Grandpa’s 5,001 secrets prove he’s really handy

As an elder employee at the workplace, whippersnappers may think you know a thing or two.

And we do.

I was recently approached about fish odors. Seems the husband of my young co-worker baked cod, and the odor permeated the environs.

Fish and relatives…

Giving out cheap advice is a satisfying hobby. Bring me your stench problems.

Though I admit I wasn’t versed on the kitchen topic, but that never stops me. We solved potential fish-odor problems years ago at my home.

We eat at Skippers.

Sometimes Ivars.

Now and then Anthony’s.

There are no fresh fishies cooked in my oven. There are fish sticks in the freezer and we adore fish-shaped crackers, but my nose is too sensitive for cooking creatures caught in rivers, lakes or purchased ready-to-go at Costco covered with blobs of butter.

To solve the cod-aroma problem, I had an idea: “Let’s check with Grandpa.”

Sure enough, on my desk, was “Grandpa’s 5001 Handyman Secrets,” with hints, tips and tricks for the do-it-yourselfer.

We checked for a smell chapter and found pertinent references in the miscellaneous kitchen pages.

“An excellent method of removing odors from the kitchen is to keep a few washed charcoal briquettes in a shallow dish on top of the refrigerator. Frying a small amount of cinnamon will chase all odors from the home.”

Thanks, Gramps. I don’t understand washing briquettes, but my coworker was happy to receive a couple of ideas.

Grandpa in this case is Dr. Myles H. Bader, who has written kitchen-reference, household-hint and cooking-secret books for decades. He has been the guest on more than 6,000 radio shows and 135 television shows.

The gentleman knows how to frost a bathroom window. Use a solution of one cup of light beer mixed in four tablespoons of Epsom salts, then paint the mixture on the window.

Here are some other hints and ideas:

If your windshield wipers are smearing the windows, try wiping them with rubbing alcohol.

If a car gets stuck in the snow, use the car floor mat under a tire for traction.

To get a sticky label off a product, rub with vegetable oil on a rag.

Get crayons off walls by spraying with WD-40.

Grandpa says to keep kitty litter fresh, pour in some baby powder.

If your front door lock is opened with a keypad, clean it frequently so burglars can’t see the dirty keys.

The book is a great read and could be a stocking stuffer. I purchased my copy at Many of his ideas seem right on target. The next time it freezes, I plan to put white vinegar on my windshield at night so it won’t freeze.

I better keep Dr. Bader’s name handy. He also wrote a book called “Club the Bugs and Scare the Critters.”

Our kitchen at work has been invaded by fruit flies. If they ask an elder employee for extermination advice, I’ll be ready to buzz in.

Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451,

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