Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Sweet Suggestions

By Reena Nerbas


Hello Reena,

Do you have a solution for getting rid of silverfish? Thank you in advance for your consideration and response. Gilbert

Dear Gilbert,

Be sure to remove old stacks of: newspapers, magazines, papers, books and fabrics plus food spills and food stored for long periods of time. Often reducing available water and lowering the home’s relative humidity with dehumidifiers and fans is helpful. Repair leaking plumbing and eliminate moisture around laundry areas. Once the cause is remedied, there are many products on the market from baits to sprays that will get rid of silverfish, aerosols such as: Raid and Air Devil for hard to reach places. As with all insecticides, read the directions and warnings very carefully.

• A simple silverfish trap can be made by taking canning jars, scrubbing them clean and then covering the outside with masking tape to make them easy to climb. These traps are then placed in areas of infestation. The bugs will climb up and fall into the jars and then will not be able to climb the walls to escape. Moist cotton or starchy foods work as bait. Also, leave cloves where they like to go, they don’t like the smell. The next step is to use Diatomaceous earth (dust) used as filter media in swimming pools. If you know someone with a pool, ask to borrow a cup, or visit a nearby garden store. If the problem remains call an exterminator!

Cleaning Gas Cooktop

Hello Reena,

I have had a gas cooktop for just over a year and am having trouble keeping the stainless-steel rings around the burner clean. I’ve tried Bar Keepers Friend with a non-scratch pad as recommended by the company selling the product but no luck. The marks are very little and not significant, but I want to keep it looking like new for as long as possible. Thanks for any suggestions you may have. Christine

Dear Christine,

After using the stove, wait until it is cool enough to touch, sprinkle the stainless-steel with baking soda; followed by vinegar. Scrub with a non-abrasive stainless-steel scrubby pad. The right kind of scrubby pad makes all of the difference and creates less work for yourself. Rainbow Scrubbies ( are excellent tools for this project because they are tough, but don’t scratch.

Feedback from Wise Contributor

Re: Preventing Bedsheets from Forming Knots

Complaints are heard about the newer top-load washing machines tying bed sheets in knots. I created a solution to that. Hold the sheet vertical by a corner, start twisting counter-clockwise until snug; place that corner into the machine, wrapping it counter-clockwise, giving a couple more twists counter-clockwise as it goes in. As the end about to go in, twist that portion up snug. No more knots! Alan

Sweet Suggestions

I like to reduce the flour amount in most cookie recipes by one-quarter cup to make the tenderest cookies that do not dry out even after several days. Tina

I make icing with confectioners’ sugar and milk. I make it thin, as I ‘paint’ the icing onto the cookies with a pastry brush. Thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runny. Jessica

I solved my burnt cookie problem years ago. First choice was the air insulated cookie sheets. If that’s an expensive option and you don’t want to use the cookie sheets with a lip all around, turn it upside down. Now you have a cookie sheet that lets air all around your cookies (best for Shortbread). Gently remove from oven as they can be slippery. Linda

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