Getting to the meat of black walnuts and removing mildew's scent from mattresses

Q. I have been trying for a long time to figure out how to get the meat (easily) from the black walnut. Can you find out? No one seems to know.

- G.P.,

Montague, Calif.

A. "It's impossible to shell a black walnut 'easily,' " says David Steinmuller, sales marketing manager for Hammons, a sheller and processor of black walnuts. "It has a thick, strong shell, so it needs to be crushed." (In industrial black walnut shelling, large quantities of nuts are crushed between two giant steel rollers.) You can smash black walnuts with hammers, or hand-squeeze nutcrackers.

Alternatively, if you have a vise, you can try this method, suggested on Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk Web site at www.anet-chi.com/~manytimes/index.htm

While holding the widest part of the nut between the middle finger and thumb, place the nut between the vise jaws end to end. Apply pressure until the shell only just breaks, then use electrician's wire cutters to cut shell and release meat in solid pieces. Most of your cuts should be to the outer portion of the shell from the blunt end of the nut. You can vibrate the nut-meats on a screen to be sure to get rid of all shell debris. It may sound like a major operation, but it works.

Q. One of our bedrooms has a musty smell - even though there is no apparent water leakage. It is above the basement which can be damp - the mattresses on the beds smell dreadfully of mildew - I have washed the surfaces with Clorox and sprayed liberally with Lysol spray but to no avail. Can you suggest a remedy?

- D.B.,

Harvard, Mass.

A. "If bleach and Lysol spray are ineffective, the only way to rid your mattresses of the odors they have absorbed is by airing and drying," says Ted Johnson at the Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse in Washington, D.C. After the surfaces of the mattresses have been disinfected, you should remove them to a well-ventilated, dry area or take them outside.

You can reduce humidity and increase air flow with fans, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners. The mattresses have to be exposed to a high degree of air movement to dry thoroughly. Mildew organisms thrive on dampness.

If they still smell, then the mattresses have probably succumbed to a moldy state. Unfortunately, the most practical course, in this case, is to throw them away.

If you want more information, visit the the US Environmental Protection Agency's Web site at www.epa.gov

Also, you should consider the source of the dampness. Two previous "Resident Expert" columns published on July 1 and July 22 offered solutions to dealing with damp basements.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK