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More Questions For Reena – for Jun. 2, 2011


Ifindtheclosets inourhome alwayssmell stalewhenwe openthecloset doors.Ihave boughtthereed diffusersrepeat-e dlyonlyto findthatthey evaporatevery quickly.Iam backtoSquare1.Canyouhelp? Thankyou.


Hi Lorraine,

Here are a few hints to keep your closets smelling fresh: Store open bars of soap in the closet. Just like in the refrigerator, store an open box of baking soda inside of the closet to absorb odours. Fabric softener sheets tucked inside closets make excellent room fresheners. Other suggestions: scented tea bags or potpourri, coffee beans in a sock, a bag of open activated charcoal, unlit fragrant candles. Or make your own air freshener. Into a spray bottle add 1/4 cup of your favourite scented liquid fabric softener. Fill the remaining portion of the bottle with water. Spray in closets for a fresh scent. Or spray all fabrics in the closet with vodka. This will take away all musty scents.


Iamwritingforyouradvice onriddingmydaughter’s apartmentoffleas.Mydaughter isexpectinghersecondchild andtheyhavean18-month-old aswell,sousingachemical treatmentisnottheirfirst choice.Theydonotownapetso theysuspectthataneighbour withacatontheirfloormaybe theproblem.Isthereanysafe methodyoucanrecommend toridtheirlivingspaceoffleas thatarepoppingupeverywhere andleavingeveryonewithitchy spots?Sheisvacuumingregularly andbagsthecontentsfrom thevacuumsofleascan’tescape andhaswashedallcoversand blanketsinhotwaterasafirst step.Seeingfleasandhaving biteshasjuststartedinthelast coupleofweeksyettheyhave beenlivingthereforalmosta year.Thankyou. Julie

Hi Julie,

Constant vacuuming and disposing of vacuum bags is the first and most important step. Vacuum your entire house paying particular attention to corners, dark crevices, under furniture, under beds, pet beds, rugs and especially around skirting boards. Put the nozzle attachment on your vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum around all baseboards and edges of fixtures. The vibrations from vacuuming also stimulate the fleas to emerge from their cocoons and thus they will be exposed to the insecticide that may be used. You are likely to need an aggressive approach to get the fleas to flee. Vacate your home and have someone spray the home with flea insecticide containing IGR. You may not like using insecticides and chemicals around your house but a home remedy to kill fleas will not work. Once you have broken the flea life cycle you will not have to spray on a regular basis and you can put the insecticides away forever.


Justwanttoknowhowlong canyoukeepjuiceinacartonin thefridgeonceit’sbeenopened? Shirley

Dear Shirley,

Check the expiration date on the carton. Typically unopened can be stored for eight months from production date. After the juice is open the drink should be consumed within seven to 10 days.


Isthereanywaytofreshen upcrackersthathavebeen standingaround?Someboxes havenotbeenopenedbutwere boughtawhileagoandIhave afeelingtheymightbestale. Thanks.


Hi Chris,

Take a serving of your crackers or chips and microwave them for 30 seconds. You can also put them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a very slow oven (250 F) for a while. Watch them carefully though so they don’t become too crisp. DearReena,

HowcanIgetfurnituredents outofcarpeting?Ihavefluffed itupasmuchasIcanwith thesharpedgeofaknifebut theyarestillveryvisible.Hope youcanhelpandthanksin advance.


Hello Sharon,

Drop an ice cube into the carpet indentation. Leave the cube until melted. Blot up wet spots and fluff. Another option is to steam the area, being careful not to rest the iron directly on the carpet.

Important feedback from readers:

Hi Reena,

When cleaning an oil painting one should do a test on one corner first to see if it’s varnished. If it isn’t varnished then there is a great risk that you will remove some paint along with the detritus that collects on the surface – fly specks, cooking oils, nicotine, smoke from oil-or wood-burning stoves, etc. As you go through the cleaning process keep checking your cleaning “pad” (we used cotton balls as they were soft and non-abrasive and held cleaning solutions quite well) to make sure no paint is being lifted off as a result of going through the layer of varnish. We worked on areas of about 3×3 inches until the cleaning was complete. Winsor &Newton makes a good cleaner, and varnishes by Daler-Rowney. Use a removable varnish to recoat the painting after it has been cleaned so it is ready to be cleaned again in the future – flies, gases and smoke usually don’t stop accumulating on pictures. Acrylic pictures need to be cleaned, too. Watercolours and pastels are usually kept under glass. – Dave

Fabulous tips of the week!

Use fabric softener sheets to prevent static electricity from building up around your television and computer screen. Give both a soft wipe to keep static down and the dust from settling.

Put a fabric softener sheet in the vacuum cleaner. Every time you vacuum your floors and carpets, the scent will waft through the house, leaving it smelling clean and fresh.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming!

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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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