Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Spring Cleaning

By Reena Nerbas

Grimy Shower Head

Dear Reena,

I recently moved into a 30-year-old apartment, and the place is filthy. What is the best way to clean a grimy shower head? Lynette

Dear Lynette,

Step 1: Scrub the holes with a wet kitchen scrubber. Step 2: Pour a solution of half cup white vinegar and half cup water into a plastic bag. Step 3: Place the plastic bag around the shower head, so that the holes are immersed in the solution. Step 4: Secure the plastic bag with an elastic band, and leave for about one hour. Step 5: Remove the bag and wipe the excess debris. Step 6: Run the shower as normal.

Grease Build-up on Cabinets

Dear Reena,

My kitchen cabinets need a little TLC; they seem to have a layer of grease on each of the shelves. What is the best way to clean them? Albert

Dear Albert,

As strange as this may sound, you can fight back, with grease! Combine one-part vegetable oil with 2 parts baking soda. Use a sponge to work the concoction onto the shelves, scrub with a green scrubby pad. Use an old toothbrush to scrub inside tiny crevices. Wipe clean with a wet cloth and a small amount of dish soap. Rinse with water.

Small Gap Collect Crumbs

Dear Reena,

Between my counter and the fridge there is a gap in which crumbs tend to fall. I can’t get in there with a vacuum cleaner or a cloth, is there a way to secure a blocking device to prevent crumbs from falling into the space? Billy

Dear Billy,

Fill the void with plastic tubing, it is available at home hardware stores in several widths, beginning at one-eighth inches. The tubing is not noticeable and prevents crumbs from falling into the crevice.

Cleaning Vases and Bottles

Dear Reena,

I have a collection of narrow necked-glass bottles and vases. I can’t reach to the bottom of the containers; how can I successfully clean them without scouring them? Thank-you, Amelia

Dear Amelia,

Purchase an inexpensive package of aquarium gravel. Fill each container one-third with water. Add 2-tbsp. of gravel and shake the jar. Dump the gravel out and repeat the process, if necessary. Re-use the gravel as needed.

Cleaning Plastic Blinds

Dear Reena,

I am in the process of spring cleaning, and wonder if you have an easy solution for cleaning plastic blinds. I am too old to remove them from the brackets, is there an easier way? Mary

Dear Mary,

Yes, absolutely! Combine equal parts white vinegar and water into a bucket. Place an old, clean sock onto your hand. Dip the sock into the solution and run your hand over each slat to remove dirt, dust and grime. After the blinds are dry, wipe each slat with a fabric softener sheet to repel dust.

Exciting and Proven Life Hacks:

  • The best way to combat pet odor in my home is to spray white vinegar onto the smelly area. Sprinkle with a generous amount of baking soda. Leave to dry, and vacuum the excess. Submitted by: Emerald

  • For years we battled against weevils and ants in our pantry. I decided to lay bay leaves on the shelves, and have not seen any critters since then. Submitted by: Yolanda

  • I tend to get distracted each time I clean, so I now set a timer. I clean non-stop for 30 minutes, without checking my phone, and take a break after 30 mins. It’s a fun challenge to see how much you can actually get done in a set amount of time, and ends up making the chore a little more fun. Submitted by: Elma

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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