Q A "bubbler" night light exploded, sending a reddish liquid onto the ceiling and wall. This left a stain that we cannot get off. Any tricks for removing this?

A It may not come out at all. The liquid from bubble lights, methylene chloride, is a notorious stainer because it requires a potent dye to color it. There is no cleaning solution that will remove this stain from fabrics, floors or walls. The affected areas likely will need to be patched or replaced. For those using bubble-light night lights in bathrooms, be aware that the stain won't come out of porcelain or tile either.

Although methylene chloride is not considered toxic, it is a local irritant so you'll want to avoid getting it on your skin or inhaling it.

Cheese slicing wires

Q No matter how much you spend on a wire-roller cheese slicer, within a short period of time the wire gets stretched. These slicers typically have screws on the sides, which are presumably there to allow you to adjust the tension (although this seems virtually impossible). Can you buy a replacement wire?

A Yes, they're available at kitchen stores such as Kitchen Window, 3001 Hennepin Av. S. in Minneapolis (612-824-4417). But you'll want to bring the slicer in with you to make sure you get a wire that fits it.

More on odor removal

Linda Daley, of Bloomington, wrote:

Your comment about removing the burned popcorn odor in the microwave made me recall the best way we ever had for removing odors. We had some crab legs that had leaked into the bottom of our refrigerator and nothing we did removed the odor. A 90-year-old friend said her insurance company once told her to put some fresh coffee grounds in her freezer to remove the odor of food that had spoiled during a blackout. We have used that method ever since for removing odors and it never has failed. I just put a little cup of coffee grounds in the refrigerator or wherever the odor is. I even put some in a bowl inside a suitcase that smelled moldy, and that worked, too.

Send your questions to Fixit in care of the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488, or call 612-673-9033, or e-mail fixit@startribune.com. Past columns are available at www.startribune.com/fixit. Sorry, Fixit cannot supply individual replies.