Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Fabric Softner


By Reena Nerbas

Hazy Car Windows

Dear Reena,

There is a hazy film that covers the windows of my car. I have washed them with window cleaners but the film always comes back. What can I use to end this? Jeannine

Dear Jeannine,

Many car experts use rubbing alcohol to shine car windows. However, it is possible that the car windows are permanently etched from the heat of the sun. If after cleaning the film returns, contact a professional; the windows may need replacing.

Hard Brown Sugar

Hi Reena,

Once brown sugar hardens, is there any way to restore it back to granular form again? I would hate to replace it. Regards, Sue

Dear Sue,

In order to soften brown sugar put it in a microwavable container and place it in the microwave with a small bowl full of water beside it. Microwave for about 1 minute. If it is still hard, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat until sugar is soft, being careful not to burn the sugar. To prevent future hardening the most common solutions are storing pieces of bread, marshmallows or halved apples with brown sugar. But the best little gadget for softening is a little piece of moistened clay. These can be purchased at most stores where household items are sold.

Substituting Honey for Sugar

Hi Reena,

Just reading about the benefits of honey over sugar. Is there any way to use honey instead of sugar in a cookie recipe? Thanks! Jeb

Hi Jeb,

Foods made with honey result in a moister end product, therefore deduct 3 tbsp. of liquid from any recipe. One cup of honey equals one cup brown or white granulated sugar.

Homemade Fabric Softner

Dear Reena,

Do you have a recipe for homemade ‘laundry fabric softener’? This would be very much appreciated. Thank-you, Linda

Hi Linda,

Here is an easy recipe using products that you likely already have on hand. Into an empty squeeze bottle combine; half cup of your favorite hair conditioner with one cup white vinegar and one cup hot water. Gently stir. Add one quarter cup ‘homemade liquid fabric softener’ per wash load.

Cooking Grease on Vinyl

Dear Reena,

I am inquiring about how to remove grease on the vinyl floor around my stove. Thanks, Jean

Dear Jean,

Into an empty ice cream bucket pour 1 tbsp. household ammonia and one tsp. dish soap (not dishwasher detergent). Fill bucket with hot water. Scrub floor with an abrasive, non-scratching pad. Rinse with plain water. Note: Never mix ammonia with any products containing bleach.

Feedback from Reader:

Re: Removing wax from winter gloves

Dear Reena,

To remove wax from gloves, I have had great success using an iron set low, to barely melt the wax. Sandwich the waxy fabric in paper towel and dab with the tip of the iron. The melted wax will be absorbed by the paper towel. Swap out paper towel often and work slowly. Kilgore

Handy Household Hints

·        Here’s a tip using dish soap that my friend Rosalee recently passed on. A colleague of hers uses dish soap as a pre-wash on stains. Rub a small amount onto the stain, leave for 10-15 minutes, and soak the item in water for approximately half an hour, before laundering as usual. Works on old stains as well as new. Submitted By: Jan Cooper

·        Here is an easy little trick to keep fruit and veggies fresh. When you bring fruit or veggies home from the store, (usually in a plastic bag) stick a dry paper towel into the bag and tie it closed. Toss veggies into the fridge. You will be amazed at how long they stay crisp and fresh. Submitted By: Dorothy

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