Q: I had a new walk-in shower installed with beautiful glass doors with etching on them, made by Sterling Plumbing. I have water spots on the inside of the doors and cannot remove the spots. Can you help me?
A: Sterling Plumbing says you should never use bristle brushes, abrasive sponges or scouring powder on either the glass or metal parts of its doors. It also advises consumers not to clean the metal parts with abrasive cleansers or cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, acids, waxes, alcohol or solvents.
If your doors have metal frames or hardware, that doesn't leave you a lot of options.
I'd try removing the water spots with a Mister Clean Magic Eraser, a dampened fabric-softener sheet or a microfiber cloth and either water or white vinegar. Vinegar is an acid, so try not to let it drip on the metal.
You might try wetting some paper towels with the vinegar, wringing them out well, sticking them to the glass and leaving them there for 15 minutes or so.
If those cleaners and some elbow grease don't work, you may have to try a harsher product designed to remove hard water stains, such as CLR or Kaboom Foam-Tastic. But keep them off the metal and know that using them might void your warranty.
Once the doors are cleaned, you can help prevent new spots by wiping down the doors after each shower with a squeegee or towel. MULCH CONTAINS WEED PREVENTER
Gardeners have long known that mulch does a good job of suppressing weeds. So do weed preventers, which are herbicides that keep weed seeds from germinating.
Preen Mulch Plus puts the two together in one product.
The bagged mulch is mixed with two pre-emergent herbicides to provide up to six months' worth of weed prevention. Only a 2-inch-deep layer needs to be applied to suppress weed growth, instead of the 3-inch layer typically recommended for other mulches.
The product is packaged regionally and is made of either shredded area hardwoods, fir, cedar, pine or mixes, tinted with iron oxide or carbon black. No treated or recycled wood products are used.
A 2-cubic-foot bag covers up to 12 square feet. The mulch is available in three colors: midnight black, russet red and chestnut brown.
The product sells for $4.49 at Lowe's and is also available at some independent garden centers.BOOK COVERS ALL THINGS LAVENDER
Some people grow lavender for its beauty, some for its fragrance, and some for its usefulness in recipes, craft projects and household concoctions. Whatever the reason, "The Lavender Lover's Handbook" can help.
The book, by Sarah Berringer Bader, covers a wide range of aspects of growing and using the popular herb. Bader addresses the best places to grow, both from climatic and aesthetic standpoints, and also gives guidance on planting, propagating, caring for, harvesting and drying the plant. Recipes and craft projects give the reader ways to enjoy lavender outside the garden.
The book also features profiles of 100 lavender varieties.
"The Lavender Lover's Handbook" is published by Timber Press and sells for $27.95 in hardcover.