Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Room Freshner


By Reena Nerbas

Frayed Shoe Laces

Dear Reena,

I brought my son’s soccer cleats out of storage and noticed that the shoelaces are frayed. I can’t feed the laces through the holes, and I don’t have time to search for new laces. Any quick fix ideas? Maddy

Dear Maddy,

There are a couple of different methods for repairing shoelace aglets. You can purchase shrink wrap tubing at electronic stores, and fuse the shrink wrap onto the ends. But if you are heading to a store anyway it makes more sense to purchase new laces. Some people secure frayed laces with thin transparent tape; this is very temporary. A really smart quick fix; tightly wrap frayed aglets with dental floss and knot.

Keeping Kitchen Vents Clean

Dear Reena,

The vents in my kitchen are once again caked with grease. I used your advice and cleaned them in the dishwasher. When I took them out, they looked brand new. Is there any way to prevent dust and grease from quickly building up, so that I don’t need to clean them as often? Jada

Dear Jada,

Reduce the amount of frying in your home and your vents will stay cleaner longer. Coat both sides of the vents with a soft cloth and Turtle Wax. The job takes a little time, but the results are worth the effort.

Homemade Room Freshner

Dear Reena,

I live in an area with limited access to stores. Can you give me advice on how to make a homemade aromatic diffuser? Thanks, Ben

Dear Ben,

Find a small glass bottle with a narrow opening (a narrow opening traps the aroma better and the fragrance lasts longer). Pour one quarter cup almond oil into the jar (use cooking oil if almond oil is not available). Add 1 tsp. 90% strength rubbing alcohol. Put 4 or 5 wooden reeds (or kebob skewers) into the jar and stir the oil and alcohol together. Add 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Turn the reeds upside down every few days to activate the fragrance.

Feedback from Smart Reader:

Re: Uses for paper clips (Nov. 2014)

Dear Reena,

Further to your column recommending using paper clips as guitar picks, another item you can use in a pinch are the plastic clips which come with bags of bread. When I taught guitar to Junior High students I would save the clips and was able to amass a class set in no time. Some clever person at Lee Valley tools has also fashioned guitar picks out of used gift cards. Karen

Fun Ways to Spend Your Time

  • Office Stress Putty: Is your staff team feeling stressed and in need of some fun? Purchase two ingredients for your team to knead together and create Stress Putty! Combine 2 tbsp. cornstarch with one and a half tbsp. dish soap. Knead, pound, squeeze and take your frustration out on Stress Putty.
  • I am an avid golfer but as I age, I am finding it more and more difficult to locate golf balls, after I hit them. I did my research and found Golf Ball Finder glasses. They don’t work 100% but they really helped me locate the ball much quicker. Submitted By: Brian

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.

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Presenter on the topic: Effective Speaking or The Power of Words? Check out: