Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Killing Weeds….from Readers

By Reena Nerbas

Safe Temperature for Milk

Dear Reena,

My toddler is now drinking whole milk from a sipper cup. How long can milk sit out before it needs to be refrigerated? Kendall

Hello Kendall,

Milk can sit out at room temperature for two hours and still be safe to use. If the milk has been out for two hours and 15 minutes, chances are it is probably still safe, but why take the risk? After two hours, dump the milk out, wash the cup, and refill.

Ballpoint Ink on Leather

Dear Reena,

How do I get ballpoint ink off a beige leather jacket? It is on the front of my jacket. B.

Dear B.,

The safest solution is to do nothing; ballpoint ink on leather often fades on its own over time. If you do not want to wait, apply a small amount of dish soap and water onto the area, this may be all you need to get the job done. Whenever attempting to clean leather, you should always test cleaners on an inconspicuous area first. Over the years, readers have had great results getting rid of ink stains by using one of the following: non-bleach, non-gel toothpaste, shaving cream, hairspray, Goof Off, Goo Gone, Sunlight bar soap, mosquito repellent containing DEET, saddle soap, Windex, Calvin Klein Obsessions After Shave or Axe Body Spray. Discontinue application if leather dye begins to fade. Another favorite leather cleaner and renewing product is Urad (available on-line).

Feedback from Caring Readers

Re: Killing Weeds

Hi Reena,

In response to your column about cleaning the bottom of fry pans: I understand rhubarb leaves are poisonous so I am wondering why you would cook them in a pot you are going to use for cooking food. Also, what is your vinegar recipe for killing weeds – I missed that? I dilute half each of water and vinegar and spray it on weeds. Is that the same as yours? My friend’s brother is a horticulturalist and he uses a cotton swab to put one drop of bleach on one leaf of a plant. Apparently, the plant absorbs the bleach into the roots and the plant dies. I did try it, although I hesitate to use bleach but it does work. Thanks for your time, Joan

Dear Joan,

The process of boiling rhubarb leaves to clean pots or to make weed killer is very old. I have never heard of any unsafe result from this technique, it creates shiny pots and you can wash the pot as normal after boiling the leaves. The following is my favorite weed killer formula: Combine 4 cups pickling vinegar, half cup salt and 2 tbsp. dish soap. Spray on unwanted plants in driveway cracks. Be careful not to spray adjacent plants. Leftover boiled potato water also makes an excellent weed killer for patios, driveways and paths.

Re: Killing Weeds

An effective and eco-friendly way to get rid of weeds between patio stones etc. is to pour boiling water on them from your kettle or a pot. Cathy

Re: Cleaning Stainless Steel Pan

Hi Reena,

When I have a pan or pot stuck with food, no matter if it is stainless steel, aluminum, granite etc. I put baking soda and water in the pan and heat it on low until, the residue comes off when scraped. You can also let the soda solution soak overnight then clean the pot.

Lampshade Stain Removal Idea:

I would like to share my experience of a tip for cleaning a stain off a lampshade. With a tea towel wrapped around my finger I dipped it into some clean mild dish soap water, rubbed it along the stain, continued to rub, changing the area of the clean dry tea towel, then took a clean dry part of the towel and dabbed it into baking soda and continued to rub until it was clean as can be. It looked like new. Love your column, Candis

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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