Whether you keep plants indoors all the time or just during cold weather, you know that if you set them in the wrong spot, they can do some damage. One way to add protection to pots is to use plastic trays underneath the pot. Another way is to install “feet” on the bottom of the pots. This is easy to do by just adding three or four small blobs of silicone caulk to the bottom of the pot. Flatten them slightly, and give them time to cure. These caulk feet will keep the pot off the surface and protect it. These feet can be put on the trays, too, and on other items that might scratch table tops.


Q: We want to make a set of glasses out of our old wine bottles. What’s the best way to cut them? – N.V.

A: It sounds like a fun project. There are lots of ways to cut glass but, for a whole set of glasses, we suggest getting a bottle cutter, made just for this purpose. These are not that expensive and will give you clean, consistent cuts. Make sure to grind or sand down the edges. And don’t forget to wear leather gloves and safety glasses!

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: Our sunroom turns into a greenhouse during the winter months. We have a lot of plants that we keep inside the room when it’s too cold outside. We do have carpet in this room, so we make sure we have trays to catch the water from spilling out of the pots. We also buy packages of clear shower caps at the beauty supply store to put on the bottom of the hanging baskets. They don’t really show and they stay on pretty well. At $3 a dozen, you can’t lose! – G.H.


Dear Al: We have a nice rock wall in our great room. It’s the real thing, not fake stone. I dust it every month to keep it looking nice, but once a year I rub it down with a mixture of turpentine and boiled linseed oil. This cleans off any airborne dust and brings out the colors of the beautiful stones. Of course, the windows are open on this day to let out the fumes from the turpentine, but it’s worth it. And the good look lasts for about a year. You’ll be shocked at the colors that come out if you do this to a rock wall in your home. – J.R.


Dear Kelly: I love to paint and do other repairs around my home. My home is right around the corner from an appliance dealer, and I’ve started getting some of their heavy-duty plastic wrappers that come around appliances, to use as tarps. I bring them home and straighten them out and then fold them up to keep them handy for my projects. They are great, and I easily can replace them when they wear out or get too dirty. – J.A.


Dear Al: I had never cleaned my dishwasher before, but I made a New Year’s resolution to take better care of all of my appliances. I took out the racks and set them aside. I figured I’d take them outside for cleaning. Then I started cleaning the sides and top of the inside of the dishwasher with baking soda, vinegar and water. I found a bunch of debris in the base and, while taking it out, found that I could remove the bottom center guard. I took it and the arms off, and washed them in the sink. It’s back together now, and it looks and works great. The refrigerator is next! – S.G.

A Super hint

Trash bags can make great “suit bags” for off-season storage or travel. Hang suits or coats or anything else on hangers in the closet and open the trash bag, pull it up over the clothes and tie the bag around the hangers at the top. Your clothes will be protected against dirt, moisture and dust.