Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Storing Your Photos

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Storing Your Photos

By Reena Nerbas

Storing Photo Collection

Dear Reena,

I am retired and plan to downsize soon. I have about 60 large and small photo albums. I wondered if there are any ideas out there to conglomerate them, as I will need a special room just for these albums if I don’t. I thought maybe just hold the album in front of a video camera and video all the pages. Maybe someone else has a better idea. Mary

Dear Mary,

With the advancement of modern technology, help is on the way. While sitting at a computer, take some time to scan photographs onto your computer or take photos with a cell phone. There are several wonderful companies who can help you create photo albums and they will mail them to your home i.e. and are two examples. On-line courses are available to teach you how to make albums that will last for years, and won’t take up much room. It’s easier and more affordable than you might expect.

Smelly Furnace Vent

Dear Reena,

I have had a smell coming from the furnace vent in the bathroom ever since the heat came on and it smells like cat urine. Just wanting to know if you have any suggestions besides getting the ducts cleaned; we don’t have the money right now. Thank you very much. Angie

Dear Angie,

Is the smell the result of a cat or could it be something else? Wet insulation (caused by high humidity) sometimes smells similar when wet. A dehumidifier might help the smell. If the smell is caused by a cat, the easiest temporary solution is to spray white vinegar or Pet Odor Out products around the areas that smell to neutralize the odor. But chances are you won’t be happy with the results of air fresheners and surface cover-ups. Investing money into having the ducts cleaned properly or contacting a plumber are your best bets. Extra Tip: Without spending much money, it is important to change furnace filters on a regular basis.

Cleaning Area Rug

Dear Reena,

Without the help of a drycleaner, can you please tell me how to clean my large area rug? It smells and needs some TLC. Thanks, Rose

Dear Rose,

If possible rent a steam cleaner and clean the carpet just as you would a regular carpet. If the carpet label specifies dry clean only, take it to a drycleaner. For fibers that specify no water, you can clean the carpet using shaving cream. Spray onto carpet and gently scrub with a soft brush remove with a soft damp cloth until carpet looks clean and smells fresh.

Cleaning Inside Glass Vase

Dear Reena,

I have a tall clear single stem glass vase, and I have been unable to remove etched cloudy water marks on the inside. I have tried everything from baking soda, salt, vinegar, denture tablets, with no success. Any ideas? Eunice

Dear Eunice,

Soaking the vase with hot vinegar, and then gently rubbing the surface with fine 000 sandpaper is a good solution for slightly etched glass. You can also soak the vase in hot water, and citric acid (available at your local pharmacy, you may need to order it). If the etching remains, the condition is permanent. If you want to ‘refresh’ seldom used glassware or crystal which has developed a slight film while sitting in the cupboard, but is not dirty, just hold the piece over the mouth of a steaming kettle, and polish quickly and easily with a paper coffee filter. Your glassware will sparkle again!

Holiday Hints of the Week:

If you like how you decorated for Christmas this year, take a photo so that you can recreate the same scene for next year.

Save empty egg cartons for storing small Christmas ornaments.

Rather than trying to cram your artificial Christmas tree back into its original box, consider purchasing a tree bag. Using a bag puts less stress on you and the tree.

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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