Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

SOLUTIONS: Be selective when picking a pillow

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QUESTION: I have allergies, and I am wondering if you can give me your opinion on the best pillow to buy? Does the pillow make a difference? Jane (Cartwright, Man.)

ANSWER: You are smart to be selective about your pillow choice because if you consider how many hours your face is pressed against the fibres of your pillow, it can definitely aggravate allergy symptoms. Consider purchasing a hypoallergenic synthetic or latex pillow. Another option is to purchase a pillow protector. There are some pillow protectors that are impermeable and even pouring boiling water onto the protector doesn't allow water to absorb into the pillow.

Do your research and study consumer reports before selecting a pillow. Keep in mind that the most expensive pillows don't necessarily have the best consumer rating.

QUESTION: We recently purchased a used trailer. After the purchase and before the possession date, the owner spilt a bottle of air freshener onto the carpet. The carpet now has a small white patch on it. How can I remove this stain? Anonymous (Brandon, Man.)

ANSWER: It sounds as though the carpet is bleached and unfortunately you are not dealing with a stain that needs to be taken out. Instead, you will need to put colour back into the carpet. Because the area is noticeable, but small, you can easily hide the mark. Head over to your nearest paint store with a remnant of the carpet or an item that is the same colour as the carpet. Purchase the smallest available container of latex paint and gently sponge the paint onto the carpet. Remember that paint always dries a few shades lighter, so be sure to colour match before applying the paint.

QUESTION: I am excited to once again create my own hummingbird food and want to share the recipe with your readers. Into my feeder I put one part honey, four parts water and three drops red food colouring. The hummingbirds love it and I love watching them. Bernice (MacGregor, Man.)

ANSWER: I agree, hummingbirds are one of the most exciting and fun birds to watch. I do want to caution you that honey in a hummingbird feeder has the potential to cause sores in birds' mouths. Also, it is not necessary to add red food colouring to the mixture as it has not been satisfactorily tested for safety.

You are definitely on the right track, but substitute honey for plain old white sugar and leave out the red food colouring. Boil the solution for two minutes and cool before pouring it into the feeder. Most manufactured hummingbird feeders are red and this should be enough colour to attract those beautiful birds.

Fabulous tip of the week

-- A rattling ceiling fan is often caused by a moving glass light fixture and can be prevented with a rubber band. To stop the noise, stretch elastic around the neck where the screws go in.

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 brand new videos/blog/website:!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 20, 2013 F14

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