FIX IT: Cut the grease with WD-40, Easy-Off

Some suprising solutions for nagging problems around the house:

Q: I can't seem to get the old grease off my exhaust hood fan in the kitchen. I can clean the actual screen in the dishwasher, but how do I clean the rest of the fan unit?

A: Try WD-40. It'll dissolve the old grease, which turns into a tough, varnish-like coating. Also recommended are kitchen cleaners such as Easy-Off Kitchen Cleaner (not the oven cleaner). Read label instructions first and test it on an inconspicuous part of the fan housing to make sure it doesn't harm the finish.

It's always best to first consult the manufacturer for specific cleaning recommendations and tips for your kitchen exhaust fan. Vent-a-hood products, for example, have removable blower wheels that can be soaked in ammonia for cleaning.

If you no longer have the owner's manual, check with a retailer that sells your brand of exhaust fan or search for a copy of the manual on the Internet.



Q: A couple of years ago we received a wooden highchair that was my father-in-law's when he was a child. This chair is now approaching 90 years old and we want to pass it on to my son and his wife when they have a baby later this year. The chair itself is in beautiful condition. However, the attached tray is in need of extensive repair or replacing. Where can I go to have this done?

A: Ask a woodworker or cabinetmaker. Names of individuals and companies that do this type of work are listed in yellow-page directories. Also, check with antique dealers. They may be able to refer you to a craftsman who can repair your highchair.

Meanwhile, be sure it is safe. Always use restraining straps so a child cannot slide under the tray and choke.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends:

_Waist and crotch restraining straps that are independent of the tray.

_An easy-to-use buckle-on waist strap.

_Secure tray locks.

_A wide, stable base.

_A locking device to keep a folding highchair from collapsing.

_Any small removable pieces (such as ends of tubes on modern highchairs) should be secure and unable to be removed by the child.