Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Lasagna

By Reena Nerbas

Grey Spots on White Towels

Hi Reena,

Last year I purchased new white towels for my remodeled bathroom. They are lovely, but a few washes in they started sprouting grey blob shaped spots, especially on the hand towels. At first, I thought it was my daughter’s toothpaste staining the towels when she wiped her face but switching toothpastes didn’t help. The spots have also appeared on the bathmat; so, I know it can’t just be the toothpaste. With copious amounts of bleach, the spots can be faded or erased, but this needs to be done constantly or they re-appear. I have changed laundry detergents as well to no avail. Any ideas? Angie

Dear Angie,

Since the spots are mainly apparent on hand towels; it makes sense that they may be the result of a product that your daughter uses. Bleach is found in cosmetic products other than toothpaste such as teeth whiteners and hair products. Benzoyl Peroxide for example is found in several products i.e. acne treatments may be the culprit. Consider investigating all of the products that she uses to help you determine the cause of discoloration. Have you experimented by trading towels with her and observing whether discoloration is still an issue? To brighten towels, add a product such as washing soda to each load. Pour one quarter cup to each load to brighten colors and whiten whites. Using washing soda with hot water will also clean out the hoses in your washing machine.

Feedback from Wise Contributor: Homemade Pickles

I would like to share my mother’s tips and tricks for perfect homemade pickles: When choosing pickles for pickling, pick fresh garden cucumbers early in the morning. Immediately submerge cucumbers in ice cold water until ready to use.

  • Trim both ends of pickles.
  • Use pickling vinegar not plain white vinegar.
  • If the cucumber has started to get seeds in its “belly” it is too big and old to use. (I always have a patch of dill – it seeds itself and is good for salads when young – so I have never used oil of dill.)
  • After washing the dill, I usually swish it in hot to boiling temperature water (just in case there is any wildlife on it).
  • I then place some dill into a jar and slice the cucumbers into each jar tapping the jar to pack.
  • In a large pot mix: 4 cups vinegar, 2 cups water, 2 cups white sugar, and 1/2 cup PICKLING salt. Bring to a full rolling boil and quickly fill jars. Seal jars. Ready in six weeks. I have never had a jar spoil since I started using this recipe. I used well water when we lived on an acreage and now that I am in town I just use tap water. Family and others seem to love my dills! One of my kids took peanut butter-dill pickle sandwiches to school almost every day for a number of years! – Sincerely, Jean

Fantastic Tip of the Week: Homemade Lasagna

Cut down on homemade lasagna preparation with this easy technique! The common way to layer lasagna: Meat sauce, cooked noodles, cheese, repeat, meat sauce, cooked noodles cheese, repeat… A faster way to make lasagna: Prepare meat and cheese mixtures as normal. Combine all three layers (broken uncooked noodles, cheese and meat sauce) together in a bowl and gently toss. Grease your casserole dish and pour ingredients inside. Top with cheese and bake as normal. The sauce bakes the noodles and no layering required! You will have much more time for doing all the other things you love, and lasagna won’t be such a time-consuming project. Why not give it a try?
Did you know? The word lasagna originally referred to the pot in which the dish was cooked rather than the food itself as it does today.-

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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