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More Questions For Reena – for May. 19, 2011

Hi Reena,

How are you? I have been meaning to contact you for a while. I have a dishwasher that is 23 years old; it still works. However, because of our water, when the softener runs out of salt I have rust stains on the inside plastic tub. Is there a safe way you can suggest for me to remove them without resorting to CLR or something like that? Thanks in advance.

Cheers,Judy P.S. Keep up the great ecofriendly cleaning work, it is appreciated.


In order to clean your dishwasher with an environmentally friendly option you could run white vinegar or straight citric acid through the soap dispenser. However, if you find that the stains still remain, you will need to try a strong chemical product and I have found that “Iron Out” is tough on rust stains (much better than other products on the market). Ventilate by opening the windows and use it as seldom as possible; let me know what you think!

Hi Reena,

I have a question I’m hoping you can answer for me.

I have a very large German shepherd who has the worst-smelling feet you can imagine. It smells like cheese popcorn. The smell is stinking up our house. Now one thing I have noticed is that she has a lot of hair between her toes. Not sure if that is contributing to the stink or what. I’m reluctant to spray her feet with anything because I’m sure she’ll lick it off. Any ideas?




I’m hesitant to offer any suggestions for this challenge because it may be related to her health and therefore a veterinarian is the best person to ask, especially since we do not know the cause of why her paws have a strange odour. A professional groomer will be able to trim the fur between her paws which will probably help. Also, if you sponge her feet in baking soda and water and then soak them in 2 cups of household vinegar and 1 drop of tea tree oil you should notice some improvement. Jell-O is another option; just add an additional 1/2 cup of water to the recipe of your favourite flavour in a mixing bowl and soak her paws. This has had great results for humans and may be worth a try.

Dear Reena,

Do you have an effective way to spray-clean chandeliers without using commercial preparations?



To clean a chandelier, first cover the floor with newspaper. Combine 1 tsp. (5 ml) rubbing alcohol, 4 cups (1 l) hot water and 2 tbsp. (30 ml) dishwasher anti-spot agent i.e. Jet Dry. Spray, drip-dry and polish. Or soak in a bucket and polish. (Taken fromHousehold Solutions 1 with Substitutions).

Dear Reena, Here is a tip for your readers: I love adding baking soda to

vegetables so that the colours become vibrant. Darcia

Thanks Darcia,

Great for presentation, bad for the body. You are right; this was the practice several years ago but has since been discontinued. It has now been discovered that baking soda destroys the vitamin C content of vegetables.

Dear Reena,

I cook homemade meals for my family every day; we never eat restaurant food. I am so tired of potatoes, pasta and rice. Any other ideas? Chris


When you say pasta, keep in mind there are many, many different varieties of pasta with significant differences in nutrition (i. e. fibre content) flavour, texture and shape. Consider purchasing some of the following foods to liven up your daily dose of yummies; some are pastas and some are not: kamut, quinoa, orzo, Chinese noodles, bulgur and couscous. All are healthy, delicious choices and very easy to make.

Hi Reena

I very much enjoy your column and was wondering if you had a recipe to make bath fizzes at home.



There’s nothing like relaxing after a long day with a handful of bath fizz! In a bowl combine: 2 cups Epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda and stir in a few drops of food colouring and 15 drops of your favourite essential oil. Mix and add 3/4 cup citric acid. Stir well. Store in airtight container.


Dear Reena,

I just read your article about spray bottles and cans that get clogged up. My solution is – turn the bottle upside down and pump the spray out till it’s clean. You waste some of it but it’s easier than letting it get plugged and throwing it out.

Your solution works; I’ve done that too.


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

Reena Nerbas is a Manitobabased professional speaker and author of the national

bestselling series, Household Solutions 1 with Substitutions,

Household Solutions 2 with Kitchen Secrets and Household

Solutions 3 with Green Alternatives. Corporate workshops available by calling: 204-320-2757.


Fabulous Tips of the Week:

TIP #1

Hi Reena!

Here is a solution that my daughters use to substitute for an egg in a recipe. One of my daughters bakes for a vegan friend, the other daughter bakes for children with egg allergies.

1/4 c. flaxseed

3/4 c. water

Buzz in blender 5 minutes. Store in fridge.

1/4 c. of mixture = 1 egg

Substitution works for cookies, cakes and muffins. The baked goods might have a slightly gummier texture, but are very good.

– All the best, Jeanette

TIP #2

While cooking tomato sauce, add 1/2 tsp. instant coffee to the sauce. This extra step takes the acidic edge off of the tomato sauce.



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