Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Do It Yourself


Unstick dishes with your WD-40

By Peter Hotton
Peter Hotton
Peter Hotton has been the handyman expert for the Boston Globe for more than 30 years.

Q: I dropped a nice dessert dish into an equally nice coffee mug, and they stuck fast. I can wiggle them, but they won’t separate. Can I do something about it?

A: Spray WD-40 where they touch. Still no luck? Put boiling water into a large, separate bowl. Put the coffee mug into the hot water, then put a bunch of crushed ice cubes in the dessert dish. The cold dish will shrink and the hot mug will expand, and, voila: Separation!

Q: When I installed gas heat I included a humidifier on the hot air furnace. Now the unit leaks water on the basement floor. The installers adjusted filters or something without success. How can I stop the leaks?

A: Turn it off. These units have a drain that is supposed to drain condensate water, and often, it seems, they don’t work very well. I had one and it also leaked, so I shut it off. You can do the same. If you feel you really need humidity, install a console model on the first floor. Since humid air rises, the one console should work for both floors. They are easily adjusted and cleaned.

Q: My first-floor bathroom fan light works well enough when it’s on, but when it shuts off in winter, it creates a big backdraft. How can I prevent that draft when it’s off?

A: You mentioned that you put a lead fishing weight on the flapping lid of another fan. Do the same with your fan light. You will have to experiment to reach a point of opening for power and closing properly when closed.

Q: I’ve moved back into my childhood home. It has oil heat with baseboard radiators. I can remember my Dad “bleeding” the radiators when I was a kid. Is this something that needs to be done? If so, is there somewhere I can go to read about how it is done? Again, if so, how often should this be done?

A: Sounds similar to my childhood home in Michigan, but mine goes back maybe further than yours, and I never saw my father bleed the radiators, let alone show me how. It was a gravity system, and maybe that’s why. So call your oil dealer and ask him the same questions. He knows the answers.
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more

Quick Job Search
Salary Databases