Q: My son's GE stainless-steel appliances have some scratches near the stove buttons and on the front of the refrigerator. How can he get rid of the scratches?
A: All stainless steel is not made or finished the same, so a product that works well on one appliance may not work on another. That's why it's always best to start by checking information from the appliance's manufacturer.
In your son's case, that's GE. That company says scratches on its stainless-steel appliances can't be repaired. The only option, it says, is replacing the parts. Nevertheless, the Stainless Steel Information Center, which is operated by the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, says companies that specialize in fabricating or polishing stainless steel may be able to restore the finish, but it's expensive. If the refrigerator door has a replaceable panel, buying a new panel would probably be cheaper.
Few of us have the luxury of a household staff like the one on Downton Abbey to attend to our every need.
But we can take some pointers from someone who ran a household and use them to run our own a little more efficiently.
Longtime English butler Stanley Ager shares a wealth of tips in The Butler's Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces, a classic handbook he wrote in 1980 with Fiona St. Aubyn. The book has just been re-released by Clarkson Potter.
We can all benefit from Ager's tips for setting a table, caring for shoes and packing clothes so they won't wrinkle. And he'll even teach you how to iron a newspaper, should a journalist ever come round to tea. The Butler's Guide sells for $21.99 in hardcover.
— McClatchy-Tribune News Service