QUESTION: I have rust at the bottom of my car door. What is the most effective product on the market that will take the rust off? Jim (Winnipeg)
ANSWER: Grind away any rust, then visit your local hardware store or auto repair dealership. Purchase proper moisture-resistant filler, primer and paint to repair the damage.
QUESTION: A friend of mine sat on the ground (in her white pants) and got one of those sticky pods from a poplar tree on her butt. I can't find anything similar in your books. Should I suggest your carpet cleaner 'recipe'? Thanks, Marie (Emerson, Man.)
ANSWER: Your best bet for tar is to lubricate the area with oil such as mayonnaise. Smear it on and scrape off all of the tar. Next, apply dish soap and water to the area so you are not left with a grease stain. Waterless hand cleaner is also effective. Just make sure you test everything on an inconspicuous area first.
QUESTION: I feel like I am wasting money by buying bread crumbs when I could probably make them myself. Sounds like a silly question, but how do I make breadcrumbs? Trish (Winnipeg)
ANSWER: There is nothing like homemade breadcrumbs to improve the taste of your dishes and any type of bread can be used. In fact, a mixture of various breads will add oodles of interesting flavours to your dishes (make sure you don't use stale bread or you will end up with stale-tasting bread crumbs).
If your bread is too fresh, just bake the bread slices in the oven on an ungreased baking sheet until slightly dry (300 degree F for 10-15 minutes). Turn halfway through. Store your bread ends in the freezer in a large, resealable plastic bag or an open ice cream bucket with a few bay leaves (to keep bugs away) until you have collected a sufficient amount of bread pieces to make crumbs. Tear dried bread in small pieces and crush in a food processor or leave the bread crumbs in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
QUESTION: Your website indicates using borax to keep wasps away. I live in an area that only has a small convenience store and does not sell borax. Do you have any other solutions for discouraging wasps? Lincoln (Forrest, Man.)
ANSWER: Place a two-litre bottle of root beer away from where you are sitting. The bottle should be one-third full; the wasps fly into the opening but can't handle the carbonation.
Feedback from a reader who cares
Regarding how to ship fragile items throughout Canada:
I cannot believe the lady isn't using the oldest trick by antique dealers: disposable diapers. They contour around the items and the tabs hold everything in place. Anonymous
Fabulous tips of the week
I love reading your column. Do you want to get your glass coffee mugs sparkling? I put baking soda and cheap lemon dish soap in mine and fill them with hot tap water. I let them sit for a while and then wipe them out with a soft cloth and sterilize them with hot water. On another note: I used to use baking soda and dishwashing liquid and water on my oven bottom until I discoloured the silicone sheet. Julie (Winnipeg)
I came across a good cleaner for silver and copper. I have three copper vases and an old spoon of my grandmother's, which must be 100 years old. I cleaned them with Cerma Bryte ceramic cooktop cleaner. I thought I would try it and it works wonders with no elbow grease. Doreen (Winnipeg)
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 videos/blog/website: reena.ca!