Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Noxious Weeds

By Reena Nerbas

Wheat-filled Heating Pad Safety

Hi Reena,

I own a wheat-filled heating pad which was scorched in a new microwave (obviously quicker heating time). It now smells just when sitting and more so when reheated. The fabric (material unknown) is also discolored. My questions are: If I hand-wash this small item (approx. 2″x7″ for wrist and ankles), will it remove the smell from the material/seed and clean the brown spot on the cloth? How will I know when it is thoroughly dry; just wait for 3 days or something? Will the wheat mold, even if it has been thoroughly dried? If I reheat before completely dry, will the wheat be compromised? Looking forward to your reply! Marie

Dear Marie,

Use caution when resorting to wheat bags. There have been numerous recorded incidents of bags becoming too hot, smoldering and starting on fire after microwave heating. If the bag is damaged in any way, your safest bet is to toss it out.

Noxious Weeds

Dear Reena,

My friend has a cottage at a lake, and has noxious weeds in her garden and lawn.  She has tried Weed and Feed, and Roundup to eradicate them, but the former doesn’t work at all on these weeds, and the latter only works after repeated applications, killing the grass of course in the process. Do you have any ideas on how this can be completely removed?  Thanks for your help, Joan

Dear Joan,

When it comes to noxious weeds, determination and persistence are key. Option 1: Use commercial weed killer, with a long residual period to lengthen time between applications. Option 2: Make your own weed killer: In a spray bottle combine half quart pickling vinegar, one tsp. dish soap and half cup of salt. Spray weeds, keeping in mind that this solution will kill anything green. Reapply the next day. Option 3: Smother the weeds with a tarp or carpet and then cover the area with mulch. Of course, this method will depend on where the weeds are located and the size of the weeds. The most effective solution for getting rid of weeds is to extract the root regularly, however this is not always an option.

Anti-slip Strips in Tub

Dear Reena,

The anti-slip strips in my bathtub have become discolored. Can you suggest a way to clean them without harming the tub? Appreciate your column. Rennie

Hi Rennie,

Several people shared great results by, scrubbing the areas with a green scrubby pad (a wash cloth won’t do it) and either toilet bowl cleaner or equal parts: borax, dish soap and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Scrub and rinse, excellent results!

Feedback from Reader

Re: Changing Furnace Filter

As far as fiberglass filters being changed monthly, that is a bit excessive, since they trap very little but the largest of particles. I change the microfilters once in December and once in March. Of course, that is without air-conditioning in the summer. On a side issue, back in the early 1970’s, long before the microfilters came out, I inquired with a clerk in the hardware section of a department store as to whether they had a spray to apply to the filters. She looked at me in shock and said, “But that would plug them up!” My response, “That’s exactly what I wanted.” That made the look even more shocked. Alan

Best Tips of the Week

  • I often found spiders sitting in the same area of my screen room. I decided to soak a few cotton balls with peppermint essential oil, which is different than peppermint extract. I have noticed fewer spiders ever since. Submitted by: Tyler
  • If you notice that your dryer takes longer to dry your clothing, remove the screen filter and clean. Scrub both sides with a soft brush, dish soap and water. Dry well and return to the dryer. Submitted by: Alishia

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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