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Remove wax from produce

By on August 9, 2012



Dear Sara:


I try to keep the skins on my produce instead of peeling it, since the skin is good for you. But I would like to eat my produce, especially cucumbers and apples, without the shiny, waxy skin. So, how do you remove wax from produce? — Shoiji, forums

Dear Shoiji:

To remove wax from your produce, wash it and use a vegetable brush. You can buy fruit/vegetable wash or make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of baking soda in a large bowl of water or a clean sink. Scrub with the veggie brush (a new nail brush or baby bottle brush will work if you can’t find a vegetable brush) and rinse well. Here are a few homemade solutions submitted by a fellow reader:

Homemade fruit/vegetable wash:

I have six washes that I use, depending on what I already have at home. I use them to clean my kitchen counters or to pre-soak my dirty dishes, too.
1. Squeeze some dishwashing liquid into a spray bottle. Add water. Shake to combine. Spray fruit, use a vegetable brush to scrub and rinse produce well. You can soak produce in it, too.
2. Use a solution of vinegar and water to create a wash for produce to soak in. Rinse after letting soak for 10 minutes.
3. Use two spray bottles — one filled with vinegar and the other filled with hydrogen peroxide. Spray the produce with vinegar and then with hydrogen peroxide. Rinse thoroughly.
4. Combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray fruit or vegetables and rinse well.
5. Combine 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 cup water in a spray bottle. Spritz produce and rinse.
6. Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spray produce and rinse. — Annie G., California

Dear Sara:

Sticky cooking spray was sprayed into my oven. How can I remove it? — Carol, Florida

Dear Carol:

Oven cleaner will work to remove cooking spray from your oven. If you’d rather not use oven spray, you can use Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend. Or try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (wet) with baking soda and hot water.

Dear Sara:

Our home is about 50 years old, and the doorknobs and hinges are brass. I can polish them with brass cleaner, but they soon tarnish. Is there anything I can use to prevent tarnishing? — Dorris, email

Dear Dorris:

You can coat them with clear lacquer or acrylic urethane after you’ve polished them. Your local home improvement store will have what you need.

Dear Sara:

When we had new carpet put in, we didn’t want the area in front of the wood stove to become more soiled or worn, so I bought a matching mat to place there. The mathad a tendency to migrate, though, so someone had the bright idea to put double-sided duct tape on the underside of the mat to keep it in place. It started to migrate anyway, leaving sticky residue in its wake. I have tried spot carpet cleaner on the area and it took up a lot of the dirt, but the sticky residue is still there, so it will just gather dirt again. Any ideas? — Elizabeth, North Carolina

Dear Elizabeth:

I’d try Afta Cleaning Fluid, Goof Off ( or K2R Spot Lifter ( Test an inconspicuous area first.

Dear Sara:

How do you freeze green bell peppers? — Melissa, New York

Dear Melissa:

You don’t need to blanch them. Cut them open, remove the seeds and chop. Place the chopped peppers on a cookie sheet and flash-freeze them, then transfer from the cookie sheet into freezer storage bags. Use within eight months.

photo by muffet

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