I've been accused of thinking I have an answer for everything (you know who you are, my dear husband), and that kinda makes me laugh because I have to admit that maybe I do think that. I do love to reach into my inbox to find so many letters from my readers.
Truth be told, when you send questions to which I do not have reliable answers, I set them aside pending further research. They say that teaching teaches the teacher, and I couldn't agree more!
Dear Mary: The self-cleaning function on my oven works great for the oven itself, but it doesn't get the glass door clean. I've tried to clean, but nothing works to remove the baked-on crud. Do you have a solution? — Oveeda
Dear Oveeda: While you should never use oven-cleaning products on the self-cleaning oven itself, the best way to clean the glass window is with oven cleaner! I suggest Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Unlike other oven cleaners, this one works on cold surfaces. Spray it on liberally, and then leave the door open and allow it to sit for several hours. That should soften everything that has become baked on, allowing you to wipe all of it away with a scrubbing sponge. I've used this product to remove stubborn hard-water marks from shower doors and other glass surfaces. I'm hopeful this will be a great solution for your oven door.
Dear Mary: Do you have a best inexpensive window air conditioner recommendation for us? — Cathy
Dear Cathy: Since I don't know the size of the space you need to cool, here are two options, both of which are great little workhorses:
For a small space of up to 150 square feet, use the Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner, which costs about $130.
If you need to cool a larger space of up to 350 square feet, the Frigidaire 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner is the model you need. It costs about $240.
Dear Mary: I would like the recipe and instructions for the solution to clean hardwood floors that doesn't contain vinegar. — Marian
Dear Marian: Yes, but first a quick review: You do not want to use vinegar on hardwood or laminate floors because it is highly acidic and, if used repeatedly over time, will attack the finish on your wood or laminate floors, making them look dull. Vinegar can also soften the finish, making it feel gummy or sticky. Instead, you want to use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) because it cleans really well, evaporates quickly and is not acidic.
HARDWOOD AND LAMINATE FLOOR CLEANER: Mix 1 part alcohol (rubbing alcohol is cheap and available in any supermarket or drug store) to 4 parts distilled water (to preclude hard water marks) plus 3 or 4 drops blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Pour solution into a spray bottle each time you clean the floors. Or, if you make it ahead, of time, be sure to label it well and keep it out of the reach of children.
To use: Sweep or vacuum the floor. Spray the cleaner in a small area Scrub well with a cloth or sponge. Immediately wipe the area dry with a microfiber cloth. The secret is to spray, scrub and wipe dry immediately. If you do not want to do this on your hands and knees, I recommend this DAPOWA Wet Microfiber Super Swivel Spray Mop for both wood and laminate floors. It sprays the cleaner from its removable bottle and covers a large surface area with a big, detachable microfiber cleaning pad that swivels for really easy handling This mop makes scrubbing wood and laminate floors a breeze. It costs about $22.
For links to this mop and others mentioned above, please visit https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/amaoven.
Got a question? Ask me anything at [email protected]
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.