March 3, 2014 |
Now that we're at least on the same calendar page as spring, it's time to tackle a reader's question about removing pine sap from her car. Thanks to all for their suggestions. Trish Davidson says that she makes Christmas wreaths and rubs her hands with olive oil to remove the sap. Lindsey Nair of Roanoke, Va., says any kind of vegetable oil, as well as peanut butter, would work. Let the oil soak into the sap spots overnight to loosen them. Susan Grantham of Tallahassee, Fla., uses rubbing alcohol, putting some on a soft cloth and rubbing gently.
February 16, 2014 |
And now, from the department of vital information that it never occurred to you to think about, we bring you earwax odor. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center report that compared to whites, the earwax of east Asian people contains significantly lower amounts of odor-causing substances called volatile organic compounds. Setting aside for a moment the tale of how this odd topic became the focus of study, it turns out that the fragrance of one's auditory canal could have medical implications.
September 16, 2013 |
A few weeks back, a rowhouse dweller asked for advice about dealing with cigarette-smoke odor finding its way into her living space from the other side of the party wall. The odor was most noticeable, she said, when the neighbors turned on their central air conditioning. Harris Gross of Cherry Hill, a licensed professional engineer and home inspector, says older homes retrofitted with ductwork for central-air systems often lack sufficient return ductwork, especially on the second floor.
July 23, 2013 |
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Authorities responding to a report of a foul odor from a home discovered a body and arrested a registered sex offender who sent police and volunteers through a poor Ohio neighborhood in a search for more victims, officials said Sunday. East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts had cautioned searchers Sunday to be prepared to find one or two more victims, but he declined to elaborate. After a daylong search that included 40 abandoned houses and other areas, no more bodies were found.
July 23, 2013 |
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Authorities responding to a report of a foul odor from a home discovered a body and arrested a registered sex offender who led police on a gruesome hunt through a poor Ohio neighborhood in a search for potentially more victims, officials said yesterday. East Cleveland Police Chief Ralph Spotts said Sunday that searchers should be prepared to find one or two more victims, but he declined to elaborate. Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect has indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.
July 1, 2013
Q: I'm a woman with excessive moisture in my groin area, especially when exercising. Is this common and what can I do? A: It's hard to know how common it is because people don't talk about it. The causes are probably how your nervous system is wired. Being at your ideal body weight is a good thing. If you are obese, you are going to sweat more in the groin area. There are genetic predispositions: Some sweat more, some sweat less. We have some skinny women who come in at ideal body weight and say they sweat a lot. Sweating can raise your risk of a yeast infection.
June 28, 2013 |
I had a question awhile back from a reader who had a smart meter installed and checks online for usage. The reader reported usage was normal for one or two days, then surged for the next day or two. There is no pattern to the surges. She said it was almost like a timer was turning on. Not realizing the problem dated back several weeks - there is a backlog of hundreds of questions, and I receive 75 to 100 new ones every week - one reader suggested that perhaps, because of the recent heavy rains, the basement dehumidifier was the culprit.
March 29, 2013 |
Janice Sachen of Chicago offers what she says is a sure cure for that cat-urine smell. "My older cat started urinating on the basement floor and she would always go back to the same spot because she could smell the urine. "I tried everything to mask the smell to no avail. Finally I tried peroxide, the regular drugstore kind, although there are stronger concentrations available at chemical supply houses. "I sprayed a full-strength solution on the concrete area, and it neutralized the smell.
March 23, 2013 |
I don't know what I'd do without Joe Ponessa, the Rutgers professor emeritus who, time after time, for as long as I have been writing this column, has stepped in to bail me out of my ignorance. This time, it's about cat urine, an issue that a reader asked about a few weeks back. Cat urine is an especially difficult contaminant to deal with, especially if it's a long-term problem, he says. While Ponessa is not sure anything would fully eliminate odors from long-term staining, there are a couple of easy things he suggests trying before resorting to some kind of coating.
February 1, 2013 |
Question: Is there any wood or laminate flooring or anything else I could use in the kitchen that does not smell? I have bad allergies. The smells in flooring that I have tried in the past have lasted from about a month to more than a year, and I need to replace floors because of Hurricane Sandy. I have a few different floors to work on. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Answer: There are a number of flooring products on the market that do not off-gas or require adhesives that release chemicals into the air. One I see recommended often, in large part for its sustainability, is bamboo, even though much of it has to be transported from China and Vietnam, adding to the carbon footprint.