Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Restoring White Socks

By Reena Nerbas

Frustrated by Packaging

Dear Reena,

Whenever I purchase household items that have thick packaging encasing them, it takes me a mountain of time and frustration to remove the plastic, often my scissors can’t cut through the thick plastic. Do you have any ideas to make this easier? Gloria

Dear Gloria,

Run a manual can opener along the edge of the plastic, you won’t believe how much easier this task becomes.

Protective Film on Appliances

Dear Reena,

We installed new appliances recently and I could remove the thin film protective coating on all but the microwave. The remaining film on the microwave seems thinner than the other protective coatings that I removed. Any suggestions on how to remove the remaining film? Jill

Dear Jill,

Without knowing the microwave brand, I can tell you that some manufacture’s install thin plastic film that is peel-able only when certain screws are removed. Other microwaves have a thin plastic coating that is added as a permanent part to the microwave. Please double check the manufacturer’s instructions. If the film is removable, here are a few tips sent in by other readers in this predicament; wipe the microwave with cooking spray and scrape with a plastic credit card. Or wipe with household ammonia, peel and wash with dish soap and water. Test on an inconspicuous area first.

Dingy White Socks

Dear Reena,

I can’t seem to make my white socks remain white after laundering. Any suggestions? Urma

Dear Urma,

Some lower quality socks pill and darken after laundering. Purchase medium quality socks and toss them in a pot with one tablespoon lemon juice or a half lemon. Boil for 5 mins. Cool and wash as normal.

Food Odors Linger in Plastic Containers

Dear Reena,

I have used the same plastic containers for 25 years and they are still in good shape. The problem is that they carry a food odor that I can’t get rid of. I need your help! Michelle

Dear Michelle,

Use a pastry brush and smear the plastic interior with either mustard or toothpaste. Make sure that you cover every corner. Fill the container with water and leave for a few hours, the smell should be gone. If the containers continue to smell, stuff them with crumpled newspaper, seal and leave for a few days. Remove the newspaper.

Contributor’s Share

  • To remove clown make-up from clothing, wash the area with glycerin bar soap and water. Submitted By: Dee Dee the Clown
  • I got in touch with you once before on how to simply tell if an egg is hard boiled or raw. I now have another tip for you. If you have a bottle that you would like to remove the label from without frustration, it is easy to do, and very environmental. Take a tissue that is wide enough to cover the bottle and long enough to completely wrap around it. Soak it with just enough Williams Lectric Shave so that it is well soaked. Cover with a plastic film and let sit for 5 or 6 hours. Depending on the glue and length of time soaking, the label should slide off as if it was held in place by oil, with little, if any, subsequent clean-up. If I a guy can use it on his face before shaving, it ought not be too harmful like other products! Submitted By: Alan
  • An easy and inexpensive way to absorb greasy hair is to rub cornstarch into your scalp. Submitted By: Brittany
  • I used to have difficulty opening jars until I came across this easy solution. Secure one elastic band around the middle of the jar. Secure another elastic band around the lid. The rubber makes it easy to grip and turn. Submitted By: Manuela

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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