hands up questions galore

Ask Me Anything: Silicone Storage, Kitchen Gadget, JCPenney Sheets, Dehumidifier, and More

Today’s the day I reach into the inbox and pull out some of your questions and only because I want you to feel free to ask me anything!

Multi-ethinic arms outstretched to ask questions

Here is a quick summary of the questions I’ll answer in today’s post. You can click on one to go straight to it or just scroll down to read all.

Enjoy!

Contents

1. My silicone food storage bags stink

2. Got a shrimp deveiner?

3. JCP best sheets

4. Looking for a home air purifier

5. Help! Overpowering humidity

 

Q1: Odors from silicone food storage bags

Dear Mary: I stored some left-over smoked salmon in one of my new reusable silicone storage bags. After I’d used up the salmon, I washed the bag as usual in my dishwasher. It still smelled of salmon. I got out my trusty Nok-Out. I soaked the bag in that for a few hours. Still smelled of salmon. Help! Sue

Dear Sue: There’s something that might not have gone right. Tell me exactly how you did it. Did you spray the inside? Pour some Nok-Out into the bag? Did you dunk it in a bowl of Nok-Out? And what did you do at the end of “a few hours?”

There’s a specific way to do this,  and I’m just trying to figure out where things might have gone wrong to help you get it right. xo mb
Dear Mary: I first sprayed the bag inside and out. When that didn’t do it, I immersed the bag in Nok-Out, weighted it down, and left it for about 2 hours. Didn’t do it.Thanks for checking for me. I’m at my wit’s end. Have pretty much gone from disposable zipper bags to these. Sue

Dear Sue: I’m pretty sure I know the problem. Once every bit of the surface has been doused well with Nok-Out, it must be allowed to “oxidize.” This happens when Nok-Out meets air and is allowed to dry fully—no rinsing.

So let’s do it again. Completely spray or submerge the bag in Nok-Out, but do not rinse it. Do not rinse it! Lift it out and prop it open on something; upside down, maybe like the sink faucet. It must be allowed to fully air dry. Don’t be surprised when it gives off a “stinky swimming pool” odor. That’s the oxidation in the process. Nok-Out will eliminate the stink by neutralizing it, not covering it up. I understand why this is so important. Reusable isn’t if it creates a stinky problem! xo m
Dear Mary: I did as you directed: I submerged the bag in Nok-Out, then let it air dry (keeping it open). No more salmon smell! Thanks for your help. I can now feel comfortable in using my silicone bags for potentially smelly contents knowing there’s a way to get rid of the odor. Sue
Dear Readers: Use this link to order Nok-Out and  SNiPER direct from the distributor. In more than 20 years since I found this product and met distributors Lou Osborn and Ted Price, I have not found any product that can compare (trust me, I have tried. And now I have stopped trying.)  It is truly an odor eliminator, not a coverup; nontoxic, safe around kids and pets, 100% amazing)
v

Q2: I need a shrimp gadget

Dear Mary: What is the best kitchen gadget to remove the shrimp vein? Winora

Dear Winora: I use either a wood skewer or sharp knife, whichever is most handy, to remove that vein that runs right along the back.
To do this: Insert the tip of the skewer crossways and under the vein about ½-inch down from the head of the shrimp and pull the skewer tip up towards you. This will lift up the vein and you can pull it off with the skewer or with your hand. If the vein is broken, insert a bit lower towards the tail again.
You might want to consider a specific inexpensive tool if you prepare a lot of shrimp. This Shrimp Deveiner Knife works well to devein and peel shrimp in one step, simultaneously. It makes cleaning and peeling quick and easy.
v

Q3: JCPenney bedsheets

Dear Mary: Would you repeat your recommendation for Best Inexpensive Sheets. I believe they are 100% cotton from JCPenney. Thank you! Sharon
Dear Sharon: Liz Claiborne 600tc 100% Cotton Sateen Sheet Set is my pick for the Best Inexpensive bed sheets, based on quality, fit, hand (the way the fabric feels to touch), ease of laundering, durability, and of course, price. These sheets have a velvety, soft hand, which helps to make them wrinkle-resistant provided you do not overdry. They are smooth, luxurious, not noisy, rough, or any other negative thing on my list of cannot-tolerates.
These bedsheets launder beautifully in hot water and come out of the dryer nearly wrinkle-free. I usually touch them up with the iron, but I may stop doing that. The fitted sheet in this set has deep pockets without being baggy. These are the kind of sheets I  remember from my childhood.
Available in a variety of colors and sizes. If your size choice and color preference shows up “sold out,” don’t despair. Check back in a few days.

One set in Cal King is list priced at $199. But wait. The JCPenney site regularly offers discount coupons (I’ve been watching this like a hawk and there’s always a coupon), plus these specific sheets are frequently on sale. I didn’t have to search or inquire with my first online order. At checkout, I simply clicked on “Coupons, ” right next to the checkout button. Immediately, the price dropped to $86.

I have checked many times since to see how that discount holds up and have yet to find a time that I would have had to pay full price. I can’t represent the exact discount you’ll get, but know that these sheets are frequently on sale and discount coupons and codes are readily available.

Q4: Looking for a home air purifier

Dear Mary: I am truly grateful for all your suggestions and the research you do! They all have helped my family run much smoother. I’m looking for a good home air purifier. Do you have any thoughts you can share? Cheryl  

Dear Cheryl: All things considered—up-front cost, maintenance, and cost to operate—I don’t think you can beat the Coway Mighty Home Air Purifier (AP1512HH), EC pick for Best Inexpensive Air Purifier. Rated for spaces up to 360 sq. ft., this unit is compact, attractive, and super quiet. And did I mention efficiency? Very efficient with its True HEPA filter, deodorization filter, and Vital Ion. Also it has a pollution sensor that communicates indoor air quality in real-time. Available in black or white.

Thanks for your kind words, Cheryl!

 

 

Q5: Extreme interior humidity

Dear Mary: I am puzzled by an ongoing, distressing problem since I moved into a fourth-floor condo in Florida. I find that mildew is growing everywhere! On my wood dining table, on cast iron pans, inside cabinets. I am distressed about where I’ll find it next. I use a 50/50 vinegar solution to wipe it off. I keep ceiling fans going and the thermostat at 77 degrees. Windows and doors always closed. I hang Damp Rid in closets. That is getting expensive. Annette

Dear Annette: I must admit to being anything but an expert on living in humid areas, but can help you figure out how to tackle this problem. I live in Colorado where we enjoy very dry conditions—the other extreme to your high humidity. You have my empathy, for sure. I cannot imagine what you are going through.

If I were you, I would first consult with the management of your condo association. If this is considered normal—meaning that all of your neighbors are experiencing the same thing—find out how they are dealing with it. Or you may discover that your problem is unique and related to something that needs to be remedied quick!

If you discover this is just the way it is in Florida in a fourth-floor condo, I recommend you research and consider getting a dehumidifier for your home. This is an appliance that actually removes moisture from the air and sends it down the drain. There are many options, so you want to find one that meets your specific needs.

Some of the most common indicators that you may need a dehumidifier are wet stains on walls and ceilings, stuffy feeling in a room, rotting wood, condensation on windows, musty smells, and allergies. If the air in your home is too moist, it will encourage the growth of bacteria and mold, which are common allergens and not good for your health.

See Best Inexpensive Home Dehumidifiers which includes EC Best Inexpensive picks. I believe one of them will be just right for your home, should you discover this will be the best remedy.

Hope that helps!

Got a question you’d like me to answer in a future post? You can ask me anything here. Thanks!


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6 replies
  1. Cathy down on the farm... says:

    The lady in the 4th floor condo (in Florida) needs a humidistat on her wall. Florida is so humid you cannot exist without one.

    Reply
  2. Betsy says:

    Your solution for tackling smelly silicone storage bags reminds me of my parents, raised in the Depression Era, who always washed and rinsed ziploc bags, and dried them on a knob or faucet, just you described.

    Reply
  3. Char says:

    The JC Penny sheets had threads on them that if pulled would have made a hole after 2 washings. Took them back with no problem.

    Reply
  4. Ellen C says:

    For the mildew issue, if she has a clothes dryer in her unit, I would have the vent checked. If it is obstructed, the moisture from the clothes dryer could be adding to the humidity in her home. Just a thought.

    Reply
  5. CJ Songbird says:

    I just had one of those “Doh!” moments as I read about using Nok-Out to solve the stinky storage bag problem. While I love all the wonderful new silicone items that have made their way into my kitchen (Instant Pot rings, baking mats, a slotted spoon that poached eggs do to stick to, a steamer insert, etc.), I’ve been frustrated with their propensity to retain odors – bad odors! It never occurred to me to use Nok-Out on them but you can be sure that I’m going to now!

    Reply

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