Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

SOLUTIONS: Cleaning that dirty oven isn't so simple

  • Print

QUESTION: My oven is three years old but looks as though it has been used every day non-stop for 10 years or more. It's a mess, and baking soda can't get it clean! The oven is self-cleaning, but even after I use the self-cleaning feature, the inside floor, inside window and window panes in between look dirty. Is it possible to take the glass apart and clean it? Sarah, Gillam, Man.

ANSWER: After using the self-cleaning feature on an oven, wipe the floor of the oven with vinegar and water to clean up any debris and white residue. To clean all oven windows, fill a spray bottle with two tablespoons of household ammonia, half a teaspoon of dish soap and two cups of water. Spray the windows and leave for 15 minutes. Scrub with an abrasive cloth.

I learned first-hand that taking oven window panes apart is quite easy; it's putting them back together that can be a pain. Two people will make this project a million times easier -- learned that the hard way.

While there are several different styles of ovens, you will need to remove the screws and possibly the hinges. Take photos with your camera as you disassemble so you don't end up putting the glass back in place upside down -- learned that the hard way. Dry the glass before reassembling the door; otherwise, when you put the glass in place, any standing cleaner will drip inside the pane and leave another drip marks. Learned that the hard way, too.

QUESTION: Can you please give me some tips on sharpening dull scissors? Thanks. Jayden, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Some people sharpen scissors by cutting through layers of aluminum foil, sandpaper or steel wool. However, for anyone who owns a rod-style knife sharpener, use cutting movements to cut through the rod several times. Your scissors will end up sharp enough to cut fabric. Another option: Hold one scissor blade on the outside of a glass drinking cup and the other scissor blade on the inside of the cup. Close the scissors as if you were trying to gently cut the lip of the glass. Repeat a few times.

QUESTION: I have a cigarette burn on my carpet. Is there an easy way to fix this without leaving a big space? Help please! Sol, Brandon, Man.

ANSWER: Since the carpet fibres have actually been singed away, you basically have two options: Either contact a professional carpet-care service or trim the entire cigarette-burnt parts away with small scissors. Using leftover carpet remnants, trim several pieces of fibre. Super-glue the fibres into the burnt area. Check the repaired area in a day and add more snipped pieces if needed.

QUESTION: With spring in the air, I am thinking about planting tomatoes, but I don't have a lot of space, and so I was thinking about growing them in pots. Any suggestions? Lorraine, Winnipeg

ANSWER: Great! Purchase a big pot and put a tomato cage inside the pot. Plant your tomato deeply in the soil and fertilize as desired. Fill a few plastic pop bottles with water, close the lids and put them around the tomato plant. Wrap the outside of the cage securely with plastic wrap from the bottom to the top, much like a greenhouse. These extra steps help keep your plant warm and growing well.

Smart tips of the week

-- For a smooth line when applying eyeliner, heat the liner for a few seconds with your hairdryer. Doing this softens the pencil and enables it to glide on with ease.

-- Less to carry: Instead of carrying bottles of condiments outside for a barbecue, fill each cup of a muffin tray with a different condiment, e.g., ketchup, mustard, sliced onions, cheese, relish, etc. Put a small spoon in each cup so guests can serve themselves.

I enjoy your questions and tips; keep them coming. Missed a column? Can't remember a solution? Need a motivational speaker for an upcoming event? Check out my website:


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2014 F18

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets vs. Ducks Series promo

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Someone or thing is taking advantage of the inactivity at Kapyong Barracks,hundreds of Canada Geese-See Joe Bryksa’s goose a day for 30 days challenge- Day 15- May 22, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google