Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Healthy Roses


By Reena Nerbas

Smelly Diaper Pail

Dear Reena,

I have a lidded garbage can next to my bed, full of my daughter’s diapers. I can’t seem to get rid of the odor. I’ve tried replacing the bag, but it’s still there. Any suggestions on how to remove it? Celin

Dear Celin,

Unfortunately the odor will linger as long as diapers are kept inside, but you can reduce the smell. Clean the garbage can with either bleach and water or vinegar and water; if possible use a bathtub faucet to rinse (pressure washer or hose is best for large receptacles). Dry well. Pour either: Fresh coffee grounds, kitty litter or baking soda and essential oils onto the bottom of the can (making sure that your daughter does not have access to the contents); discard contents after one week. Some people lay a cardboard car freshener on the floor of the can; this is only effective if the can is clean. The Dollar Store also sells scented garbage can liners. Make your own diaper pail/trash, Smelly Cupcakes. Fill a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine one box baking soda, quarter cup vanilla and enough water to make a thick paste. Scoop the baking soda paste into the cupcake liners; fill each liner three quarter full. Leave to dry 12 hours, remove paper muffin liner. Place one Smelly Cupcake into the garbage can or diaper pail. If you are putting Smelly Cupcakes into a cloth diaper bag, you can leave it in the bag and add it to your laundry.

Hard Water Build-Up

Dear Reena,

We’re lucky to have soft water where we live, but a relative of ours has a problem with hard water deposit build-up in his coffee maker. Using full strength vinegar several times seems to help get rid of these deposits, but is there a way to prevent the build-up in the first place? Jan
Dear Jan,

You are right; full strength vinegar is the best way to get rid of water spots in coffee makers as well as kettles, there are also commercial coffee maker cleaners on the market. To clean a coffee maker with vinegar, run vinegar through the machine just as you would if you were brewing coffee. Extra Tip: To clean a kettle with vinegar; fill the kettle one quarter to one half full with vinegar. Boil for 5 mins. Swish and pour contents into sink; your kettle will look brand new! Switching to distilled water or bottled water will get rid of hard water deposits. Another option for your relatives is to purchase a water softener and iron filter system for their home.

Coffee Trivia: Did you know? Coffee is grown on bushes called coffee trees that produce white blossoms. The plant grows round balls resembling cherries or a bunch of grapes. It’s is not until much later in the manufacturing process that coffee appears brown, the way that coffee beans are familiar to us.

Feedback from Wise Contributor

Re: Water spots on wood floor

I have written previously and also read of several other people who were having trouble cleaning their laminate flooring. The recommended cleaners leave awful streaks and even plain water does not leave them smudge free. Upon purchasing a bottle of Windex Multi Surface Grease Cutter, which is in the same spray bottle as the regular type of Windex, I discovered the answer to this frustration. When I’m doing touch-ups and not doing a thorough on-my-knees type of wash, I use this spray and a Swiffer type mop with a terry cloth pad on it to quickly eliminate spills and smudges instantly. I’m also finding this spray, along with a micro fiber cloth, cleans my black counter top stove (and other kitchen appliances) to perfection. Double whammy! Anonymous

Hacks for Healthy Roses

  • Save hair from a hairbrush and drop it into the hole before you plant roses.
  • When planting roses, add aged manure, bone meal or a good quality slow release fertilizer.
  • Chop banana peels and bury them 4 inches deep alongside roses; the phosphorous promotes flowering.
  • Grow roses from cuttings. Cut a slit in a potato, push the rose stem into the potato. Bury the potato into the soil. The potato helps moisturize the rose plant.
  • Make your own Fresh Rose Petal Skin Toner. Pull individual petals off of about 6 rose stems. Place in a saucepan and fill with enough water just to cover the petals. Place lid on pot and simmer on medium heat for 20 mins. until the petals lose most of their color. Strain mixture into a bowl. Cool and scoop into a spray bottle. Spray onto cotton pad and use as a facial toner.

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.

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