Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Keeping the Bathroom Clean and Organized

By Reena Nerbas

Stuck Lids on Nail Polish

Dear Reena,

I have many bottles of nail polish that I am unable to open. I have tried running them under hot water, and using pliers, but still I’m unable to twist the top off or pry them open. It is very frustrating. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Marsha

Dear Marsha,

Dried nail polish acts like regular glue, making lids stick and difficult to open. Begin by wrapping a rubber band around the bottle. Submerse the bottle in HOT water for 5 minutes. Twist the bottle cap until it opens. If you do not have a rubber band you may want to wear rubber gloves while you twist the bottle lid. Once open, use a cotton swab and nail polish remover to clean the area around the opening of the bottle. Next coat the opening with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to prevent the lid from becoming stuck in the future. Close the lid.

Getting Rid of Ant Hill

Dear Reena,

I have a huge ant hill in my garden. How can I get rid of it? Penny

Dear Penny,

One option is to sprinkle the ant hill with tea tree oil, next pour boiling water onto the hill. Or sprinkle the hill with a combination of 1-cup borax and 2-tbsp. icing sugar, if there are no pets or small children in the area. Cornmeal sprinkled onto ant hills is a safer alternative when pets or children are around.

Feedback from Smart Contributors

Re: Storing Potatoes

The onions in Anne’s potato box are causing the potatoes to sprout. Garlic will also affect potatoes in this way. Shirley

Re: Storing Potatoes

To the person who stores her potatoes in the pantry in a wooden box with onions on the bottom. Never store onions and potatoes together. Onions give off a gas that accelerates sprouting in potatoes. Also, storing potatoes in the cold temperature of your refrigerator will turn its starch into sugar more quickly, so that you’ll be left with a sweet, gritty potato. Laurie

Re: Extra Greeting Cards

Someone was asking about what to do with unused greeting cards. Just thought I’d let you know that some correctional centers keep donated cards on hand. These are given out to inmates who have no money, but would like to send a card to loved ones, particularly if they find themselves in custody over the holidays. Barbara

In the Bathroom:

·        Young adults, unthinkingly leave metal cans along the surround of the bathtub, leaving ugly metal rings (hard to get off). Take the plastic top off a metal spray can, and place it over the bottom of the can; problem solved. Submitted by: Peggy

·        Years ago, I noticed that my shower curtain always had a line of mildew along the hem. I decided to trim the curtain so that it would be shorter, and further from the floor. Since then I have never had a mildew stain on the bottom of the curtain. Submitted by: Hank

·        I removed the towel rod from our bathroom because the towels were never hung properly, and they were too crowded to dry. I replaced the rod with coat hooks. Now each member of the family is responsible to organize their own towel and robe on their personal hook. The bathroom is finally organized. Submitted by: Laura

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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