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Easy way to find leak in beach ball

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Dear Reena,
I just purchased a brand new beach ball and it already has a hole in it. How can I locate the hole so that I can successfully patch it? Jessie

Dear Jessie,
Sometimes if you put your ear to the ball, you can locate the hole within seconds. Another solution is to fill a bucket or sink with water. Hold your beach ball under the water. Observe where the bubbles are coming from. Remove the ball from the water, dry it and circle the hole with a marker. Lay the ball flat and adhere a patch. If you do not have a proper beach ball patch, dab superglue around the hole, making sure the glue surrounds the hole. Stick tuck tape onto the area and press. Leave for 24 hours before inflating the ball.

Dear Reena,
My friend recently had her diamond ring cleaned, and it now sparkles as if it were brand new. Without taking my ring in to be cleaned, how can I make it shine? Celeste

Dear Celeste,
If you really want to make your ring sparkle, it is important to clean it regularly, especially if you wear it day after day. In a measuring cup, mix one part household ammonia to six parts warm water. Soak the ring for at least five minutes. Remove the ring and polish with a little dish soap and an old toothbrush. Rinse the ring with water and voila, the ring will shine once again.

Dear Reena,
The lower element of my oven is hidden. I baked a strawberry/rhubarb pie and to prevent the juices from dripping, I put a sheet of aluminum foil on the oven floor — big mistake! Part of the foil stuck to the oven and looks like it is melted on. There is probably no solution for my stupidity but just thought I would ask you. Enjoy your column. Grace

Dear Grace,

I am assuming that you are talking about a self-clean oven. While there isn’t any safe way to quickly remove the foil without damaging the porcelain finish of the oven. You can use a plastic scrub pad, some liquid dish soap and a plastic scraper to remove loose pieces. This is best done when the oven is warm (be careful not to burn yourself). When you are wiping out the oven, periodically use a plastic scrub pad and each time more will come off. The great news is that the self-cleaning oven feature will eventually remove the foil, but it may take several cleaning cycles and a lot of patience.

Dear Reena,
We have a ceiling fixture that has three-inch plastic teardrops hanging from the edge of it. They look discoloured and I wonder what I can use to bring back the clearness of them? Thank you. Ruby

Dear Ruby,

Here is my favourite recipe for cleaning plastic teardrops on light fixtures. Cover the floor with newspaper. Into a spray bottle combine one teaspoon rubbing alcohol, four cups hot water and two tablespoons dishwasher anti spot agent i.e. Jet Dry. Spray onto plastic teardrops, drip dry, no need to polish. Or soak the teardrops (if they are detachable) in this solution, whichever works best for your situation. Taken from Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions

Fantastic Tips of the Week:

• I enjoy your column and have also purchased your books. Great advice! I have a tip which has proved invaluable to me since having Silhouette Shades by Hunter Douglas installed in my living and dining room windows. To clean them of any little bugs, dust, etc., I use the can of compressed gas/air duster which we use for cleaning the computer keyboard. With the little straw attached, cleaning is a breeze. Hope this helps others. Submitted by: Edna
• For moister homemade cake recipes: Add one teaspoon vinegar to the baking soda in your recipe. Submitted by: Kathy

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Missed a column? Can’t remember a solution? Need a speaker for an upcoming event? Interested in grocery coupons? Check out my brand new blog and website at You can contact me by email at

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