Solutions & Substitutions By Reena: Meals in a Jar

By Reena Nerbas

Tropical Holiday Causes Musty Suitcases

Hi Reena,

Is there a way of getting rid of musty tropical smells from suitcases? We came back from the Dominican Republic at Christmas and the smell is still lingering. I am afraid to put anything in the suitcases and travel elsewhere with them. I placed scented dryer sheets along with Gain detergent pellets in the bags, but the smell is still there. I managed to get the smell out of clothing after several washes. Thanks so much! Bon

Hi Bon,

Wipe the suitcase interior with dish soap and water. Air dry. Pour a handful or two of fresh coffee grounds inside of a sock, close with an elastic band and store the sock inside of the suitcase. Coffee is a great odor absorber.

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Dear Reena,

My dog has terrible breath, and even though I am terribly busy I have decided to brush his teeth every day before I head off to work. Should I use the same toothpaste on my dog as I use? Thanks, Marcus

Dear Marcus,

You will want to purchase toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs. Many human toothpastes contain fluoride which is poisonous to dogs. Be patient as you start out on this new venture and begin with short brushing sessions so that the dog can adjust to the new routine. Speak to your vet, bad breath may be the culprit of a more serious condition; for example, if the dog has a rotten tooth and you touch it, this will be very painful for him. Dog food is also a possible reason for his odorous breath, another great reason to speak to your vet.

Toilet Brush Odour

Dear Reena,

Do you have any ideas as to how to keep a toilet brush clean and free from odor? I clean for about ten families and would like a solution that I can implement in all their homes. Thanks, Helen

Dear Helen,

The toilet brush is an inconspicuous smelly culprit in many bathrooms. After cleaning your bathroom, fill the toilet brush cup with 100% vinegar or bleach. Soak the brush for 30 mins. in the solution before dumping out the contents and letting the brush air dry. To air dry the brush, lay it on the toilet rim and close the toilet seat overtop to hold it in place until it dries.

Extra Tip: The toothbrush holder is one of the most neglected items in the home. Place the cup inside your dishwasher so that it becomes clean without you having to spend time scraping old toothpaste out of tiny holes.

Meals in a Jar

  • Large mason jars are perfect for transporting salads to work. Pour salad dressing into the bottom of the jar. Add tomatoes, radishes, peas, lettuce, cheese, nuts, bacon bits, shredded carrots, cabbage, chick peas, cucumbers or whatever healthy treats you want. At lunchtime, shake and eat. Submitted by: Vicki
  • Instead of transporting a taco salad in a container, carry it in a mason jar. Put all ingredients into a mason jar except for the taco chips i.e. salsa, cooked ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and onions. At lunchtime, crunch up taco chips and add them to the jar. Shake and eat. Submitted by: Vicki
  • No time to eat breakfast? No problem! Layer a mason jar with berries, yogurt and granola. When your tummy starts to grumble, open the jar, toss the contents and enjoy. Submitted by: Haman

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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