by Jonathan Harris, who played the diabolical yet cowardly Dr. Smith on Lost in Space. He and Will Robinson were out searching for iron pyrite, and as Will scanned the horizon with binoculars, he reported that his mother and older sister were doing laundry. "Spare me the dreary domestic story," Smith told him. Well, what Dr. Smith would consider dreary, we here at "Your Place" consider our meat and potatoes. So, when we write about dishwashers that produce glassware with a filmy coating, a tidal wave of e-mail leaves us floating in possible solutions.
August 27, 2010
Dear Martha: After decorating a cake, how do I transfer it to the plate I plan to present it on? A: One approach is to assemble your cake directly on the plate or cake stand you intend to serve it on. That way you won't have to move it at all. To protect the stand from drips and smudges, slip strips of parchment under the cake around the perimeter before frosting. Once the cake has been decorated, slide out the parchment. If, however, you use a cake turntable or buy an iced cake, you'll need to transfer the tiers.
June 16, 2006 |
"Just add water and swim" doesn't tell the whole story about having a home pool, though ads for pool-installation companies may suggest otherwise. If you're new to pool ownership, Lesson No. 1 is that regular maintenance is the price you pay for being able to cool off all summer long without braving traffic to the Shore. Need to know: Pool upkeep requires six to eight hours every week during the season, the experts say. Daily jobs include skimming out the debris and cleaning the skimming baskets.
February 17, 1992 |
JUMP SHOTS A throng turned out to watch the bouncing bodies of bungee jumpers in the buff. The Bungy Zone offered free jumps over a creek in Nanaimo, British Columbia, on Saturday to people willing to leave their clothes behind. "I guess I'm just a closet exhibitionist at heart, and I couldn't think of a better way to let the world in on my secret," said Wayne Barnes, 28, of Tofino. "I've wanted to jump forever, and I'm here now because I think the only way to go is naked," said Drake Daron, 32, of Vancouver.