Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Storing Potatoes

By Reena Nerbas

Musty Plastic Containers

Dear Reena,

I have several, old plastic containers that smell musty. Should I throw them out, or is there a way to remove the smell? Caris

Dear Caris,

Use a pastry brush and smear the plastic interior with either mustard or toothpaste. Make sure that you cover every corner. Fill the containers with water and leave for a few hours, the smell will be gone.

Cleaning Baseboards

Dear Reena,

Do you have any tips for the time-consuming job of cleaning baseboards? Pamela

Dear Pamela,

Use a good quality micro fiber cloth and warm soapy water. Or for a bit of a time-saver, slip old socks on your hands, dip them in your cleaning solution and wipe.

Storing 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. Mandeep

Dear Mandeep,

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.

Feedback from Clever Contributors

Re: Clothing Odor from HE Washing Machine

Regarding the person’s concern with odor in her front load HE washer; I found that my solution to this problem was to stop using liquid detergent and change to using only powder HE detergent.  Something in the liquid detergents was “food” for whatever bacterial/mold was causing the smell in my washer, and was ending up in my clothes/towels. I also use very little detergent (unscented) per load 1 to 2 oz., use an extra water setting and vinegar in my rinse (no fabric softener products).

I recommend a good clean with hot water and machine cleaner 2x (Afresh not the Tide brand as it is too floral). I follow with a cleaning cycle using bleach. After the final load when doing laundry, the washer seal should be wiped and the door left open. Prior to making these changes, I was ready to toss my washer, but everything is good now. Barb

Re: Urine Odor

I read your article about a person who has a difficult time getting urine odor out of her elderly mothers’ clothes, I too had that problem. I sprayed the article of clothing with the enzyme kennel spray that they use to keep the urine odor out of concrete. You can dilute the solution and soak the clothes overnight, wash them the next day. Test the clothes for color fastness. Hope this helps.  Leanne

Weevils, Wobble But they Don’t Fall Down

  • 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: Sandra
  • Strawberry root weevils look like large wood ticks. A single female can lay up to 400 eggs, and this challenge needs immediate attention as they sometimes wander into houses by mistake as accidental invaders. Household aerosol insecticides are not very effective for controlling weevils, your best bet is to vacuum them up as soon as you see them. Secure a plastic bag over the vacuum nozzle when not in use so that weevils do not escape. If problem persists, contact an exterminator. Submitted by: Roger

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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