Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Christmas Tree Sap and Saving the Needles

By Reena Nerbas

Cleaning Microfibre Chairs

Dear Reena,

I own two old microfiber chairs that have multiple stains that range from: pets and milk to dirt and soup. The chairs look like they are ready to hit the garbage, should I take the plunge and toss them out? Bryson

Dear Bryson,

Close the lid on the garbage and forget about throwing the chairs out. The stains should come out with the help of rubbing alcohol. Pour the alcohol onto the stains, and scrub with a nail brush. Swipe the stains back and forth and the chair should finish clean.

Gravy Disaster

Dear Reena,

I made a turkey for Thanksgiving and used the drippings to make gravy. I poured the drippings into a container and once it cooled, I added cornstarch and put it in the fridge overnight. Right before serving, I heated the contents in a pot, but the gravy would not coagulate and it remained separated and inedible. What happened? Reba

Dear Reba,

Gravy is the finishing touch to a wonderful turkey dinner. It was wise to pour the drippings into a container and put it into the fridge. Next time after the drippings have cooled in the fridge, remove the layer of white fat. Do not add cornstarch or flour to the drippings until you discard the fat. Cook as normal, and the gravy should taste spectacular.

Christmas Tree Sap

Dear Reena,

While putting up the Christmas tree; my pants, shirt and hands became layered with tree sap. Thanks for your help! Dale

Dear Dale,

Smear your hands, shirt and pants with mayonnaise. The tree sap will come right off. Follow with a solution of dish soap and water. Blot the area and wash the pants and shirt according to the care label.

Frizzy Hair

Dear Reena,

Since having children my hair has become very frizzy. I use several commercial frizz reducing products. I have noticed that when I dry my hair with a towel, it creates more frizz, and using my hair dryer also increases the frizz. Is there any other way to quickly dry my hair? Belma

Dear Belma,

Squeeze (don’t rub) your hair with a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel. Cotton will absorb moisture without frizzing. Or wear a microfiber after shower head wrap. Use the cool setting on your hair dryer instead of hot.

Jam vs Jelly

Dear Reena,

What is the difference between jam and jelly? Mavis

Dear Mavis,

Jelly is made by crushing fruit and then straining the juice. The juice is boiled usually with sugar and added pectin. Together they react and result in a thicker consistency. The fruit in jam comes from fruit pulp or crushed fruit, because of that jam is less stiff than jelly.

 Who Knew?

  • Use coffee filters to hold tacos while eating. The filter makes eating tacos less messy. Submitted By: Taylor
  • I came to the end of my Nutella jar and had a brain storm that turned into a tasty win! Place a few scoops of vanilla ice cream into the jar and…eat with a spoon. Submitted By: Ryan
  • When my expensive Tom shoes were damaged by water, I was determined to find a solution. I found success by rubbing my new Tom canvas shoes with a piece of beeswax. After that I used my blow dryer to heat the wax and soften it so that I could coat both shoes evenly. The shoes feel a little stiff but the water beads off, and I know they will last me a long time. Submitted By: Candace
  • I read a study that said; adding one tbsp. of glycerin to Christmas tree pots reduces the loss of pine needles. Submitted By: Margret

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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