Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Cleaning Up After Dogs and Coffee in the Car

By Reena Nerbas

Dog Fur in Car

Dear Reena,

I have two large dogs that I often take on road trips. Both dogs shed profusely. What can I use to rid the car seats of fur? I vacuumed the upholstery, which made very little difference. Any advice would be mega appreciated. Peter

Dear Peter,

Here is a trick that detailers often use in their quest to detail vehicles. Using a spray bottle filled with water, lightly spray the upholstery. Use a squeegee and pull it towards you. The fur drawn out of the upholstery will amaze you.

Cleaning Cup Holders in Car

Dear Reena,

When I drive, I like to take hot, filled coffee mugs with me. Over time, the liquid spilt out of the mug, on more than one occasion, and dried inside the cup holders. Any idea as to how I can clean the cup holders? Scott

Dear Scott,

A little dish soap and water will clean the holders. Dry the holders with a soft cloth. Extra Tip: To prevent future spills, place silicone muffin cups inside drink holders to protect the car from suffering through anymore nasty, dried on spills. Remove the silicone muffin liners occasionally, and wash them, in the sink.

Sinking Blueberries in Muffins

Dear Reena,

When blueberries are out of season, I use frozen berries, for baking instead. How can I prevent blueberries from sinking to the bottom of muffins, when I make homemade muffins? Also, how can I ensure that the muffins I bake, are light and fluffy? It doesn’t matter which recipe I use; the muffins are heavier than I would like. Samara

Dear Samara,

Place the berries in a bowl, and coat them with a quarter cup of the dry ingredients called for in the recipe. The flour will prevent the berries from sinking, and reduce the amount of bleeding in the batter. The perfect muffin, has a lightly, brown edge with a speckled appearance. The inside is moist, the top should not have a peak as this is caused by overmixing. In other words, the easiest solution for creating fluffy muffins, is not to overmix the batter; overmixing the batter will “wake up” the gluten and make the muffins tough. The easiest trick for not overmixing, is to spoon mix the batter, instead of using an electric mixer.

Smart Secrets Revealed

  • For years I struggled with old and dirty looking grout. I would like to share an easy formula for cleaning grout. In a spray bottle combine three quarter cups baking soda with one quarter cup bleach. Apply the paste to the grout and leave for 10 mins. Scrub with a bristled brush. Leave for 10 additional mins. Rinse with water. Note: According to the Arm and Hammer website, it is not harmful to combine baking soda with bleach. Never combine bleach with ammonia, this creates a gas, that is harmful to humans. Submitted by: Myrna
  • Freeze your eyeliner for 15 mins. before applying it to your face, this prevents the liner from crumbling. Submitted by: Kyra
  • I save old toothbrushes and use them to detail my car. It is an amazing tool, that really cleans the crevices and hard to reach places. Submitted by: Brian

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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