Dear Heloise: I have spent 55 years cooking up a storm in the kitchen. However, I currently have a problem for which I can find no solution.
I burned popcorn (in a bag) in my fairly new microwave and cannot rid the appliance of that awful smell, despite thoroughly washing the interior with all sorts of deodorizers and cleaners. What really makes me livid is that this is the first bag of popcorn I have made in more than three years (since my kids moved away).
I am forever in your debt if you can make me "smell like a rose" again in the eyes of my kids and grandkids. Thank you. -- Melva Allen, Via Fax
You wouldn't believe how many times this question comes in!
First, wipe up any spills, crumbs, etc., in the microwave. Then in a large (at least 3-cup) microwave-safe container mix 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 cup water. Heat on full power until boiling. Remember that the liquid will be very hot, so use extreme caution. Let the mixture cool, then remove it from the oven and leave the door open to allow air to circulate.
Or, you can also give this a try: Mix 3 cups water, some lemon juice, lemon rind and 5-6 whole cloves in a large (at least a 6-cup) microwave-safe container. "Cook" for 5-6 minutes on full power. You will want to occasionally check the water level in the container to be sure that it hasn't evaporated. To be absolutely sure, let the mixture cool for at least 30 minutes before removing, and leave the door open overnight. Many odors in the microwave and other areas of the house can be eliminated safely by using vinegar or baking soda.
FYI: Have you lost the owner's manual to an appliance you have? Just give the manufacturer a call (most have toll-free numbers), and it can be usually be replaced for under $10. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Gather up wet soap slivers and form them into a ball. Keep this near your garage, garden or outside sink for quick hand-washing. This recycles those tiny bits and saves money, too.
Also, I put my new bar in the shower, and when I'm done showering and both the old and new bars are wet and sticky, I put the old one on the top of the new bar, and by the next day, they are dried together. -- Jeanne McCabe, Coralville, Iowa
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.