Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Burn Smells Linger in Microwave

By Reena Nerbas

Built-up Hairspray

Dear Reena,

Can you please tell me how to remove built-up hairspray from my hair? Thanks, Ingrid

Dear Ingrid,

Typically, shampoo is the best solution for removing hairspray from hair. For a deep cleaning treatment, add 2 tbsp. baking soda to the amount of shampoo that you are using. Scrub into hair, leave for 15 mins. and rinse with water.

Extra Tip: Tor remove hairspray from walls use rubbing alcohol and a scrubby pad. If this does not do the trick, your next step is to clean the wall with shampoo, diluted in warm water. Another wonderful option: apply shaving cream to the stained area. Leave for 5 minutes and scrub.

Bathtub Ring

Dear Reena,

I would love to know what to use to remove a bathtub ring. Thanks Lorraine

Dear Lorraine,

Clean the bathtub on a regular basis. You may need to wash out the bathtub weekly or more often, depending on how often it is used. While wearing gloves, sprinkle a dampened green abrasive cloth with either baking soda or washing soda and borax. Wet and scrub until the tub is clean. Rinse and dry with a rag. For tough stains apply 3% hydrogen peroxide/baking soda or cream of tartar and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Put cream of tartar in a bowl and drip in hydrogen peroxide until you have a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and let dry; scrub away the dried paste and watch the eye soar disappear. For really tough stains use, Iron Out according to the directions on the bottle.

Feedback from Wise Contributor

Re: Recipe for Killing Moss

  • You recently printed a recipe to kill moss. Baking soda is all you need. I had it all over my yard last year and I sprinkled it on the moss and within hours it was browning. The best part is you don’t have to worry about it raining after application because the baking soda just soaks in and continues to work. Lori

Re: Solution for heat marks on wood

  • Here is a remedy for a heat or moisture marked wooden table. Any professional furniture/antique restorer will make a paste of ashes and water rub it in, and the mark will be gone. Lori

Solutions for Life’s Little Frustrations

  • Here’s a microwave ‘hack’ that my wife taught me. 95% of our microwave usage is to warm up coffee. Our unit is combined with a range hood, and it’s quite high ….and my wife is quite short. Our microwave has a turntable, and my wife somehow figured out that if you program the unit to heat for an even number (say 40 seconds), it will stop with the cup at the front with the cup handle within easy reach ….and un-even number (say 45 seconds) and it will stop with the cup at the back (too far for her to reach, and with the handle facing away from her!) Who would have guessed? Dave

  • When food burns in the microwave, your best bet is to overpower the burnt smell with a pleasant aroma. In a microwave safe bowl combine water and a few teaspoons of vanilla for baking. The more vanilla, the stronger the smell. Put the bowl inside the microwave, and set the microwave to cook until the vanilla boils over and flows into the cracks and corners of the microwave (where the foul odor is coming from). When the microwave stops, let the liquid sit for one hour. Wipe the microwave with a generous amount of vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice. Dry the microwave and unplug it. Stuff the microwave with LOTS of crumpled up newspaper. The ink in newspaper will absorb any remaining odor. Leave newspaper for at least a few days. Remove the newspaper. Store a bowl of baking soda in your microwave when not in use.

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.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website: Ask a question or share a tip at

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