Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Handy Hacks

By Reena Nerbas

Limescale in Toilet

Dear Reena,

How would you clean tough limescale off a toilet? I tried many methods. Thanks, Napolean

Dear Napolean,

To remove stains in a toilet, purchase a pumice stone and lubricate it with either cheap shampoo or dish soap. Wet the stone and gently wipe the toilet rim to remove marks, being careful not to scratch the porcelain.

Reuse Rice Bags

Dear Reena,

Any ideas for ways to reuse muslin rice bags instead of throwing them out? Thanks, Arlin

Dear Arlin,

Some of the following suggestions require the skill of sewing: Use as is or transform rice bags into a small shopping bag, wallet, bathtub toy holder, picnic utensil carrier or make-up bag. Use two bags to make a large bag. You can also put one rice bag around each of your planters to prevent spillage.

Repairing Leather Furniture

Dear Reena,

Is there a way to repair deep cuts in leather furniture? Also, is there a product that can be used to spruce up the dye color on leather furniture? I have seen advertisements about people who will come in and repair and re-dye, but I imagine it will be costly and we would prefer to do it ourselves, if possible. Thanks, Mandy

Dear Reena,

To repair tears in leather furniture purchase; leather glue and a sub patch. Push the sub-patch through the tear. Close the cut with leather glue, works amazingly well! Or purchase a leather repair kit; follow the instructions included with the kit. My father-in law used to use a product on his horse saddles called Urad to shine leather, (search for Urad on-line). Saddle soap, leather conditioner and mink oil are also good alternatives. If you have a limited budget, rub the inside of a banana peel onto the leather to help make it shine.

Feedback from Contributors

Re: Preventing natural peanut butter from separating

The best way to mix up the natural peanut butter so the oil is evenly distributed, is to pour and scrape all the contents of the jar into a bowl, mix it with a big spoon until it’s uniform in texture, and spoon it back into the jar. Then refrigerate it. It won’t separate when it’s cold. The person who takes on this job gets to lick the spoon and the bowl! Jill

Re: Checking for ripe pineapples

You should have informed people to check pineapples at the store before purchasing. Pineapples are one of several fruits that do not ripen after being harvested. What you buy is what it is. Ian

Handy Hacks of the Week

  • Here is an easy way to remove wrinkles on lightweight clothing. Put ice cubes in the dryer before drying fabrics, to get wrinkles out. Submitted by: Lynn
  • Some packaging is difficult to open because the item is encased in thick plastic. I discovered that using a can opener to slice open the packages works well. Submitted by: Benjamin
  • If you have an open box of pasta, spaghetti noodles in your pantry, keep them fresher longer by storing them in a Pringles chip can. Submitted by: Alex
  • After cleaning your bathroom and kitchen faucets, polish them with wax paper to make them shine, and repel water spots. Submitted by: Tammy
  • My daughter spilt glitter all over the carpet and kitchen chairs. I used a lint roller to clean up the mess, it only took a few seconds. You can also use a lint roller to clean the dust off of lampshades. Submitted by: Nevee

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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