Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


By Reena Nerbas

Dead Mouse Smell

Dear Reena,

How can I get rid of the gross stink of dead mice in a vehicle? A mechanic was asked to locate any nests or dead mice and he said he couldn’t find any. I’ve tried baking soda and charcoal briquettes. Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Are you sure the smell exists as the result of an animal? When this happened to me last summer, we found a package of deli sandwich meat that had escaped from my grocery bag and hid under one of the car seats. If you are dealing with a dead animal, the smell will return at first even if you manage to zap it temporarily. The good news is that the, smell does dissipate over time (unless it’s old unfound meat). If you absolutely don’t see anything bring the car to an automotive center, they will kill the smell with an ozone machine.

Alternative to Dry Cleaning

Dear Reena,

Is there an alternative to dry cleaning clothing or a way to prolong the duration between cleanings? I find it very expensive and smelly, but I use dry cleaning services because my work requires that I wear business suits on a daily basis. Thanks, Ron

Dear Ron,

If the care label instructs you to dry clean your clothing, this is your safest bet. “Green Dry Cleaning” businesses or “Wet Cleaners” are becoming increasingly popular. The advantage to these is the absence of the strong, toxic chemical PERC (perchloroethylene). After dry cleaned items are brought home, remove the plastic immediately and hang items outside for at least one hour. Or you may choose to dry clean at home using commercial products such as Dryel (use according to the package directions). Or place clothing into a pillowcase with a few baby wipes and secure with a rubber band, toss into the dryer. Run the dryer on medium heat for ten minutes (air fluff wool, non-washable silk and rayon). The disadvantage to these options is the clothing will require pressing. Freshen underarms or collar areas, by spraying with vodka. Vodka is amazing for removing smells and rejuvenating textiles. Remove spot stains by scrubbing soiled areas with shaving cream and a light colored cloth.

Feedback from Readers:

Re: Butter stored in fridge is too hard for spreading onto grilled cheese sandwiches

Hi Reena!

If Wayne owns a microwave, he can soften a bit of butter that way; intermittent short “zaps” is all he needs. Otherwise, put a bit of butter on the pan/grill, melt and spread to evenly coat surface of pan, then put down one slice of bread. Put cheese on top of bread.  When cheese starts to melt and/or when bread starts to toast on bottom, remove bread and set aside. Melt another bit of butter in pan/grill and place second slice of bread in the melted butter.  Assemble sandwich and continue grilling. This method is a bit more fiddly but perfect for someone who really wants to use butter and doesn’t have a microwave. Linda

Dear Reena,

Here’s what I do to “nutritionise” grilled cheese: In the summer especially; take a lot of lettuce from the garden and stuff it into the sandwich as soon as it’s off the griddle. The lettuce stays surprisingly crunchy. Or take a handful of kale, chop it coarsely and place it on one buttered slice of bread and top it with the cheese. Then add the other slice. Melt a bit of butter in the griddle to cook one side, flip the sandwich and add a bit more butter if necessary. Very chewy and delicious. Maureen

Handy Household Hints

·        Stop chairs from scratching the floor by securing dark baby socks to each chair leg with a rubber band. Submitted By: Sharon

·        If you are a glasses wearer and have difficulty tweezing eyebrows because you can’t see them. Wear your glasses upside down while tweezing. Submitted By: Mavis and Karen

·        Prevent hair frizz by wringing your hair out using paper towel instead of fabric towels. Paper creates less friction and absorbs more water which quickens drying time. Submitted By: Blair

I enjoy your questions and tips, keep them coming. Need a Corporate Presenter on the topic: Harness the Power of Words? Check out my website

, ,