Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Salt

By Reena Nerbas

Over Salting from Salt Shaker

Dear Reena,

I bought a brand new salt and pepper shaker set to place in the middle of my brand new dining room table. The set is quite nice but I find that the holes on the salt shaker were made too large. Salt pours out of the holes very quickly and I end up over salting my food. Do you have any ideas in your bag of tricks as too how I can fix the shaker? Carolyn

Dear Carolyn,

Replace table salt with coarse salt so that each grain is larger making it more difficult for salt to pour out of the shaker. Also, store rice inside salt shaker to keep it fresh longer. If all else fails store something besides salt in the shaker such as; cinnamon, sugar or baking soda.

Extra Salt Tips:

  • Salt and lemon juice made into a paste and rubbed on fabrics is a simple way to zap many stains.
  • If you soak fish in salt water before removing the scales, they will fall off easier.
  • A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.

Storing Bedding

Dear Reena,

I live in the tiniest apartment that you have ever seen, it is embarrassingly small but I can’t afford anything else. My problem is that I keep pillows and blankets at my apartment in case company ever drops by and they take up a lot of room (the pillows and blankets, not the people lol). Can you recommend a way to store them so that they don’t take up so much of my house? Butch

Dear Butch,

In order to reduce the amount of space that pillows and blankets take up, put them inside a garbage bag. Put the nozzle of your vacuum inside the bag. Wrap the opening of the bag around the nozzle to trap air inside, hold onto the bag around the nozzle. Turn on the vacuum. The vacuum will suck out all air and compress pillows and blankets greatly. Close the opening of the bag with an elastic bag so that no air escapes. Whenever you need to use the pillows or blankets, open the bag and they will immediately fluff up once again.

Gasoline Smell

Dear Reena,

We enjoy reading your weekly column and I never thought I would be asking for advice, but here it goes. We recently bought some clay candle holders in Mexico and when we got home and started unwrapping the holders, (six in total) we could smell gasoline. It appears the gasoline has impregnated the holders and during the past week, we have left them outside, washed and soaked them in detergent and water, and even sprayed them with Febreeze. Unfortunately, none of this has helped. Do you have any suggestions? Frank

Dear Frank,

Over time old clay can start to smell and who knows how long the candle holders had been sitting before they were purchased. Some clay has the ability to smell after only two short weeks depending on the materials used during manufacture. Here are a few ideas to try: Freeze the candle holders in your freezer for a few hours. This has had good results, but you do run the risk of the holders cracking from the temperature. Or soak the holders in a mild solution of bleach and water. Lastly, coat the vases with petroleum jelly combined with a few drops of tea tree oil (found at many grocery stores in the pharmacy). If the smell remains, it may decrease over time.

Cleaning Ultra Suede Furniture

Dear Reena,

I purchased two custom-designed Huppe ultra suede chairs for my living room a couple of years ago. The arm rests and foot rests now have dirt stains and I do not know what solution to use to clean this. I hesitate to use commercial furniture cleaning products. I’ve tried using just water but that hasn’t worked. What would you recommend? I’m really looking forward to your expert advice on this. Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide. Colette

Dear Colette,

What I would do in this situation is to zap marks on suede using a soft eraser. For larger areas, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply to each area and wipe back and forth using a stiff brush. When cleaning the entire chair use either commercial cleaner or a brush that has been dipped in vinegar. Do not over wet. If your furniture is very expensive, you may want to get it professionally cleaned, just to be safe.

Foamy Tips of the Week:

  • Smear shaving cream over a new baseball mitt to help break it in.
  • Got a squeaky door? Use shaving cream around the joint to lubricate it. It should slide or open easily and quietly.

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.

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