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Deodorizing products help control disposal smells

June 28, 2005|by GENE GARY / Copley News Service

Q: I would like to know how to deodorize my garbage disposer. I pour bleach and detergent down it periodically, but the bad odor remains.

A: Baking soda is a good general deodorizer. Try sprinkling baking soda over ice cubes and then churning them up in your disposer. The ice works to congeal the fat, allowing the unit to grind the fat into disposable bits. As a general rule, avoid putting fat or grease into the unit. From time to time, grind up lemon or any kind of citrus rind in the unit to help remove odors. There are also commercial deodorizing products on the market. One I can recommend that is effective in eliminating odors stemming from organic decay is AtmosKlear, marketed by Twinstar Industries (800-977-4145; www.atmosklear.net), and available nationwide through Target stores. It comes in spray bottles, but it is not an air refresher. To be effective the liquid formula must come in direct contact with the source of the odor, so you will need to pour the liquid down your disposer. The product is also effective in eradicating pet urine odors as well as other offensive smells. To keep your garbage disposer odor free, be sure and flush the unit with plenty of cold water with each use. This means letting the water run after the garbage has been ground up to help completely flush out the system. Flushing out the unit helps prevent odor-producing residue from building up within the disposer.

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Q: I have been given a gift of a beautiful framed mirror encrusted with seashells by an artistic friend. The mirror is nearly 3 feet by 4 feet, and is unbelievably heavy. I want to mount it in an entrance hallway above a carved antique table. The wall is drywall construction and I am concerned about how to safely anchor this mirror so that it will be solidly in place. Can you give me any advice?

A: You are wise to be concerned. Heavy pictures and mirrors require wall fasteners that can be secured to structural studs or beams in order to sustain their weight. Ordinary wall brackets will simply pull right through the wallboard under the burden of this extra weight.

You will need a piece of plywood that is one-quarter inch thick by 12 inches wide. The length should be cut so that it measures 3 to 4 inches shorter than the horizontal dimension of the frame to be hung. Center this piece of plywood over the spot where the hanging brackets for your mirror should be positioned. Drive one nail (1 1/2-inch with head) diagonally through the center of the plywood piece and into the wall. Position a level on top of the plywood strip and adjust the board so it is level. Then secure it to the wall with several more nails. Once this piece is secure you can begin the process of finding studs in the walls.

Starting from the right, just beneath the plywood, drive a nail into the wall. If you feel the nail sink into wood, you will know that you have located a stud. If this is the case, make a straight line (use a T-square or level) upward onto the face of the plywood. If you have missed the stud, continue to test the wall by moving 1 inch to the left of the previous hole. Repeat until a stud is located. Once a stud is located, measure 16 inches to the left and drive in another nail. It too should be embedded in a stud (most studs are located 16 inches apart, but some construction varies and they will be space 14 to 18 inches apart).

At each stud location, measure upward marking a straight line on the face of the plywood strip. If the piece you are hanging is 40 to 50 inches horizontally, you may want to locate a third stud by continuing the process of measuring to the left and nailing into another stud. As a guide use the vertical lines you have placed on the plywood strip, and drive nails through the plywood into the studs.

Next, using two 1 1/2-inch wood screws, mark off two locations for these screws, which will carry the weight of your mirror or picture frame. Spacing of these screws will depend on how your particular frame must be hung. Some frames hang on a wire, others by hooks. Drive the screws into the appropriate place. You now have a secure foundation that will safely bear the extra weight of your hanging object.

Q: We have rattan furniture on a screened lanai area which we use constantly during summer months. During the humid summer weather, the arms of the chairs collect dirt and grime from "sticky" bodies. I use lemon oil to keep the furniture clean and oiled, but this does nothing to remove the built-up layers of dirt. I am reluctant to use soap and water. What would you suggest?

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