Monday, May 22, 2017

Solutions and substitutions with Reena

Reena Nerbas

Dear Reena,

I am not only getting tired of replacing numerous plug-in air fresheners around my home, but it is also becoming expensive. Do you have a recipe for homemade air fresheners? Thanks, in advance. Ruth

Dear Ruth,

Here is a very simple air freshener that you can make yourself. In a spray bottle, mix half cup rubbing alcohol, one cup water and ten drops lemon essential oil. Spray room as needed. You can even add a few drops of this recipe to your vacuum bag. Also, placing sprigs of eucalyptus around your home will leave you with a nice aroma. Or put a bowl of vanilla in rooms that need freshening. Another option is to purchase a catalytic lamp, although a little pricey, it should last for many years. These fragrance lamps are said to actually purify the air, eliminate unpleasant odors and leave behind wonderful fragrances that will fill your home or office. One more solution, I love the smell of beeswax candles, what a wonderful scent when lit. This is another great way to make a room smell nice without adding a bunch of unhealthy toxins into the air.

Dear Reena,

Is using vegetable oil on new butcher block a good idea? Or do I need to pick up some mineral oil or something like that? Thanks, Max

Dear Max,

For everyday cleaning, wipe butcher block with dish soap and water. Rinse with water. To sanitize butcher block, combine 1 part white vinegar into a spray bottle with 4 parts water. Spray and leave for 10 mins. wipe. When the time comes to oil butcher block, food grade mineral oil is recommended. This prevents wood from smelling rancid over time. Butcher block is beautiful and durable, and can last for many years, if cared for properly.

Why didn’t I think of that!

Whenever I go to the beach or head on vacation, I roll my bills into an empty lip balm tube. I keep the container safe and in my pocket, unless I’m swimming. Submitted by: Melanie

Many people know that mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender. So instead of drenching my kids with bug spray, I have come up with a unique solution. I purchased lavender liquid fabric softener on-line. I fill a lidded plastic container with the fabric softener and place a few small sponges inside the container. Whenever I do the wash, I toss in a sponge. My clothes end up smelling like lavender which helps repel mosquitoes. After the sponge is dry, I place it back into the fabric softener until the next time I need it. Submitted by: Laura

I made an ideal soaker hose by drilling holes along the length of my old leaking garden hose. The hose lays along the ground and waters my entire garden at once. Submitted by: Brent

Ants were attracted to the hummingbird feeders in my yard so I smeared the pole with vapor rub. Now the hummingbirds can drink in peace, no more ants. Submitted by: Sarah

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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