Solutions and Substitutions by Reena: Heating Your Home

By Reena Nerbas

Sewer in Laundry Room

ear Reena,

I am hoping that you can offer a solution for my daughter. She recently had her dirty laundry sorted on the floor of her laundry area in the basement of her home. Unfortunately her sewer line backed up and the basement sewer drain is right in front of her washing machine. Some of her clothes ended up soaked with sewer liquid and now she can’t get the smell out of her clothes. She washed them immediately the conventional way, then washed them again and tried adding vinegar to the washing machine – still no luck at removing that nasty odor. I am thinking that using extra fabric softener in the wash is only going to mask the odor for a short time but not eliminate it totally. What else could she try in order to salvage her clothes? Thanks, Sharon

Dear Sharon,

Before re-washing the clothing, soak them in hot water and borax. Borax contains no phosphates and no bleach and it is wonderful at zapping hard to handle odors. If you cannot locate borax, use a generous amount of Oxy Clean or tea tree oil and vinegar or baking soda. Adding vinegar to laundry loads is a wonderful idea, but for this particular instance you need to use straight vinegar and tea tree oil and soak for at least two hours before laundering.

Coring Apple

Dear Reena,

What is the easiest and fastest way to cut an apple without a corer? Elsie

Dear Elsie,

In my opinion, the easiest way to cut an apple is to stand it on the cutting board. Cut half inch from the center on all four sides of the apple around the core. Allow the sides to fall to the cutting board.

Extra Tidbit: To reduce the amount of browning on an apple after cutting. Put all four cut sides up against the core and secure with an elastic band. Toss into lunch bag.

Prevent Freezer Burn

Dear Reena,

How can I avoid getting freezer burn on the meat that I buy? Daniela

Dear Daniela,

All food items will eventually find themselves with freezer burn which is thousands and thousands of water molecules that have formed into ice crystals. There is a limit to how long food can be stored in the freezer. Here are a few easy steps that you can take to reduce freezer burn. Don’t overcrowd the freezer; make sure that all meat has enough room. Doing this helps the freezer temperature stay constant which reduces freezer burn. All foods should be packaged correctly, squeeze out air before packaging. Some people double bag meats to reduce freezer burn. Freeze smaller portions and do not freeze foods when they are hot. Allow them to cool before freezing. Correct freezer temperature should be set at -18C.

Gum in Hair

Dear Reena,

My grandson had gum stuck in his hair and not knowing what to do I took a scissor and gave him a haircut! When his mother returned to pick him up she was mad at me for cutting his hair. She took him for a professional haircut and now he’s got very short hair which doesn’t work well with such cold air. Is there anything I could have done to avoid the haircut? Pam

Dear Pam,

If this ever happens again simply take a blob of peanut butter and run it through his hair. Gently slide the gum along his ends until it’s out. If peanut allergies are a concern, use WD-40 or cooking oil or cooking spray instead.

Fabulous Tips of the Week!

  • Reduce heating costs in your home by 10% and clean less with this simple tip. Change your furnace filter monthly so that your furnace does not need to work as hard and less dust floats through the air.
  • As you get ready to enjoy the fireplace in your home, remember not to burn colored flyers or magazines. The fumes from colored papers may be harmful to breathe.

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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