Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Croutons

By Reena Nerbas

Dull Stainless Steel Pots

Dear Reena,

I can’t seem to bring that shine back to my stainless steel pots. Even though I scrub them, the bottom has a cover on it that only seems clean when wet not dry. Bonnie

Hi Bonnie,

Here are a few tricks to brighten a stainless steel pot: soak tomato juice, sauce, puree, ketchup, any tomato acid base in the pot. Add a little water and boil for 5 mins. Or boil rhubarb leaves in water to bring shine back to old pots, the oxalic acid found in rhubarb cleaner is a strong cleaner. Or scrub pots with an S.O.S pad, water and Bar Keepers Friend to rejuvenate pots.

Cleaning Cast Iron Grills

Dear Reena,

What solutions can you recommend to clean cast iron grills on a gas cooktop. Also please share tips on how to clean my oven without using the self-cleaning feature? Evelyn
Dear Evelyn,

To clean cast iron grills on a gas cooktop check your manufacturer’s manual for the recommended cleaning procedure. I myself either scrub them with an S.O.S pad and dish soap and water or clean them in the dishwasher. While many people advise against full submersion, I have never found a problem with my own grills. For that once a year really intense spring cleaning many people opt to clean their grates with ammonia. Place grate into a plastic bag; add one quarter – one half cup household ammonia depending on the size of the grate. Seal bag and leave for 8 hours. Remove grates from bag, scrub with water and an S.O.S. pad.

For people who do not own a self-cleaning oven, the oven mess does not need to become a dreaded chore. The world’s easiest way to clean an oven is to sprinkle the bottom of the oven with baking soda. Pour white vinegar over the baking soda, let bubble and soak for 30 minutes. Wipe and rinse with water. In the meantime, put an old towel on the bottom of your bathtub, fill it with hot water and 1-cup of washing soda. Let oven racks soak overnight and in the morning (while wearing gloves) rinse the racks and wipe with vinegar. Clean as a whistle! Note: Do not leave water in the tub if small children live in the home.

Feedback from Wonderful Readers

Re: Removing iron on clothing labels off of everyday garments

Hi Reena,

We had the same problem as your reader and I found using a damp/wet tea towel with the iron worked.  It was over four years ago and we started to peel the label when it was warm/hot. We removed labels from a variety of fabrics like, sweaters, linens, polyester and rain jackets. Hope this will help, Pat

Fantastic Tip of the Week

Next time you sit on a piece of chewing gum. Place your pants into the freezer for a couple of hours, peel gum off. Remember to remove your pants before placing them in the freezer hee hee.

Delicious Crunchy Homemade Croutons

The star of any great salad is the toppings and nothing says ‘yum’ more than homemade, easy to prepare croutons.

Tear stale pieces of bread into pieces.

Into a frying pan heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add 3 whole cloves garlic. Cook for 5 mins.

Remove and discard garlic.

Add bread pieces into the oil and cook for about 5 mins. or until golden brown. Slightly cool before adding croutons to the salad, to avoid wilting leaves.

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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