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Substitute and Solve - Son doing his own laundry but needs a little help

Dear Reena,

My son started washing his own laundry at home. He insists on using cold water to wash everything because he says that hot water fades colours. I noticed that when he pulls some of his T-shirts out of the dryer, they have mould stains all over them. Is this because he does not use hot water (I never have this problem)? Rebecca

Dear Rebecca,

First of all, good for your son that he is putting time and effort into learning the art of laundry care. After all, with the amount of money that many people spend on clothes, it stands to reason that we want them to last. Cold water is a smart choice when it comes to water and energy conservation. It is also important to note that water temperature 27 C (80 F) or hotter is best for getting fabrics clean. It sounds as though you hit the nail on the head — in order to get rid of mould on his T-shirt, he requires hot water. He may also want to experiment with detergents specifically designed for cold water washing.

In order to avoid faded colours in fabrics, simply avoid the use of the dryer because its heat will fade colours quickly. To prevent mould growth, clothes must dry quickly. Hang clothes outside or lay them flat to dry, and iron them when damp or dry.

Dear Reena,

Do you have a solution for stainless steel flatware coming out of the dishwasher with what appears to be rust marks and stains?Brand new stainless sets come out of the dishwasher with these stains and they look horrible. In speaking with the manufacturer, they suggest insuring that we wash the entire cutlery batch free of deposits. Why bother using the dishwasher then? We have older sets of cutlery that are more than 20 years old and this problem doesn’t happen to them.Has the quality of stainless cutlery gone down or is the dishwasher responsible? Any advice would be appreciated.Ernie

DearErnie,

It sounds as though you have purchased inferior, imported steel cutlery, because typical acceptable stainless steelflatware has a compositionof 18 per cent chromium and 10 per cent nickel, and true stainless steelshould notrust easily. This will likely continue as an ongoing challenge. You can switch detergents from liquid to powder or powder to liquid andadd rinse agent to the dishwasher. And you may be inclined to soak cutlery in white vinegar after taking it out of the dishwasher and then polishing each piece so that it always looks clean. Avoid detergents that contain citrus as this canadd tothe rust. Your best bet, like you suggested, is to forget the dishwasher all together for this particular cutlery.

Dear Reena,

Can you tell me an easy recipe for a homemade cake for my nephew’s fifth birthday? I want to make it at least the day before but I am a lousy baker so I need something easy. Thanks Matt

Dear Matt,

Hold onto your hat because it doesn’t get any easier than this. Purchase four litres of your nephew’s favourite ice cream (vanilla, Oreo, etc.). Place the ice cream box (or bucket) on the counter about an hour before making cake. Into a pot, melt and combine two-third cups butter or margarine and three cups graham cracker crumbs (or Oreo crumbs). Line pan with parchment paper. Press crumbs into 9 x 13 inch pan or a spring form pan. Pour softened ice cream over crust and spread evenly (you can also partially melt ice cream in the microwave). Freeze and drizzle with caramel or chocolate syrup.

Here are a few variations on this easy recipe: Add half-cup peanuts or peanut butter to ice cream before spreading it into the pan. Or break up pieces of store-bought cookies or chocolate bars and add to ice cream. Or add M&M’s, gummy worms, or Reece’s pieces to ice cream. Freeze for at least four hours. Remove from freezer. Loosen sides with a knife. Cut and serve — and don’t forget the birthday candles.

Fabulous Tips from Readers:

Dear Reena,

I thought I would share my “tip” for dealing with bathroom mould. I have a tiled shower, and the grout was constantly growing unsightly mould. I grew tired of the constant cleaning, and my solution involves about 90 seconds of work performed after each shower: I keep a separate towel to wipe down the tile, and I haven’t had a mould problem in years! Dana

Hey Reena,

Just wanted to share with you something that I discovered. I was at a party and looking great, when all of a sudden I realized that the back of my earring had disappeared. I quickly pulled a pencil out of my purse and broke off the eraser on the end. I then used the broken eraser as a stopper for my earring and it worked perfectly. Linda

Hello Reena,

People always compliment me on my long beautiful eyelashes, but I can assure you that I have very normal eyelashes. Here is my secret: Before applying mascara, put a tiny bit of petroleum jelly (otherwise known as Vaseline) on your finger. Brush your eyelashes with the jelly. Next, apply mascara it prevents the makeup from clumping which results in longer looking lashes. Marissa

Dear Reena,

I hate to throw anything out and so I even save all of my chopsticks. I use them to detail my car, because my fingers don’t fit into the slots to clean the vents. I also use chopsticks to pick up broken waffles out of the toaster when they are stuck inside (unplug toaster first). Robert

Frozen Blueberry Tips:

When it comes to using frozen blueberries in a recipe, do not allow them to thaw first. Adding them while frozen will preserve the texture and prevent them from bleeding into the other ingredients and changing the colour of your baking. Note: If the skin is not broken, a blueberry will not bleed colour.

Before adding frozen blueberries to your pie crust, sprinkle the crust with three tablespoons of cornstarch right before adding the berries. Doing this extra step absorbs liquid and prevents a soggy crust.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my website Reena.ca

Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:

» householdsolutions@mts.net

(204) 320-2757

reena.ca

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 17, 2014

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Dear Reena,

My son started washing his own laundry at home. He insists on using cold water to wash everything because he says that hot water fades colours. I noticed that when he pulls some of his T-shirts out of the dryer, they have mould stains all over them. Is this because he does not use hot water (I never have this problem)? Rebecca

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Dear Reena,

My son started washing his own laundry at home. He insists on using cold water to wash everything because he says that hot water fades colours. I noticed that when he pulls some of his T-shirts out of the dryer, they have mould stains all over them. Is this because he does not use hot water (I never have this problem)? Rebecca

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