Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Readers’ Solutions

By Reena Nerbas

Readers Share Their Best Household Solutions!

• To repair a plastic toy, use the flame of a candle to heat the metal end of a knife. Hold the hot knife against both pieces of the toy to melt it back together. Submitted By: Allan

Avoid pouring grease from cooking down the sink; instead put grease into the garbage, that way you don’t run the risk of clogging up the sink and damaging the pipes. Submitted By: Charissa

• To make your own hand soap, save slivers of soap bars and mix them in a bottle with glycerin. Shake with warm water and use. Submitted By: Mariam

Sewing buttons on a shirt just got easier. Use a toothpick to help keep the buttons in place. Put a toothpick underneath the button and sew, doing this will prevent the button from being sewn on too tightly. Submitted By: Serge

• When dealing with fabric wine stains, try this little trick. Pour 1 tsp. dish soap onto the stain and soak in 1 tbsp. borax and enough warm water to cover the stain. Leave for one hour and rinse. Repeat until stain is gone. Test on an inconspicuous area first. Submitted By: Teresa

Got bed bugs? Make a solution of tea tree oil and water; generously spray the mattress to zap each and every one of them. If bed bugs get out of hand call a professional. Submitted By: Lewana

• Got wine on the wall? Make a solution of bleach and water and scrub-a-dub-dub. Submitted By: Lewana

Silver tarnishes due to exposure to various compounds such as sulphur. Use non-gel toothpaste to polish your silver set. Note: The more you use silver, the less likely it is to tarnish. If possible store silver in a sealable bag with chalk. Chalk is a form of limestone, which prevents tarnish. Submitted By: Jordan

Remove soot on shirts by applying Crisco to the area and washing with dish soap and hot water. Submitted By: Madeline

• Put rubbing alcohol on a shirt that smells of grease. The smell of rubbing alcohol will disappear within a few moments. Submitted By: Alex

Get rid of skunk smell with a recipe that I like to call, “Ahhh, I Can Breathe Again”. Into a spray bottle mix: 1-liter hydrogen peroxide, one-quarter cup baking soda and 1-tbsp. dish soap. Spray boxes, floors, clothing and pets. When spraying on fabrics, test on an inconspicuous area first. Another option when pets are sprayed; lather them with toothpaste and water and rinse. Submitted By: Reena

Say so long to fish smelling odor on hands; rub them with toothpaste until smell is gone! Submitted By: Mason

To clean tarnished brass, begin by determining if what you think is brass really is brass. Hold a magnet onto the “brass” area, if it clings you are dealing with brass plated metal. There are two types of brass, one is coated with clear lacquer, and the other is not. Clean-coated brass by wiping it with a damp cloth. If the lacquer coating is worn or chipped, that area will start to tarnish. Strip old lacquer finish and clean the surface, then re-apply a new coat of lacquer. When using the lacquer technique, make sure the surface remains dust free. Hardware stores carry lacquer spray finish (you can also use lacquer in a can and apply it with cotton balls). Brass that has no lacquer finish on it can be cleaned with Brasso, Howard Brass or Copper Polish. Submitted By: Reena

Reduce pests in the garden with this recipe: 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 1-tsp. Dawn dish soap and one quart water. Spray onto plants 3 times per week. Tip: Speaking of Dawn, many of us know that baking soda and vinegar makes a great volcano explosion but did you know that adding Dawn dish soap really has an impact! Cover the bottom of the container with baking soda. Next, add a tablespoon of Dawn and several drops of red and yellow food coloring. Pour in vinegar; the dish soap makes the lava less fizzy and more realistic! Submitted By: Reena

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