Dear Reena,

What can I use to get the rust off of my cast iron barbeque grill? Thanks, Dan

Hi Dan,

As long as the rust has not eaten through the iron, you can remove it using several different techniques.

It’s very important to clean and season the grates of your cast iron grill after each use. While the grill grates are still warm but after the fire is completely out, wipe them with a rag. If there are particles of food stuck on the grates, use a wire brush or a nylon sponge to scrub them away; then wipe the grill grates again to ensure they are clean and free from food build up.

To clean rust off of your grill, heat the barbecue grill to the highest heat possible and burn off most of the rust and junk from the grates. Wire brushes, steel wool and cooking oil are good choices for cleaning cooled cast iron. Or make a thick paste of kosher salt and water. Apply it to the rusty area, then use steel wool or a wire brush to scrub away the rust. Repeat as necessary. Or soak the grill in cola. Leave overnight and scrub. Or clean grill with hot soapy water and rinse.
Hi Reena,

I have been using a commercial tile spray in my bathroom. Can you recommend a mixture I can make myself to do the same job?  I would appreciate your reply. Thanks, Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Mix one cup salt, one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar together to form a thick paste. Apply to the stained or soiled area with a soft cloth and let stand for three to five minutes. Rub in a circular motion and rinse off with clean water. Be sure to use a green scrubby pad (not steel wool) to avoid scratching the tile surface. Or clean tiles with vodka. Leave for 5 mins. and rinse (great for getting rid of soap scum). Or in a bowl, add 1 cup (250 mL) citric acid to 3 cups (750 mL) cold water. Stir until dissolved. Apply to tile with a scrub brush. Alternatively, dissolve one to two tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate in a gallon of water and apply to the tiles with a scrubby pad. Rinse with water. (Taken from Household Solutions 2 & 3).
Dear Reena,

You are scheduled to speak at my company in a few months but in the meantime we are having a debate that we are hoping you can solve. What is the best way to put out a grease fire? A few weeks ago a grease fire broke out in our staff kitchen while I was cooking on the stove and someone grabbed a bucket of water while someone else said water would make the fire worse. We finally got a hold of a fire extinguisher which worked quickly with little damage. Thanks, Vanessa
Dear Vanessa,

Grease fires are extremely dangerous because they burn very hot and can quickly spread to cabinets or other flammable areas of the kitchen. As you noticed, you only have a few moments to either put out a grease fire or escape the building. Here’s the most important tip: Never use water on a grease fire!!! Pouring water on burning grease or oil will not extinguish the fire. It will only cause the burning oil to splash, spreading the grease fire around. If the fire starts to get out of control, don’t hesitate to call 911. The fastest way to zap a grease fire in a pot is to cover it with a lid. Be careful with glass lids; they can break from the extreme heat of an open flame. You can smother a grease fire with baking soda but you will need a lot to kill the flame. Good that you had a fire extinguisher on hand (as everyone should). Make sure that your extinguisher has not reached its expiration date if it has be sure to replace it.
Feedback from reader:

Hi Reena,

I read your interesting article on bananas in my newspaper. Aside from all the other benefits of using bananas, did you know that rubbing a piece of the inside of a banana peel on a wart will cause it to disappear after a few days? Alternatively, one can place a piece of peel on the wart and tape it down for a few hours. The wart will be gone after some days, depending on the size of the wart. You might need two or three applications to successfully remove the wart.

In India, peasants routinely eat their food off sections of banana leaf, which are non-porous and don’t affect the food. Also wrapping fresh food in a banana leaf will keep it fresh for some days without refrigeration. Too bad we can’t get banana leaves in Canada!

Regards, Eric

Fabulous Tips of the Week:

  • Never wash strawberries ahead of time! When you get home with your container of strawberries, empty them out into a colander, take a two cup measure, and mix water with a one quarter cup vinegar. Rinse the water/vinegar mixture over the berries. Do not rinse off. While berries are draining, fold a piece of paper towel or napkin into the bottom of the container. Put the berries back into the container. Pop in ‘fridge. Only rinse off berries as you use them. Believe it or not, the berries will last with no sad grey fungus, or soft brown spots. Submitted by: Laurie Savoie

Say goodbye to the chip clip and hello to a better, easier way to close your chip bag. Take an open bag of chips. Roll the chip bag as if you were closing it. Fold both corners in. Turn the folded edge over the folded side edges. Voila you can shake the bag and the chips will not fall out.

  • Make your own instant sponge nail polish remover. Into a plastic container, insert a sponge with three slits cut into it. Pour nail polish remover into container and close. You will be able to quickly remove nail polish by inserting your fingernails into the slits of the sponge.

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!

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For all of your home improvement needs please contact my friend Shell Busey at To read more household solutions visit:

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