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More Questions For Reena – for Aug. 11, 2011

Hi Reena,

I bought my regular fabric softener but with a different scent. I find the new scent is overpowering. I tried mixing it with my usual scent but even that is too strong. Can you suggest anything other than throwing out an almost full container of softener?


Hi Phyllis,

If you want to avoid throwing out your fabric softener, dilute the fabric softener with water. Next take an old washcloth, put the diluted fabric softener on the washcloth and throw in the dryer instead of the washing machine. Or create an air freshener by pouring 1/4 cup of fabric softener into a spray bottle and add 2 cups of water. Spray around rooms, in sports bags or on fabrics to freshen up your home.

Hi Reena,

My elderly father has accidentally sprayed oven cleaner on the floor, leaving the floor speckled with brown spots. Neither my mother nor father has ever used a computer in their lives but somehow they have your website. I just received a frantic call asking me to contact you. Nothing that they have tried is working and I wonder if you might have a solution? My mother’s parting words were, “Tell Reena it is an emergency!” Thank you so much for your help with this.


Hi Rachel,

Oven cleaner contains a huge amount of lye which can cause permanent burns on surfaces. Begin by making a paste of baking soda and water. Leave the paste on the surface for one hour before scrubbing with an S.O. S pad. Second options include: Orange TKO or Brasso and both have had positive results. If the stain remains you may need to replace that section of the floor.

Dear Reena,

Can you tell me how to get rid of oil stains on paving stones? Thanks for your help.


Great to hear from you Chuck,

Soak up new oil messes with one of the following: cat litter, corn flour or talcum powder. Scrub with dish soap and water and a stiff brush, repeat until stain fades. Clean oil typically disappears after several days. Dirty oil can be very difficult, if not impossible to completely remove. Use a degreasing agent or engine-cleaning fluid (test on inconspicuous area first). Muriatic acid is another option; use with extreme caution according to the instructions, rinse and scrub with clean water, then repeat as required.

Hi Reena,

I grated some lemon and orange rind on the fine side of my grater and I am having difficulty cleaning it. I’ve tried scraping it and using a toothpick to pick out pieces, to no avail. You have given me advice in the past and hope you can help me out again. Thanks in advance. Pearl

Hello Pearl,

Here are a few suggestions for cleaning your grater. Grate a raw potato or apple. This helps unplug the holes on the grater. Use a nylon brush dish scrubber and scrub the inside of the grater. The rind should come out of the holes fairly easily. Anytime you decide to grate cheese (instead of fruit), spray non-stick cooking spray on the grater before you start grating. This helps clean the cheese out quickly. Just a few dunks in warm, soapy water and the cheese should pop out. The next time you want to grate fruit, freeze the grater before and after use.

Dear Reena, Do you have a great recipe for me to

jazz up my boring Sunday night meat loaf? Donna


Put half of the ground beef mixture in your loaf pan, layer pepperoni and cheddar cheese and then cover with remainder of meat mixture. Bake as usual but 15 minutes before meat loaf is done spread 1/2 cup of your favourite pasta sauce on top and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Fabulous tip of the week!

Speaking of meat loaf; don’t toss out the bread crusts that your family won’t eat. Soak them in 2/3 cup buttermilk for 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess milk and add to meat loaf before baking. Moist and yummy!

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming! Check out my website

Reena Nerbas is a highly popular professional speaker and the author of

three national bestsellers, Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions,

Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets and Household Solutions 3 with

Green Alternatives. Books and Household Solutions 1, 2 and 3 Cooking/Cleaning

Gift Packs are available online or by calling: 204-320-2757.



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