Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Furnace Filters

By Reena Nerbas

Extra Buttons

Dear Reena,

Many of the jackets and suits that I buy are sold with an extra button. Apart from storing the button in the jacket pocket, do you have any suggestions as to how to organize apparel buttons without losing them? Mandy

Dear Mandy,

One option is to sew the extra button onto the inside label of the garment. Some people tape the extra button onto the blank side of a business card. Label the business card with which garment the button matches. Then the business card is put inside of a book style business card holder that they have specifically set apart for spare garment buttons.

Furnace Filters

Dear Reena,

Do you think it’s necessary to change a furnace filter more than once each year? Mike

Dear Mike,

Changing a furnace filter only once a year increases the odds of reducing the life of your furnace. It is good practice to change the filter every, one to three months, and more often if you hold it up to the light and can’t see through it. Some things to consider; do you have pets? If so, change the filter more often. Also, what kind of filters are you using? It is recommended that homeowners change standard fiberglass filters monthly.

Homemade Garlic Butter

Dear Reena,

Can you please give me a simple recipe for homemade garlic butter? Thanks, Gwen

Dear Gwen,

For the easiest garlic butter recipe, stir together: 1 cup softened butter with one tbsp. garlic powder. But for ‘Garlic Butter with a Kick’; try the following recipe. Into a bowl stir together: One cup softened butter, one tbsp. minced garlic, one tsp. garlic salt, one quarter cup grated Parmesan cheese, one tsp. Italian seasoning salt, one quarter tsp. black pepper and half tsp. paprika. Spread on bread before toasting. Store remainder in a sealed container in the fridge.

Give These Hints a Try!

  • This tip came from a woman that I was chatting with in a waiting room. Her 6-year-old daughter’s sneakers looked brand new and so I asked her what her secret is. She washes more than her car at the local wand-type car wash, taking along filthy sneakers, boots, and the mat outside her front door. Sounds like a quick and easy solution after hiking muddy trails. I’ll definitely try it this summer! Submitted by: Jan

  • I usually clean our stainless-steel sinks with a sprinkle of dishwasher powder on a damp cloth, but instead I decided to try non-gel toothpaste, and it does an even better job. Any cheap toothpaste should work. Happy Spring! Jan

  • If you accidentally seal an envelope and need to open it, stick it in the freezer for an hour and it will open. Submitted by: Ruth

  • The simplest way to raise indentions in a carpet is to place a very damp colorfast facecloth, folded many times, over the spot overnight and voila! Saves rubbing anything foreign into the carpet. Submitted by: Allan

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