Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Glass Cleaner

By Reena Nerbas

Cleaning Toaster Oven

Dear Reena,

The inside walls of my toaster oven are aluminum; how do I clean them? I’ve tried S.O.S pads with no success. Fern

Dear Fern,

Clean the interior walls of a toaster oven with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, baking soda and a green scrubby pad. A combination of the two creates a powerful cleaner. If the baking soda is not strong enough, use washing soda. Rinse with white vinegar.

Tarnished Silver Jewelry

Hi Reena,

Several years ago, I purchased a lovely silver earring and necklace set in Asia. Both have now become quite tarnished. The person at the jewelry said I would have to have them re-plated at a cost that was considerably more than what I paid for them. Is there any other way that I can get rid of the tarnish? Thanks, Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Lay crumpled aluminum foil in a baking pan. Place the jewelry onto the foil. Pour hot water into the pan and add 1 tbsp. salt. Soak silver for 5 mins. and polish.

Painting Basement Floors

Dear Reena,

I’m sure that I read something in a past column of yours regarding painting basement floors. Ours is cement, and the finish used was recommended by our local building supply dealer and applied according to directions. It does not seem to be working, and the paint is coming off in patches. I believe the problem is dampness coming from underneath. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Holly

Dear Holly,

This is a common problem in basements that were not been sealed before painting. Consider sanding off the peeling paint and then applying a sealing product such as Aqua Seal before applying the proper paint. Following that, talk to your local hardware store about the best epoxy paint to use on the floor.

Homemade Glass Cleaner

Dear Reena,

You published a household recipe for cleaning windows and glass. Unfortunately, I’ve misplaced the article. Would you be so kind as to let me know what the ingredients are as I have some glass tables and doors that I would like to clean. Thank you so much, Benjamin

Dear Benjamin,

I have had several requests for this recipe therefore let me take this opportunity to reprint the information: Squeaky Clean Window Cleaner Recipe: In a spray bottle, combine 1 tsp. (5 mL) inexpensive shampoo or dish soap, one quarter cup (60 mL) rubbing alcohol and fill remaining portion of the bottle with white vinegar. Spray and wipe. (Taken from: Household Solutions with Kitchen Secrets)

Feedback from Clever Contributor

Re: Re: Stuck Jar Lid

After surgery a physical therapist gave me this tip (from his mom when he was a kid). With a new jar run a spoon, bowl facing out, between the jar and lid until it finds a space, lever it til you hear the lid pop then open. Melanie

Smart Solutions

  • Take photos of your prescription medication bottles. That way when you visit your physician, you can quickly show him/her photos of the prescriptions that you are taking, and the amounts. Submitted by: Glenn 
  • If you ever get chewing gum stuck to your clothing, place it in the freezer for an hour. The gum will peel off easily. Submitted by: Anthony
  • The best product that I have ever used to clean my toilets is ZUD. It worked when nothing else would budge the stains. Submitted by: Natasha

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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