Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Swimsuit Mildew Smell

By Reena Nerbas

Mildew Smell on Swimsuit

Dear Reena,

I read your column on a regular basis and love your solutions. Now I need some help, I packed a wet bathing suit coming home from a Hawaiian vacation a couple of winters ago, and even though I unpacked it and washed it right away, it has a mildew smell. I rewashed it, hung it up to dry, tried special bathing suit soap and washed it in vinegar with no luck. Couldn’t part with it, so I put it in a cupboard with my two other bathing suits. When I pulled them out recently – all three had a mildew smell. I rewashed, hung them outside, let them sit in water with vinegar, and rewashed them with vinegar and bathing suit soap – to no avail.  I’ve worn two of them in a chlorine pool several times this winter, and still the mildew odor remains. I always wash and hang dry right after use. Any chance at all I can remove the smell? What is the best thing to do? Thanks for your ideas! Louise

Dear Louise,

Before washing your bathing suits in the washing machine, soak them in hot water and borax. Borax contains no phosphates and no bleach but is wonderful at zapping hard to handle odors. If you cannot locate borax, use a generous amount of Oxy Clean or baking soda instead.

Sticky Adhesive on Hardwood

Dear Reena,

I have laminate floors and when the felt floor protectors on chairs etc. fall off they leave a sticky residue on the floor. I have tried Goo Gone, dish soap with a microfiber cloth, even scraping with the scraper I use on my ceramic top stove and nothing gets it off.  Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Barb

Dear Barb,

Using a hair dryer, heat the area to loosen the glue. Next smear the area with smooth peanut butter and then lift the adhesive off the floor with the help of a plastic putty knife so that the floor does not become scratched.

Fabulous Feedback from Reader’s

  • Just reading the question about removing dog blood stains from carpet. I have a messy cat, and have used peroxide for years now. I keep a small soap dish bottle of straight 3% peroxide handy to pour on pet ‘stains’, and lots of cheap paper towels to blot and rub. Works great for me, there aren’t many spots on my beige carpet this hasn’t been used on. Although peroxide will bleach the cat’s hair, it has never bleached anything else I have tried this on but test on an inconspicuous area first. Hope this helps. Bonnie
  • A little cornstarch in your salt shakers will prevent salt from clumping. Ruth
  • Sew a strip of carpet webbing two inches wide, tightly on the underside of a rug, close to the edge, to prevent it from curling up. Ruth
  • Brighten silverware by rubbing it with oatmeal. Ruth
  • I read your column regularly and have found your suggestions helpful. In a recent column, a lady wrote asking about how much vinegar to use as a laundry additive. I started using vinegar as a laundry additive after I took a micro fiber cloth to do some cleaning and found it had been rendered impervious to water as a result of going in the dryer with dryer sheets. My big problem was remembering to run down to the laundry room to put the vinegar in the rinse water. My solution was the purchase of a dryer ball which is sold to dispense liquid fabric softener to the rinse cycle. I fill the ball with vinegar and throw it in with the laundry, the vinegar is dispensed at the correct time and it seems to be a sufficient amount. I must tell you that my laundry has never been softer and vinegar is much more successful at removing long dog hair from dog towels and covers than anything else I have ever used, and it is considerably cheaper to use. Thank you so much.  Liz

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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