Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Air Fresheners

By Reena Nerbas

Pen Refills

Dear Reena,

I have pens that use refills; the last two worked for a while and then stopped working. The store clerk suggested warming them; they worked briefly and then stopped. Is there anything else that I can do? Refills aren’t cheap! Love your column, it is definitely a must read! Dawn

Dear Dawn,

I agree that refills are not cheap. Since there are thousands of different types of pens and refills, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer of the pen instead of talking with the salesperson. Warming the pen tip with a candle flame is typically the easiest way to get ink flowing but does not last. This is also risky as it could damage the pen tip. If the manufacturer does not give you a satisfactory answer, you may want to consider changing pen brands.

Shoe Polish on the Carpet

Dear Reena,

How can I remove shoe polish from carpet? Thanks. Norma

Dear Norma,

Wash the area with heavy-duty laundry detergent. If unsuccessful, apply glycerine and leave for 1 hour. Wash with warm water. When shoe polish stains won’t budge, clean with one of the following: Rubbing alcohol, Goo Gone or Spot Shot for carpets these are great options.

Homemade Air Fresheners

Dear Reena,

I am not only getting tired of replacing numerous plug-in air fresheners around my home but it is also becoming expensive. Do you have a recipe for homemade air fresheners? Thanks in advance. Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Here is a very simple air freshener solution that you can make yourself. In a spray bottle mix half cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water and ten drops lemon essential oil. Spray room as needed. You can even add a few drops of this recipe to your vacuum bag. Also, placing sprigs of eucalyptus around your home will leave you with a nice aroma. Or put a bowl of vanilla in rooms that need freshening. Another option is to purchase a catalytic lamp, although a little pricey, it should last for many years. These fragrance lamps are said to actually purify the air, eliminate unpleasant odors and leave behind wonderful fragrances that will fill your home or office. One more solution, I love the smell of beeswax candles, what a wonderful scent when lit. This is another great way to make a room smell nice without adding a bunch of unhealthy toxins into the air.

Feedback from Reader:

Dear Reena,

Several years ago a reader sent you a question regarding toilet paper: What is the best toilet paper to buy to get the greatest bang for my money? My husband uses so much toilet paper, what a waste! Erma

This subject has bugged me for years. Not only does the quality come into play, but both the width and thickness become problems. I can’t stand to see the recycled paper floating around in the bowl after a flush. Where is the saving when two or more flushes of water are required? Many times the width of the paper makes the roll look lost on my holder. It’s irritating! The other week I purchased what I thought was good quality toilet paper with a pleasing thickness and softness. I was surprised to see that my toilet paper would not flush down, instead the paper was blocking up. Out came the gloves to remove the paper. The solution: Use less paper so that both me and the bowl are happier. A.M.S.

Fabulous Tip of the Week:
  • Make your own gold cleaner: Stir together 1 tsp. baking soda with half cup water. Buff gold with a soft cloth. Always test on an inconspicuous area first.


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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