Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Laundry Room Odours

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Laundry Room Odours

By Reena Nerbas

Washing Machine Odour

Dear Reena,

Please end this torment, I am troubled with a laundry room odor that I can’t successfully eliminate and it emanates from my washer. I tried running vinegar through the machine as well as filling the drum and surrounding tub with a bleach/water solution and letting it sit for several days. No luck. My research promotes the ideas that the outside of the drum is the problem or fetid water that doesn’t properly drain. I’m wondering if the hoses could be the culprit. I hesitate to replace the hoses if they aren’t the problem. The machine is an older model top loader that has given me excellent service for many years. There are just two of us in the household so we only use the washer for one load per week. When the machine is idle, the lid always remains open. Even with the smell, the clothes come out clean.  No other water source in the house has this difficulty.  Could the drain pipe on the wall be guilty? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated very much. The laundry room is on the main floor and getting harder to ignore. Thank you. Sharon

Dear Sharon,

This is a common challenge with washing machines, often the doors to the machines are tightly sealed and moisture has no chance of escaping between uses. Thus, mold forms under the seal and within the mechanics of the machine. It is true that you should keep the door open when the machine is not in use so that moisture can escape. You can continue to run 1-cup of vinegar and half cup baking soda through the machine once a week to kill odors. Also, stop (if you are) using liquid fabric softeners, these tend to build-up in the machine and produce mold.

As well, lift the seal and clean underneath with a paste of 3% hydrogen peroxide and borax or toothpaste and an old toothbrush, you will be amazed at the build-up. Another favorite product for getting rid of the smell of musty machines is washing soda; you can find this in the laundry department of grocery stores. It is called, “So Clean” by Arm and Hammer. This product is amazing at whitening and brightening fabrics, as a matter of fact, I like to add one-quarter cup to each load of laundry when I wash whites (it contains no bleaches or phosphates). Both borax and washing soda are great for zapping odors. Also, take out your detergent drawer and clean any mildew with 3% hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and water.

If the problem remains, then like you said there may be a more serious problem such as a clogged hose or faulty or worn out machine parts. This requires snaking the machine and using hot water and chemicals to free any clogs.

Cleaning the Deep Fryer

Dear Reena,

We have a deep fryer that works great but the outside of the fryer is marked up with oil dripping that will not come off. What solution do you recommend for this problem? Best Regards, Larry

Dear Larry,

You can either purchase a branded degreaser to clean the exterior of your deep fryer. Or smother the outside with a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Leave for 15 minutes and scrub with an abrasive, non-scratching pad. Rinse and wipe dry. Some people have great results by cleaning the outside of the fryer with oven cleaner, test on an inconspicuous area first.

Yellowing Kitchen Tiles

Dear Reena,

I have a problem that I haven’t seen in your column. My kitchen has inexpensive white peel-and-stick tiles installed by the previous owner. Unfortunately, some of the tiles have turned yellow. Do you know of any way to get them white again? The best solution would be a new floor but that doesn’t fit into my budget at this time.  Thanks. Cheryl

Dear Cheryl,

Many people have found pouring 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the floor every day for three days is helpful. Other people had great success by combining one quarter cup OxyClean with 1 gallon boiling water and pouring the solution onto the area. Another solution is Clorox but some say that this application removes the floors finish and shine. Lastly, mineral spirits are a treatment that people have told me worked for them. If the floor remains yellow, replacing the tiles is your best option.

Linguine vs Fettuccine

Dear Reena,

What is the difference between linguine and fettuccine? What kind of sauce would you use on linguine? Thanks, Janet

Dear Janet,

Fettuccine is wider and flat, while linguine is more like spaghetti but square instead of round. Each pasta shape is designed to hold the sauce differently. The name linguine actually comes from the Italian language meaning, “little tongues”. This pasta pairs well with seafood i.e. clam, shrimp etc. sauces because of its flat shape, the sauce stays on the noodle easily. From white sauces to tomato or wine sauces linguine is a versatile noodle and can be substituted for spaghetti noodles. For simpler meals, linguine noodles can also be paired with butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Zesty Tips of the Week:

  • Need to liven up a fruit salad? Combine orange juice with sour cream, add grated orange rind. Pour over fruit salad.
  • Help lemons last longer. Sprinkle lemons with water and place them in a plastic bag, they will last one month or longer.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice onto freshly cut fruit so that it does not darken.

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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