Q: A few weeks ago, I bought a watermelon and put it on my granite kitchen counter, over a seam. After about a week, I smelled an awful odor, touched the watermelon, and realized it was soft and oozing fermented liquid. I threw it away and cleaned the granite, but the awful smell remained. Then I opened the corner cabinet and realized that the watermelon juice had seeped through and leaked onto a wooden Lazy Susan below. I cleaned all sticky spots, but the nauseating smell remains, even though I have since sprayed Lysol cleaner in the cabinet and put in a deodorizer. Is there a way to remove the Lazy Susan so I can clean more thoroughly?


A: You could probably remove the top Lazy Susan shelf by emptying it and removing screws that hold it to a swivel plate. Or, if you don’t see any screws, you could try rotating the shelf until the opening in it reveals a mounting plate with screws you can remove. This would give you access to the fixed shelf under the Lazy Susan, allowing you to clean up anything that leaked through.

However, unless that occurred, you probably won’t gain anything by removing the Lazy Susan. The persistent smell could be in the things that are on the shelf if you put them back after you cleaned. Cardboard is very absorbent. Try taking everything out, including on the lower Lazy Susan shelf, and see if that helps.

While the shelves are empty, get a flashlight and peer upward to see whether there is any residue on the back of the stone or the top of the cabinet. Cabinets are typically built as boxes, which means that underneath the granite, there is usually a layer of plywood. However, corner sections of cabinets are sometimes framed in place, in which case you would see stone. Of course, if you see evidence of the watermelon leak, clean up the remains.

Watermelon juice leaked onto this Lazy Susan, leaving a stubborn and nauseating smell. (Reader photo)

The leaking liquid could have wicked into the top of the cabinet box or any leveling compound between the cabinet and the stone. But short of removing the countertop, there is really no way to clean there. The best you could do is to try to seal in whatever is there. Fill the gap in the granite seam and paint the inside roof of the cabinet with shellac, which seals against odors and sticks to most finishes used on cabinets.

Shellac could also be the remedy if the Lazy Susan shelf is stained, which would be a sign that the leak penetrated the finish on the wood.

And as a final remedy, remember that air circulation helps odors dissipate over time. Consider removing the doors on the corner section for a while.

Q: We have a large half-round window, 8 feet wide and 5 feet high, above three regular-size windows in our bathroom. The room faces south, so we get a lot of direct sun. We have honeycomb shades on the three regular-size windows but have been unable to find a company that could make a shade for the arched window. Can you help?


A: Bali, a brand of Springs Window Fashions in Middleton, Wis., makes arch-shaped pleated shades 96 inches (or 8 feet) wide. The maximum height is 57½ inches, slightly less than you say you need. It might be possible to compensate for that by adding a trim piece at the base of the arch, or perhaps your window measurements are slightly off and the maximum-size shade will fit as is.

The Bali website (baliblinds.com) lists numerous companies that sell its products, including Home Depot, Lowe’s and several online companies. At Blinds.com, an online tool indicates that the price starts at $204.99 . But a woman who answered the company’s customer service number (800-505-1905) said the total price ranges from $305.05 to $413.55 depending on your choice of fabric (four options) and liner (light filtering or blackout).

A reader would like to find a company that can made a covering for this arched window. (Reader photo)