Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Dusty and Musty Surfaces


By Reena Nerbas

Dusty Computer/TV Screens

Dear Reena,

I am wondering if you have a homemade solution static/dust cleaner for computers and TV screens. No matter how often we clean them, dust quickly reappears. Any suggestions? Thank you. Carol

Dear Carol,

The easiest solution for repelling dust on screens requires two steps. Step 1: Wipe the screen with a very soft dusting brush or cloth. Step 2: Gently wipe the screen with a fabric softener sheet to repel dust.

Fungus Gnats or Fruit Flies

Hi Reena,

I read with interest your article about fruit flies and you indicated that they could also come from the soil. I have some of those flies and am not sure if they are coming from one of my plants or from the tomatoes that I picked. What is the best way to get rid of them from the soil? Also, if I take my geraniums inside during late fall; is that where the flies come from? If I can nip it in the bud as soon as I take them in, that would be great. Thanks, Jacki

Dear Jacki,

First, set out a bowl of vinegar to determine if the bugs are fruit flies or fungus gnats. Fruit flies are attracted to vinegar but gnats are not. To reduce either from hatching in plants, spread a layer of course sand on top of the soil. Doing this makes it difficult for fruit flies to lay eggs. Also, standing water creates a perfect breeding environment for fruit flies, therefore water plants but make sure there is no standing water in the plant saucer. A great way to get rid of any possible pests in geraniums is to spray them with insecticide before carrying them inside. Homemade Pesticide: In a 1 gallon milk jug, combine 2 tbsp. dish soap, 1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol, dash of Tabasco sauce, 1 tbsp. canola oil and enough water to fill the jug. Pour mixture into spray bottle and apply as needed (double recipe as needed). Another option is to steep cigarette tobacco in water. Leave for two days and spray plants.

Musty Fabric Furniture

Dear Reena,

We have a new upholstered fabric headboard which has a musty odor. How can we get rid of this? Our residence is all new, with no dampness. Thank you, Faye

Dear Faye,

With the assumption that the headboard fabric is washable; clean it with one of the following solutions. Into a clean ice cream pail pour ten drops of tea tree oil, one tsp. dish soap; fill the bucket with warm water. Wipe well and rinse with clear water. Or spray the headboard with shaving cream, scrub with a cloth and rinse with water. Dry with a warm hair dryer. The smell may be coming from the chemicals used in manufacturing the headboard and should disappear over time.

Fabulous Tips of the Week

Whenever I notice that it’s time to dust my ceiling fan; I grab a pillowcase and open it so that the blade is inside of the case. Then I hold the pillowcase closed and pull the pillowcase towards me. The dust stays inside instead of flying around the room. Submitted By: Genie

When I’m in a hurry, I make individual meatloaf servings. I use a retractable scoop and put the ground meat into the muffin tin. Press with a spoon. The individual meatloaf servings bake in about 20 mins. and I freeze the leftovers. Submitted By: Marty

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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