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Ask Me Anything: Tamari, Dishwasher Cleaner, Expired Sunscreen, Toilet Rings, and MORE

It’s time to reach into the inbox to answer more questions from my loyal readers—answers to which I suspect might be of interest to others.

I love receiving your questions, by the way, so keep them coming!

A mailbox full of mail against a blue and puffy white cloud sky

 

Contents

1. What is tamari?

2. What happened to Glisten?

3. Secret in sunscreen

4. Stubborn toilet ring 

5. Shrinking tuna

6. Get out Wite-Out

7. Insolvent parents

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11 More Ways You Can Use This for That

I was halfway out the door, car keys in hand and on the way to the home improvement center when I remembered that I might already have what I needed. Cooking spray! That’s it. I’d heard that it just might work. It did, and quite perfectly, too. No more squeaks and I saved a needless trip and a needless purchase, too.

Squeaky door

Got a squeaky door or sticky drawer? Spritz a little cooking spray on the hinges or drawer slides then work it back and forth to distribute the “lubricant.” Wipe away any drips with a dry cloth or paper towel.

White water rings

Use mayonnaise to get rid of white water rings on wood furniture. Make sure the area is completely dry then spread enough full-fat mayonnaise on the spot. Let it sit for several hours, even overnight. Now wipe it clean, and buff with a soft clean cloth. Magical, right? Read more

How to Get Rid of The Dreaded Toilet Bowl Ring

It’s not the most elegant question I get, but certainly one of the most common. “I’ve tried everything I can think of, but that stubborn, ugly toilet bowl ring won’t go away!” Or ” … It goes away, but just keeps coming back!”

 

Pristing restroom with white toilet and toilet brush

 

Toilet bowls develop discolorations for many reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the housekeeping. Basically, the dreaded toilet bowel ring is the result of hard water conditions together with water standing in a toilet that sees a lot of use.

While there are lots of commercial products out there that promise to remove hard water stains in the toilet, ordinary household pantry items you have already can be just as effective to rid your toilet of the dreaded toilet bowl ring without harsh chemicals.

What are those stains, anyway?

Toilet bowl stains that look like rust are likely due to mineral deposits and hard water. Green, orange or black streaks or rings may be mold. A bacteria called Serratia marcescens shows up as pink. Knowing what is causing the ring makes it easier for you to choose the best method for getting rid of it.

Under most conditions, regular weekly cleaning prevents heavy stain buildup and reduces the appearance of any existing stains so the bowl can look pristine and white again.

And when none of that works? Don’t worry, I have the mother of all solutions for that too, in a bit. But let’s start with the easiest.

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Cheat Sheet for 3 Best Ways to Unclog a Toilet—Quick and Easy!

No one likes to talk about it, but truth be told it happens. Toilets malfunction. They get clogged.

Sure, it’s inconvenient but more than that, downright embarrassing if you’re somewhere other than the privacy of your own home. Here’s a cheat sheet so you’ll know ahead of time how to deal with the situation.

Woman unclogs a stinky toilet with plunger

Quick! Stop it from overflowing

The moment you realize something’s wrong, and the water level is rising, you need to act fast to turn it off. There are two ways to do this. I’d do both just to be sure: 

  1. Take off the lid, then reach in (that water is clean) and close the open flapper. 
  2. Reach behind the toilet near the floor and turn off the water supply off by turning the handle clockwise.

Now you can stop worrying about flooding the place and move on to freeing the clog using one of the following methods.

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