Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Getting Rid of Unwanted Odors

By Reena Nerbas

Odor in Sheets

Hi Reena,

Despite regularly washing my sheets, they have an odor that will not wash out. I’ve tried bleach and borax, (not at the same time), but nothing removes the smell. I can’t afford new sheets, so I’m wondering if you have a solution for me. Thanks! Duncan

Dear Duncan,

This is a common occurrence, and often cleaning results depend upon the chemicals used to manufacture the textile. Soak the sheets in one tbsp. dish soap and enough hot water to cover the sheets. Add at least 4-cups white vinegar to the water. Leave for one hour and launder as normal.

Foot Odor

Dear Reena,

I have 4 sons and an endless amount of laundry. The biggest challenge that I have right now is foot odor in my house. Since 6 people live in our home, and 3 of them play sports, I am drowning in the smell of foot odor. Do you have any advice for reducing the smell of feet in my home? Thank-you, Kelly

Dear Kelly,

The easiest remedy for foot odor, is to stuff all footwear with crumpled newspaper whenever they are not in use (or store some shoes outside). Another option is to purchase a few pairs of knee high nylons from a dollar store. Stuff the nylons with either: fresh coffee grounds or baking soda sprinkled with essential oils. Close each nylon sock with an elastic band and place one inside of unoccupied footwear. Lastly, place a fabric softener sheet inside each shoe.

Cooking Steaks

Dear Reena,

I spent a lot of money on steak to serve at my dinner party last week. I was horrified because after I plated the meat, each guest had a puddle of blood on their plate. I checked the temperature, and it was medium according to the thermometer. Is this normal? Emily

Dear Emily,

I experienced this dilemma several times until I realized a trick that made a big difference. It is always a great idea to let the meat rest for several minutes before plating the food. As the proteins harden they draw to the center of the meat. When meat has a chance to rest, the juices will redistribute and reabsorb into the meat.

Feedback from Reader

Re: Freezing Cream Cheese

Dear Reena,

To add to your advice regarding cream cheese. First, the best before date applies to pre-opening, not after. To keep a tub fresh, replace the foil cover after each dip with a knife, and make sure nothing else but cheese is on the knife. Mold spores are in the air all the time. Next, both tub and brick cream cheeses freeze well. They may appear watery upon thawing but just put them into a bowl and stir until smooth. I have been freezing and baking with all fat levels for years. Jane

Interesting Ideas

  • Whenever I drop cookie batter from a spoon onto a baking sheet, I always wet the spoon first. That way the batter does not stick to the spoon. Submitted by: Justin

  • Thread a needle in a hurry by dipping the end of the thread into clear nail polish. As the polish hardens, the needle is easy to thread. Submitted by: Andreas

  • When lips are chapped, dip a toothbrush in petroleum jelly and brush lips to remove dead skin. I keep a separate toothbrush, solely for this purpose. Submitted by: K.

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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