Gateway Gazette

Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Vinegar’s Cleaning Power

By Reena Nerbas

Repairing Damage to Hardwood Floors

Dear Reena,

We have hardwood floors on the main level of our condo; they are approximately 19 years old. Is there any way to fix the pit holes and gauges in the floor? Thanks for your help, Lorne

Dear Lorne,

The following are three options ranked in order of my most to least favorite. To cover up scratches on hardwood floors, your best bet is to purchase a touch-up kit. They are formulated to repair wood floors and are available at your local home hardware store. Or a less perfect option is to pull out a jar of smooth peanut butter. Spread peanut butter onto damaged areas. Let sit for 1 hour and wipe off all excess. Or color in scratches with matching crayon or permanent marker.

Perfume Lingers on Clothing

Dear Reena,

What can I do to get rid of the perfume scent in some clothing my daughter gave to me? Jacqueline

Dear Jacqueline,

Begin by soaking the smelly fabrics in a pot with 1 gallon water and one quarter cup of one of the following: Borax, white vinegar, washing soda or club soda. Boil for 5 minutes. Next launder in hot water. If the clothes still smell, lay them on the grass on a rainy day, the combination of sunshine and rain will help take away the odors.

Nail Polish on Party Dress

Dear Reena,

My 5-year-old granddaughter attended a Princess Ball wearing one of her party dresses; she managed to sit on some bright pink nail polish. Since I am considered “The Stain Remover” the dress was sent to me. I have tried nail polish remover and a few other products but the stain won’t budge. Any suggestions? Linette

Dear Linette,

Nail polish contains a variety of acetone strengths; some are quite weak and will not budge the stain. One option is to soak the area with 100% acetone. Scrub with a netted scrubby pad. Some people had great results with ammonia, paint thinner, Windex, Goo Gone or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The challenge in all products is that you do not want to weaken the fabric so that it ends up with a hole, therefore use caution and rinse well between products.

Feedback from Brilliant Reader

Re: Controlling Mice in Farm Machinery

Dear Reena,

I’ve had excellent results using the lavender-scented ‘Bright Air Super Odor Eliminator’ product. It comes in a 14-oz. vented top container, that, once opened will last for several months. They cost about $7 at Canadian Tire, but I think they are well worth the cost. I use them in the trunks of cars that are not being used, under the front seat, or in the cab of a truck. I’m sure they’d be just as effective in other relatively enclosed spaces, like a tractor or combine cab, etc. Be sure to get the lavender scent only, it’s the most effective at preventing mice from hanging around. Dave

King Vinegar Makes a Splash

  • I have the world’s easiest technique for cleaning grout. Spray the wall with 50/50 vinegar and water. Sprinkle borax or washing soda onto a sponge and spread it over the grout. Leave it for 10 mins. Wipe with a wet sponge. Submitted by: Lorne
  • Clean your microwave in 2 minutes. In a bowl combine 1-cup water, 1-cup vinegar and one tbsp. lemon juice. Microwave on HIGH for 2 mins. Wipe with a clean sponge. Submitted by: Julian

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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