Home & Decor

Solutions & Substitutions Column July 5th 2010

Text By: Reena Nerbas

Dear Reena,

I regularly read your household solutions in my newspaper and find them very helpful. I am hoping that you can help me with my problem: I have scotch tape on my windows due to applying decals etc. I’m afraid to scrape it off because I don’t want to damage the window. Can you help me? Doreen

Hi Doreen,

Help is on the way! Spray the area with WD-40. Leave for 10 mins. and gently scrape all residue with a plastic putty knife. All stickiness will be gone in a snap!

Hello Reena,

I have a pair of coveralls made in Mexico; they are 65% polyester and 35% cotton. The coveralls smell like a barn and the smell won’t go away. I have washed them in hot water and baking soda. I would really like your expertise on getting rid of this smell. Pauline

Dear Pauline,

In a stainless steel pot, boil the coveralls in one half cup washing soda, borax or vinegar and enough water to cover the fabric. Allow the water to boil for 5 mins. turn the element off and let soak for one hour. Hang to dry. If the smell remains, the odor is likely part of the manufacturing process; in this case the smell is permanent.

Dear Reena,

I have a hint and a question. My hint: I leave a sheet of paper towel in my microwave when I cook, that way I hardly ever have to clean the microwave because the paper towel catches everything and takes away cooking odors like pizza etc.

Reena’s Note: Use paper towel in the microwave ONLY if the package states, “microwave safe”.

Question: How can I fix a crack in a mirror panel? Thanks, I love your hints. Irma

Hello Irma,

Unless you are willing to replace the mirror, your best and safest solution is to visit your local hardware store and purchase a repair kit specifically designed to repair cracked mirrors.

Dear Reena,

I have a screened in gazebo with a canvas type roof (which is attached to my house) and is in serious need of a good cleaning on the outside. It is 5 years old and has various “speckles” of mold, environment droppings etc. I would like to know how to best clean it.  Can you help me? Joan

Hi Joan,

Spring is in the air and it’s time to freshen! Vacuum areas to remove any excess dirt. Wash the affected area with a solution of half cup Lysol and one gallon of hot water. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup salt to a gallon of hot water. Allow the canvas to air dry in the sun. A combination of bleach and water is another solution; however test on an inconspicuous area first. Mix half cup household bleach, one quarter cup of (ammonia free) liquid laundry detergent and 1 gallon of hot water. Using a sponge or rag, apply the cleaning mixture liberally and allow it to soak for 5 to 15 minutes. Wipe down all surfaces, to remove the stains and signs of mildew and mold.

Feedback from Reader:

Hi Reena,

You have given me so much good information over the years and I thank you for that. I just thought I’d pass on some things that seemed to work exceptionally well for me in the hopes that others may also be looking for these solutions.

We installed one of the new granite stone sinks a couple of years ago in black which looked really sharp with our black appliances but after a year or so, it started to show an accumulation on the sides of the sink from the alkali in our water (we are on a well). I called the company and they suggested bleach, Vim or CLR but no one product seemed to do the job. I was getting extremely frustrated with it, so I called them back again. This time they told me to clean it with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and then coat it with mineral oil, I did and now I have a brand new sink! It worked so extremely well, and I only have to do this every couple of weeks, or as is my habit, once a week when I give my sink a really good cleaning.

Another solution others may want to try – To clean a manual cleaning oven (I don’t like to use oven cleaner so I just use S.O.S and elbow grease), the glass oven door, the interior just wouldn’t come clean with Windex and I was reluctant to use S.O.S with any extreme force. So, since I had just cleaned my black glass countertop stove with the Ceramabryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner, I poured a little on the oven door and it was extremely easy to remove the baked on splashes. It certainly wouldn’t be harmful to it either since the black glass on the stovetop would need tender loving care also to prevent scratches. I was amazed! Submitted by: Val

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • If you have a sticky zipper here is what you can do to make the zipper slide better. Rub a candle on the zipper until it works freely. Wax puts a protective coating on the zipper so it has some protection in the future. Wax actually is better than a bar of soap for making a zipper work since it will coat the zipper longer then soap. Iris
  • You may not be able to shape your body the way that you want but you can shape your shrubs. Cut back a few inches where you want to make the shrub shaped; this will ensure that over the next few years you will have a nicely shaped shrub. The Mean Green Cleaning Machine, Reena Nerbas

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of three national best sellers, “Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions”, “Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets” and “Household Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives”. Corporate and Christmas Workshops Available by calling: 204-320-2757.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

Check out my web site! www.householdsolutions.org

For all of your home improvement needs please contact my friend Shell Busey at www.housesmartcentre.com. To read more household solutions visit: www.CanadianHomeTrends.ca

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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.