Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Garlic Spread

By Reena Nerbas

Toilet Bowl Stains

Dear Reena,

How do I remove stains out of toilet bowls? Bells

Dear Bells,

Make your toilet bowl sparkle by pouring a little shampoo or dish soap onto a pumice stone and gently, rubbing the inside of the toilet bowl to remove stains. Or clean the toilet with a product called ‘Iron Out’, use according to the directions on the bottle.

Little Black Flies in House

Dear Reena,

I have little black flies in my home, I’m assuming they are from my house plants. How do I get rid of them? Marsha

Dear Marsha,

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 bugs 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. 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 use as needed (double recipe as needed). Another option is to steep cigarette tobacco in water. Leave for two days and spray plants.

Gum on Jeans

Hi Reena,

I tried freezing my jeans to remove chewed gum, and have got some of it out, but I am starting to wreck them where I am scratching it off. Any other options? Warren

Dear Warren,

Wipe the area with rubbing alcohol, doing this breaks down the polymer that makes chewing gum sticky. Another option is to spray the area with WD-40, wait for 10 mins. Wipe with a plastic putty knife. Soak the area with dish soap and water. Wash as usual.

Homemade Garlic Spread

Dear Reena,

Can you please provide me with a recipe for garlic spread that I can spread on Italian Bread and bake? Fern

Dear Fern,

This recipe is so good and tastes like restaurant garlic bread! Into a bowl combine: Half cup softened butter (yummier than margarine), one quarter cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, half tsp. dried basil, half tsp. dried oregano, half tsp. dried parsley, sprinkle lightly with black pepper. Slice Italian bread in half lengthwise and spread both sides with butter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 12 minutes). Slice and serve.

Feedback from Smart Contributor

Re: Ant Hills

Sprinkle used coffee grounds to repel ants, this works well and helps fertilize your garden at the same time. Faye

Interesting Hints:

  • Remove pet hair from furniture using a window squeegee. Submitted by: Lisa

  • I recently read an article about rabbits in the yard eating things we do not want them to eat. I found an excellent inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy solution. Grate Irish Spring bar soap just like cheese and sprinkle it around problem areas (or around perimeter of property) to keep rabbits away. Submitted by: Jamie

  • Avoid pouring grease from cooking down the sink; instead put grease into the garbage, that way you don’t run the risk of clogging up the sink and damaging the pipes. Submitted by: Ellen

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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