Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keep Potatoes from Sprouting

By Reena Nerbas

Sprouting Potatoes

Dear Reena,

Every time I store potatoes at my house, within days they start to grow eyes. How can I prevent this? I keep them in my pantry, in a wooden potato box that has onions on the bottom. I’ve tried keeping an apple with the potatoes, but to no avail. Anne

Dear Anne,

Sounds like you may have high humidity in your home. Contrary to what many experts advise, I have always stored potatoes in a plastic bag in the fridge. They last for months without any problems.

Softening Face Cloths

Hi Reena,

I have several face cloths that have become hard, which I believe is because of soap which has built up over time. Do you know of anything that will make them soft again? Thanks, Judy

Dear Judy,

I agree, towels often lose their softness when they are saturated with fabric softener and/or detergent. In order to strip the residue from the textiles, soak them in a full-strength solution of white vinegar. Leave for one hour, and wash as usual, using only a small amount of detergent and a half cup baking soda. Transfer to the dryer, and remove them as soon as they are dry.

Cleaning Loaf Pans

Dear Reena,

I experience an annoying problem whenever I make a low-fat loaf. I spray the non-stick loaf pan with Pam for baking, but I still have a difficult time cleaning the pans. Thanks for a solution, Bonnie

Dear Bonnie,

I discovered this solution after years of struggling with the same challenge. I now cut a piece of parchment paper so that it hangs over the side edges of the loaf pan. Add your ingredients to the pan, and bake. When baking time is complete, grasp the parchment paper, and lift the loaf out of the pan. Pans stay beautiful much longer, and clean-up is so easy!

Feedback from Smart Contributor

Re: Cleaning narrow necked-glass bottles and vases

Dear Reena,

In your column you suggested to use gravel in cleaning narrow bottles. When cleaning all my flower containers I use Polydent tablets with wonderful results. For a narrow bottle, a tablet will fit in the opening (or break a tablet into pieces.) Anne

Interesting Discoveries:

  • My grandson stored metal containers of shaving cream on the side of the bathtub which left some awful rust stains. My daughter tried several cleaners and mixtures to clean it off, but never succeeded. Finally, as a last resort, she applied peroxide on the stains, covered the peroxide with cream of tartar, covered the patches with a paper towel, moistened with a bit of peroxide, and waited one half hour. She scrubbed the spots with a soft sponge, and all the rust stains came off beautifully. A nice and cheap alternative to changing the tub or having an insert installed. Submitted by: Pauline

  • Reduce the appearance of freckles by spooning onion juice and, 2 teaspoon vinegar, over the spots daily. It does not take long for them to disappear. Submitted by: Jean

  • I used to endure a lot of fabric damage, due to moths. I then placed mothballs in all of my drawers and chests, but they stink. I finally discovered that when I wrap fabrics in newspapers, the moths do not eat the fabric. Apparently, they do not like the smell of printer’s ink. Submitted by: Jesse

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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