Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Spring Cleaning


By Reena Nerbas

Cleaning Cabinets

Hi Reena,

I read your column and wonder if you can tell me how to clean my cabinets? They are not melamine; they are custom made laminate cabinets. Thanks, Rudy

Dear Rudy,

The following is recommended for cleaning cabinets: Mild dish soap and water use a damp clean cloth being careful not to use an excessive amount of water, dry immediately. It is recommended not to use; Murphy’s Oil, Cabinet Magic, detergents and abrasive cleaners on kitchen cabinets as these can have a deteriorating effect on the finish over time, and may void some warranties.

Mold on Outdoor Furniture

Hello Reena,

I have linen fabric sofas that are kept outdoors. When it rains the air is moist. So unfortunately I have noticed my sofa’s developing mold. Is there any product I can use to protect the fabric i.e. Scotchgard? Thanks so much, Jamie

Dear Jamie,

Yes, you’ve got it! Scotchgard Outdoor Protector and similar products are formulated to defend fabrics against mold and other harmful elements by creating a barrier that protects the surface of the textiles. Taking steps to protect your fabric is a smart long term investment.

Yellowing Countertops

Dear Reena,

I own countertops, which have an epoxy coating as the topcoat finish. The area below the window has yellowed, I assume from the sun exposure. I tried to remove the yellowing using baking soda, and also with 3% hydrogen peroxide, but to no avail. Do you have a suggestion? Many thanks! Linda

Dear Linda,

I contacted the company and they recommend cleaning the counters with dish soap and water and a thin coat of oil. They also suggested using Scott’s Liquid Gold on the counter. As far as yellowing is concerned, they have never heard of this. Your counters should not discolor; I recommend that you contact the manufacturer because cleaning with anything other than what the company recommends may damage your warranty.

Soap Scum Remover

Dear Reena,

I scrubbed the soap scum inside my tiled bathroom shower for years. Now as I am older, I need an easier solution for cleaning soap scum. Any ideas? Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

Consider wetting the tiles with the following all-purpose homemade cleaner: Into an empty spray bottle pour 2 cups water, half cup vinegar, one quarter cup rubbing alcohol and half tsp. dish soap. Spray the tile and leave for 15 minutes. Use a plastic putty knife to clean the walls with ease.

Sinking Berries in Muffins

Dear Reena,

How can I prevent berries from sinking to the bottom of muffins when I bake them? Laine

Dear Laine,

Toss berries with flour before adding them to muffin batter. As well, if the berries are large, consider cutting them into small pieces so that they won’t be as heavy.

Unique Household Ideas

As spring approaches I want to share a tip that I discovered last year. Instead of taking hours to sweep out debris and dirt in my garage, I use my leaf blower. With earplugs, safety glasses and a dust mask on, I can clean the entire garage in about 10 minutes and I don’t need to move heavy furniture before I clean. Submitted By: Hank

I have a kitchen apron with big pockets. I was ready to toss it when I had an idea. I now fill the pockets with sponges and cleaning products and wear the apron whenever I clean my home. Now everything is right at my fingertips. If your apron didn’t come with pockets, they are easy to add if you sew. Submitted By: Jocelyn

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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