Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Icy Steps

By Reena Nerbas

Blackened Pot

Dear Reena,

I have burnt a pot very badly. It had red cabbage in it and I cannot remove the black from the bottom. Can you give me a solution for this? Thank you. Hulda

Dear Hulda,

Soak the pan with dishwasher detergent and hot water for a couple of hours, scrub with a steel wool pad. Or (and this is what I like to do) into the pot pour baking soda, dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom. Boil the contents for 5 mins. Let sit just until cool enough to handle and scrub with an S.O.S pad. Some people use oven cleaner for this purpose and leave it overnight, but I prefer baking soda.

Icy Steps

Dear Reena,

Can you please tell me how to melt the ice on the steps in front of my home? My mother is 85 years old, and I fear that she will slip, and break her hip, if I don’t do something to make the walk and steps less icy. Max

Dear Max,

Use the following recipe several times throughout the season, to prevent your steps from becoming dangerous and icy. Into a gallon jug add: 1 tbsp. rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp. Dawn dish soap and half gallon hot water. Pour the concoction onto cement. Within a few hours, ice turns to slush making the area safer for walking. Also, consider securing outdoor carpet wherever possible.

Cold vs Hot Water in Coffee Makers

Dear Reena,

In a recent column the last thing you said was – “Never pour hot water in a drip brewer; always use cold water”. My husband uses boiling water in our drip coffee maker, and it seems to work okay. Could you tell me why you should not use boiling water? Baker

Dear Baker,

According to one of the world’s leading coffee retailers; a cup of coffee is 98 percent water. So, the water you use to make coffee should taste clean, fresh, and free of impurities. Cold water cuts the acid in coffee by 65% so that the result is a smoother cup of coffee. Most coffee pots are designed to heat water from a cold temperature, thereby fewer minerals are inclined to build-up in your coffee maker. However, if you are happy with the taste of your coffee and your machine is running well, then there is no need to change. Refer to your coffee maker manual for your own personal verification.

Fabulous Chocolaty Tip of the Week!

For your: teacher, friend, spouse, brother, sister, mom or dad, design a special Chocolate Floral Bouquet. Glue 2 Chocolate Kisses together (bottom to bottom). Insert a piece of 6” (15 cm) wire into 1 pointed end of a double kiss. The wire tip may need to be heated using the flame of a candle. Wrap a 4” (10 cm) square of cellophane around the Chocolate Kisses “roses”. Cover the stems with floral tape and attach artificial leaves to stems. Tie all the “roses” together with a bow. Tip: Colored cellophane will look even better.

Fabulous Tip of the Week:

Put a rubber-backed bathmat over the edge of the bathtub to help prevent children from slipping when getting in and out of the bathtub. This also works for seniors.

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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