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SOLUTIONS: Use pantyhose for long-term onion storage

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QUESTION: I would like to know what the best way is to store onions so that they will keep for a fairly long time. Thank you, Ruth (Shoal Lake, MB)

ANSWER: My favorite onion-storage solution includes a pair of clean pantyhose. Place an onion in the toe and tie a knot above the onion. Drop another onion into the leg of the pantyhose and tie a knot.

Continue filling both legs with onions. Hang the contraption inside of a pantry or cupboard (warn family members, they may be scared at first). Each time you need an onion, cut below the knot of the next onion. Storing onions in pantyhose keeps them properly ventilated and dry so that they last a long time.

Onions can also be chopped and put into freezable containers. Chopped onions may be stored in the refrigerator for 30 days or frozen for about six months. Extra tip: Do not store whole onions next to whole potatoes, they will both spoil. Always store onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.

QUESTION: I've looked through two of your books but can't find the solution I need. I received a white polyester cotton blouse trimmed in heavy cotton lace. It looks like it's been hanging for a while and has yellowed. I tried lemon juice and cream of tartar but it didn't seem to do anything -- I just guessed at the measurements and the time it needed to soak.

Is there anything else I can try? I currently have it soaking in borax and water. I am desperate because I need it to sing in a choir and I don't like yellowed whites. Rosabelle (Winnipeg)

ANSWER: Well, the great news is the blouse is white, which makes cleaning this stain easier than most. If you have tried borax or washing soda and the stain has not budged, you will need to move onto a more drastic solution because sometimes stains are here to stay.

Assuming the blouse is 100-per-cent washable, use a product called Iron Out, found at home hardware stores such as Canadian Tire. Put the blouse into a pot filled with enough water to cover the fabric. Add one quarter cup of Iron Out. Boil the blouse for five minutes. Using tongs remove the fabric from the water; the stain should be a distant memory, if the stain has faded but still remains repeat the process.

QUESTION: What's your best advice for removing odour from hockey equipment and, most specifically, hockey gloves? The gloves are synthetic. We are unable to go a full season without the gloves becoming unbearable.

Also, what is your best advice for storing hockey equipment between games and practices to prevent odours from building? Thanks. Elliott (Winnipeg)

ANSWER: The easiest thing for you to do is move out or encourage family members to switch to chess. But since those are not options, let's talk cleaning.

When it comes to storing hockey equipment, the first step is to make a hockey tree using old hockey sticks and nails. Hockey trees can also be purchased at sports stores. Whenever your hockey player returns home from a game or a practice, make sure he or she hangs all equipment on the tree which should be stored in a cold, ventilated area such as outside or in a garage. Freezing equipment between uses kills the bacteria that cause some of the odor.

Before washing equipment, check the care label instructions. I wash all hockey equipment, including gloves, in the washing machine and lay them out to dry. Hockey equipment can also be washed in the bathtub with hot water and detergent. You can even add one-half cup of vinegar, borax or washing soda to the washing machine to battle odors. Hockey gloves will not lose their shape and you will once again breathe easy.

When the season ends stuff skates, gloves and helmets with oodles of crumpled up newspaper to absorb odors.

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 website:

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 18, 2013 F5

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