Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Sharpen Scissors at Home


By Reena Nerbas

Moths and Cashmere

Dear Reena,

I was given a beautiful cashmere sweater for Christmas, and I am wondering if you have any tips to ensure that moths don’t get at it? I had another cashmere sweater that now has a hole in it, and I was devastated. I do not want to use mothballs because of the smell. Thanks for your help. Helen

Dear Helen,

You are smart to avoid mothballs, they give off toxic vapors and the smell lingers. Clean your cashmere sweater according to the directions on the label. Store the sweater in an airtight container along with lavender and/or rosemary sachets. Another option: Sprinkle lavender essential oils onto a cotton ball and store with the sweater.

Cleaning Plastic off Pots

Dear Reena,

We are staying in a motel that supplies stainless steel pots. Some party before us left a plastic bag adhered to one of the pots. I have tried boiling water in the pot to loosen the plastic, but it did not work. My husband tried heating plastic with a hairdryer to loosen, did not work. Any ideas? Linda

Dear Linda,
A few commercial products work well to remove plastic from stainless steel. Bar Keepers Friend used with hot water and a scrubby pad or Goo Gone. Spray the area and leave for 10 mins. before scrubbing. Or freeze the pot for one hour. Pour hot water and Dawn dish soap onto the area and scrub. Wash the pot well before using.

Tangled Threads

Dear Reena,

My challenge happens when I sew. My threads always tangle which makes my projects very frustrating because I spend too much time untangling thread. Help. Franca

Dear Franca,

Many sewing retailers sell waxed threads. They don’t come in bolts but in sections of long hanging threads. You can also wax thread yourself by running the thread across a piece of paraffin wax. Doing this helps prevent tangles.

Keeping Potatoes from Budding

Dear Reena,

I live in a small apartment that has no balcony and only a very small fridge. Whenever I purchase a bag of potatoes I store it in my pantry, but a short time later they bud. Do you have any tips for preventing potatoes from quickly budding? Thanks, Kel

Dear Kel,

Simply store an apple in the potato bag to slow down potato budding.

Did you know? The word potato comes from the Spanish word patata.

Sharpening Scissors

Dear Reena,

Do you hold any secrets for scissor sharpening without a professional sharpener? Thank-you, Zara

Dear Zara,

Using your scissors, cut through a few pieces of aluminum foil, steel wool or sandpaper to sharpen scissors.

Life Just Got Easier!

·        Whenever I replace my pet’s bird food, I toss the shelled food outside instead of the garbage so that wild birds can enjoy uneaten seeds. Submitted By: Detra

·        My daughter had a splinter on her finger that I could not remove; it was very painful and needed care. In desperation, I put a raisin onto the splinter and wrapped her finger with a bandage. I left the bandage on for 24 hours. Then I removed the bandage and raisin and gently squeezed the area. With little effort, the splinter was exposed and I was able to pull it out! Submitted By: Geoffrey

·        Make a wonderful watering jug for sprinkling plants. Drill holes into the lid of an empty 4-liter milk jug. Fill the jug with water and secure lid. Water your plants, it’s the best! Submitted By: Ernie (Gardener for over 70 years)

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