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More Questions For Reena – for Oct. 7, 2010

Dear Braxton,

In a large resealable glass container combine: 1 large bunch of clean herbs such as basil or tarragon with 3 cups white wine vinegar. Store in a cool, dry place. Can be used for up to one year. This is great for vinaigrettes. Additionally, some herbs, such as parsley, chives and basil can be puréed with a small amount of water in a blender, and then frozen in ice cube trays. They can later be stored in plastic bags for use in flavouring soups and sauces. Herb butter can be made with the addition of about 4 tbsp. chopped, dried herb leaves and a dash of lemon juice to 1/4 pound of butter softened at room temperature. The butter should then be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container.


Yousaythatvinegarcanbe usedtocontrolweeds.Where andhowwouldyougoabout usingvinegar?


Dear Ted,

Use pickling vinegar as an inexpensive, environmentally safe herbicide for spot treatment on organic farms. Control unwanted vegetation along roadsides and rangelands or weeds around yards, brick walls, cracks in pavements and patios. Spray full strength or make the following fantastic weed zapper. Combine 4 cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup salt and 2 tbsp. dish-washing liquid in a spray bottle. Be careful to NOT spray on adjacent plants. Leftover water from boiled potatoes also makes excellent weed killer for patios and paths. (Taken fromHousehold Solutions 1 with Substitutions.)


Whatisthebestwaytoremove cathairfromarticlesofclothing? Lintbrushesdon’tworkat all.Thanks.


Dear Lisa,

To tell you the truth the lint brush you mentioned is the most popular option for removing cat hair from fabric. Here are a few other ideas: Wrap a large roll of masking tape around your hand. As you run your hand over your clothes, it picks up the hair and sticks to the tape. Each layer of tape can be pulled off to give you a fresh surface underneath. Another option is Pet Pick-Up brushes which are brushes with a specialized head that captures hair in the nap of the fabric and releases it when brushed in the opposite direction. Fabric sprays applied to clothing for static cling also repel pet hair. Another option is to rub a fabric softener dryer sheet over the surface of clothing as a pet hair pickup. Store clothing in plastic dry cleaner bags in the closet to prevent hair from accumulating.

Did you know?– Domestic cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. Their sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than that of humans.


Iwaswatchingyoursegment onstainremovalonTV.Ihave areallybigproblemthatIam hopingyoucanhelpmeresolve. Ihavetwinboyswhoarefour yearsold.Theyarecompletely unabletoaimstraightintothe toiletwhentheyurinate.Ihave twootherchildren(averybusy household)andthereforeIdo nothavethetimetocleanthe bathroomeveryday(asisrequired duetotheboys’poor aimingskills).Asaresult,the bathroomssmellofurineeven afterIclean(withasolutionof vinegarandwater).Iamasthmatic andthereforecannotuse anyheavycleaners.Ihopethat youcanprovidemewithsuggestions forremediationofthis problem.


Hi Melanie,

The first step to take is to make sure that you have a seal at the bottom of the toilet where the toilet meets the floor. This will stop any urine from becoming trapped underneath the toilet. Next, use your favourite dish soap to clean the toilet; clean with whichever brand you typically buy whether it is scented or unscented. Rinse with water. Also if you visit your hardware store you can inquire about the line they carry of odour eliminators. If the item has Environment Canada’s EcoLogo, that is a good bet that it is a safe choice. One other option is to line the floor beneath the toilet with old towels or a floor mat and toss into the washing machine at the end of the day so that you are protecting the floor instead of constantly washing it. If you do want to clean with vinegar, use the following recipe: Combine 1 litre white vinegar, 1/2 cup three per cent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 tsp. dish soap. Mix them together. This solution of vinegar/ peroxide will dissolve and remove the odour instead of just spreading it around.

This Week’s Rosiest Tips:

Next spring, plant rose bushes as early as possible and as soon as the frost is out of the ground; a newly planted rose establishes itself quickest in the cool, moist spring soil, rather than in May, when the air is often hot and dry. Also, the longer growing period will produce more and better blooms.

To combat black spots on roses spray them with a mixture of: 1 tbsp. baking soda, 1 tbsp. light vegetable oil, and 1 tbsp. dish soap and 1 gallon of water. If they are too far gone make sure to purchase black spot-resistant roses next time. Your local nursery should be able to point you in the right direction as far as which roses grow best in your area.

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. Corporate and Christmas workshops available by calling: 204-320-2757.





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