Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Hiccups and Stuck Lids


By Reena Nerbas

Smelly Drain

Dear Reena,

The overflow drain in my bathroom sink stinks really badly. Wondering what I can use to clean it out and get rid of the smell? Colleen

Dear Colleen,

The first step in getting rid of sink odors is to plug the sink. Fill the sink with 2-4 cups of vinegar or bleach; add hot water until just past the overflow drain. Lock the bathroom door if you have small children so that they cannot access the drain. Leave for ten minutes. Remove the plug and drain the solution. Follow-up with hot water. If the overflow drain still smells, either call a plumber or if you are a handyperson, dismantle and clean the trap yourself. It is common for the trap to collect muck and cleaning should do wonders for the smell. If the hole still carries an odor, call a plumber.

Itchy Blouse

Dear Reena,

I own a rayon blouse which is so itchy, I cannot wear it. Would you have a solution to this problem? It is lacy in appearance. Thanks, Shirley

Dear Shirley,

Is your blouse 100% rayon? Typically rayon by itself is not an irritating fabric; however it is possible that you may have a sensitivity or allergy to rayon and/or manufacturer’s dye. Also the texture and movement of lace by itself may cause skin irritation. Either sew a piece of fabric to the back of the lace, or wear a camisole underneath. You might also consider adding vinegar or fabric softener to your wash to soften the lace.

Rice Krispie Treat Tips

Dear Reena,

Whenever I make Rice Krispie treats I become frustrated trying to flatten the cereal and marshmallows in the pan. They become stuck to my fingers and I end up with pieces of cereal all over my hands. Any tips? Willy

Dear Willy,

Here are three easy ways to flatten cereal treats in the pan. Press cereal with a wet or frozen metal spoon. Or wet your hands with water before spreading the cereal. Or spoon the mixture onto the pan; lay a piece of plastic wrap over the cereal. Flatten the cereal with your hands; nothing touches your fingers.

Did you know? You can add fiber and other heathy ingredients to your Cereal Cake. Melt together one quarter cup butter or margarine, and 40 marshmallows; add a variety of other cereal brands mixed together and some flax, bran, hemp or oats. As long as you end up with 6 cups of additions the cake will work.

Feedback from Contributing Readers

Re: Curing Hiccups

Dear Reena,

Here is great hiccup cure, take a teaspoon and put an eighth tsp. sugar on the end. Then try to sprinkle the sugar on the back of your throat. Works every time! Something about the texture calms those nerves! Cheers! I enjoy your column! Lori

Dear Reena,

I just lean forward and drink a full glass of water. Works immediately. Lawrence

Re: Homemade Dry Skin Recipe

Dear Reena,

PETROLEUM JELLY? How horrifying in these days with all of our knowledge on petroleum based products effects on our systems that you would suggest a moisturizer made almost exclusively of this. Are you living with your head in the sand? I can’t even express my sadness and disappointment. Carolyn

Open a Stuck Jar

Imagine that the jar lid is the face of a clock. Using the handle of a butter knife hit the outer edge of the lid at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 all the way to 12:00. Turn and open the lid.

Pop the air seal on a stuck jar. Place the tip of a butter knife under the lid edge, gently pull the knife upwards. The lid pops open.

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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