Ask me anything: Dehumidifiers and a large glass stove disaster

Humidity, or the lack thereof, is a popular topic this time of year. Where I live in northern Colorado, it’s dry! We have no humidity. Well, not exactly, but it averages in the low mid-20 percent during the summer and fall months. We have a humidifier in our home, and it runs 24/7 year-round for health and comfort.

Recently, lots of readers have inquired about how to deal with the opposite: high humidity, which can get pretty miserable this time of year.

What is the best inexpensive home dehumidifier?

I am confident and very happy to recommend two high-quality machines (depending on the size of your space), both of which just happen to come from Frigidaire. A dehumidifier can be a godsend for those who live in high-humidity areas to remove excess moisture from indoor air. Some of the most common indications that you may need a dehumidifier are wet stains on walls and ceilings, a stuffy feeling in a room, rotting wood, condensation on windows, musty smells and allergies (if the air in your home is too moist, it will encourage the growth of bacteria and mold, which are common allergens).

FRIGIDAIRE FAD504DWD ENERGY STAR 50-PINT DEHUMIDIFIER. This machine has a 50-pint daily capacity and will give you continuous operation in an area up to 1,500 square feet as long as it is near a suitable drain. It will help to eliminate bacteria in the air, room odors, mold, mildew and other airborne particles. This machine is very quiet and allows you to control the exact percentage of humidity in the room. For the money, I don’t think you can beat this option. It costs about $195 on Amazon.

FRIGIDAIRE FFAD7033R1 ENERGY STAR 70-PINT DEHUMIDIFIER. You will want to opt for this 70-pint-capacity unit for an area up to 2,500 square feet. It, too, will protect your home from mold and mildew and airborne particles that can make breathing difficult for some people. This is a remarkable machine that operates quietly and efficiently. Additional features include a digital humidity readout, a 24-hour on/off timer and a control lock. This is a fantastic dehumidifier. If the additional cost works with your budget, this would be my first choice. It costs about $240 on Amazon.

Q: I burned a pot on my new glass stovetop, and it left this horrible white burn spot. Do you have any idea how I can get it out?

A: You’re not the only one. This is a common problem, and one that does have a solution. First, check the owners manual for your appliance. You may find a solution with the manufacturer’s recommendation for a product to use. I can tell you that most manufacturers of glass stovetops recommend Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner for stains like yours, and to maintain it. As a kit, Cerama Bryte comes with a scraper, cleaning pads and complete instructions, and it costs about $14.

Another option is liquid Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Cooktop Cleaner, which costs about $6). It is also formulated specifically for smooth stovetops. It is ammonia- and silicone-free and food safe. I’m particularly fond of the entire line of BKF products, so I’d start there, unless to do so would void your warranty. Make sure you read the manual. For links to these cleaners and others mentioned in this column visit www.everydaycheapskate.com/amahumid.

Hope that helps!

Got a question, dilemma or flat-out crisis? You can ask me anything.

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I can recall vividly — and count on one hand — the migraine headaches I’ve had in my life, all of which were before age 10. Once I turned double digits, I outgrew them … until a couple of months ago.

With no warning at all, there I was back to my 8-year-old self, flat on my back with a raging migraine. Why now, after all these years?

In reading up on the latest findings, I discovered how important magnesium is to our overall health. Turns out that 80 percent of the U.S. population suffers from magnesium deficiency causing all kinds of health issues, one of them being migraine headaches. And here’s the problem with that: Magnesium supplements are not necessarily the answer because it is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract.

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read how Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which just happens to be easily absorbed through the skin — as in soaking in it in a nice warm bath. You can be sure Epsom salt soaks are now part of my routine to get regular boosts of magnesium and hopefully avoid migraines in the future.

Epsom salt, also known as hydrated magnesium sulfate (not to be confused with table salt, also known as sodium chloride) is plentiful, inexpensive and available at drugstores and supermarkets everywhere, and it has dozens of other practical uses and health benefits.

SEDATIVE BATH. Soak in a warm bath to soothe muscle pain and aches, and keep you feeling rejuvenated and your skin hydrated and healthy. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a bathtub of very warm water (double that if you have a deep soaking tub) and soak for at least 12 minutes. Treat yourself to a soak three times weekly for optimal results.

SLEEP AID. Because of its ability to soothe skin and relax muscles, Epsom salt can contribute to a good night’s rest. Take a nice, warm Epsom salt bath right before bed and say goodbye to insomnia.

SPRAINS AND BRUISES. Soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises.

FOOT SOAK. To combat swelling and soothe sore feet, add 1/2 cup Epsom salt to a gallon of lukewarm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes at the end of the day.

SPLINTER REMOVER. Soak in Epsom salt to draw out the splinter. It really works.

SUNBURN RELIEF. Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great tool for treating mild sunburn irritation. Take an empty spray bottle. Mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water, and then spray on the affected area.

BUG BITES. To help relieve common insect bites, just mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water; dip a cotton washcloth in the solution; and apply to the affected area. Relief!

FACIAL CLEANSER. To clean your face at night, mix half a teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleanser. Massage into skin and rinse with cool water.

EXFOLIATE. Massage handfuls of Epsom salt over your wet skin, starting with your feet and continuing up toward your face. Rinse in a bath or shower.

DRY LIPS. Try giving your lips a deeper treatment using Epsom salt. Combine a few tablespoons of salt with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline). Apply and gently rub it in. The solution helps remove dry skin and will leave your lips looking fuller and healthier.

PEDICURE. Epsom salt’s natural exfoliating properties will help soften rough and callused skin, leaving your feet feeling spa fresh. Add 1/2 to 1 cup Epsom to the foot bath.

I hope some of this information is helpful, especially for my readers who suffer from debilitating headaches. Even if you’ve never had a migraine, do yourself a favor and research how magnesium can improve your health. I’m convinced there is something to this “miracle.” I’d love to hear about what you discover.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving. com and author of 18 books, including her latest, “Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill With a Credit Card?” You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate. com.