Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Homemade Hand-Wipes

By Reena Nerbas

Removing Band-aids Without Tears

Dear Reena,

I have a three year old boy who constantly falls and scrapes his knees. He loves to wear animated bandages and immediately stops crying when I put them on him. But when it’s time for the bandage to be taken off, the crying starts all over again. What is an easier way to remove bandages without the hurt? Celeste

Dear Celeste,

Step 1: If the area is allowed to become wet, have him take a warm bath submersing the bandage. Step 2: Soak a cotton ball in olive oil and gently rub it over the bandage until it loosens. Step 3: Take a hair dryer and heat the area while gently removing the bandage.

Rust Stains on Canvas

Dear Reena,

I have a canvas strap that I use to carry my drum when marching in my band. The problem is the metal hooks that attach to the strap have caused rust stains on the strap that I would like to cover or remove. HELP. Thanks, Ray

Dear Ray,

You can remove the rust stains by pouring 3% hydrogen peroxide and salt onto the stain. Set in a sunny spot for a few days and wash with dish soap and water. If the stain remains pour a few additional drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of household ammonia onto the rust. Cover with plastic wrap. Remove after 24 hours and rinse with dish soap and water (test all products before using).

Extra Tip: In order to prevent the hooks from further damaging the strap, consider coating the hooks with clear nail polish.

Rancid Oil Smell on Shirt

Dear Reena,

I’m hoping you can help me rescue a turtleneck t-shirt. I recently went for a massage at a new clinic. The masseuse used grape seed oil instead of lotion like the previous person had used. I didn’t like the ‘aroma’ or the feel of the oil. At home I immediately laundered the t-shirt (and had a shower). Afterwards the t-neck still smelt and I realized that the oil was rancid. I now need advice on how to get the rancid smell out of the shirt.

The t-neck is white, 100% cotton, of good quality (Eddie Bauer brand). The t-shirt was washed in warm water using liquid “free and gentle” detergent. It was dried (along with the rest of that load of laundry), in the dryer on delicate/low until approx. 80% dry, then hung to dry completely.

The odor has become so bad that it smells from several feet away and tends to turn my stomach. I suspect that the t-shirt is ruined but, because it is a favorite, I want to try to rescue it. Thank-you in advance for your advice. Joanne

Dear Joanne,

In order to better your chance of getting rid of the smell, wash the t-shirt in hot water instead of warm. Begin by soaking the shirt in a pot and 1 gallon water and either one quarter cup borax or white vinegar or washing soda or club soda. Boil for 5 minutes. Next launder with hot water. If the shirt still smells put it outside on a snowy day, the combination of sunshine and snow will help take away the rancid oil smell.

Homemade Eye Glass Cleaner and Shampoo for Sensitive Scalp

Dear Reena,

Do you have a home remedy for an eye glass cleaner? Where can I buy Bar Keepers Friend? Where can I buy Castile Soap and can I use it for shampoo as I have a very sensitive scalp? Betty

Dear Betty,

Here is a wonderful eyeglass cleaner recommended to me by an Optician: Fill a spray bottle three quarter full with rubbing alcohol and one quarter with water. Add a few drops of dish soap. Shake to mix. Spray lenses and gently wipe with a soft cloth (not paper towels, toilet paper or tissues these will scratch your lenses).

Bar Keepers Friend and Castile Soap are often sold at home hardware or health food stores. Or purchase them on-line. Or consider using baby shampoo on your hair.

Handy Tip of the Week
  • Spills are a part of everyday life. Here is an easy recipe for making wipes to store in your car for those unexpected moments. Cut one roll of paper towels in half to create useable squares. Place cut paper towels into a plastic container. In a bowl, combine half cup olive oil, 3 cups water and half cup baby shampoo. Pour over paper towels and close with a tightly fitting lid. Store in car, shake before using.


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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