Strollers, Rust Stains, Green ‘Dawn’ and … Soilove UPDATE!

Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. New recruits learn by asking questions. I learn by asking questions! It is the simplest and most effective way to learn.

Brilliant thinkers (aka EC readers) never stop asking questions because they know that this is the best way to learning practical ways to improve their lives.


Dear Mary: I’ve been looking to buy the inexpensive The First Years Ignite Stroller you so highly recommend, only to discover that it has been discontinued. Any suggestions on a replacement model that you can also recommend? Janet

Dear Janet: While The First Years Co. is no longer in business, as I write I see that Amazon has a few of this terrific stroller left in inventory. If you are unable to grab one of them, an excellent alternative is the Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller—priced at about half the current price of the Ignites. I like Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller a lot because it folds up so easily, it’s lightweight and quite comfy for the little ones. This stroller is very close  to the Ignite in every way and it’s getting lots of great reviews!


Dear Mary: I have a serious rust stain on my cement driveway that is caused by a small crack where the rust has come to the surface from the steel rebar in the concrete. I have tried a couple of rust remover products as well as straight bleach—all with very little success. What miracle suggestion do you have to get rid of this bad stain? Tom

Dear Tom: I have no way to guarantee this will work, but it’s what I would try if I were you: Liberally sprinkle the stain with Bar Keepers Friend. Add enough water to make a thick paste. Allow the paste to stand on the stain for a while then scrub it with a stiff brush and rinse the area with water. You may need to repeat a few times as it sounds like you have a very tough stain.

Bar Keepers Friend is a powdered household cleanser that is generally available in most supermarkets, discount department stores and also online. If this is going to be a big job, you might want to skip the BKF and buy oxalic acid in bulk—the active ingredient in BKF that removes hard water deposits and rust stains in kitchens and bathrooms. It also cleans and shines stainless steel. Over the years, I’ve had good success removing all kinds of rusty stains on concrete with oxalic acid.

Dear Mary: I love reading your blog. I live in Greece and I can’t find Dawn dishwashing liquid soap here. I want to make the homemade laundry detergent. Can I use an other liquid soap? Thanks. Maggie

Dear Maggie: Dawn dishwashing liquid is produced by Procter & Gamble in the U.S. The company produces a similar product called Fairy “washing up liquid” in the United Kingdom.

Traditionally green in color, Fairy is sold in the U.K., Ireland and most parts of Europe, although regional names for the product may vary. For example, outside of the UK, Fairy is part of the Dreft brand. Fairy has just recently become available in Australia and throughout Nigeria.

I hope you can find some version of Fairy dishwashing liquid there in Greece. It will work very well as a substitute for the blue Dawn that we have in the U.S.

Dear Readers: In response to the Story of Soilove, I heard from my good friend Frank Kagarakis, founder of America’s Finest Products that  manufacturers Soilove. He delivered some great news! We can now order Soilove direct from the factory in California—at a huge savings. Frank has put together these two options for all of my readers:

Option 1: Three 16-oz. bottles Soilove: $9.95 including s/h, delivered within continental U.S.

Option 2: Twelve 16-oz. bottles Soilove: $15 plus actual UPS shipping charge.

Call 800-482-6555 M-F during regular business hours Pacific time, to place your order using your MasterCard or Visa. Sales tax will be added for Calif. residents.

Thanks, Frank!

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