Saturday, January 13, 2018

Solutions and Substitutions with Reena

Reena Nerbas
Dear Reena,

I am wondering how to remove the white adhesive that is stuck on our cherry, wood table without damaging the wood? - Donna

Dear Donna,

The simplest solution for removing adhesive on wood, is to wipe a small amount of either mayonnaise or peanut butter (smooth not crunchy) onto the area. Remove the access with a soft cloth, and clean the table as normal. Rubbing alcohol and WD-40 are also effective, however; these choices may strip the finish of the wood.

Dear Reena,

I was told to seal my countertop, and ever since I sealed it, the wood has a white film on it. I have tried several solutions to remove it. Dish soap cleans it, but only temporarily. I am desperate, I hate the look of it because it has no shine. - Molly

Dear Molly,

Consider contacting the counter manufacturer. There is an enormous assortment of granite countertops on the market, and using products, not recommended by the manufacturer, can void the warranty. One popular tool used to remove scale on granite counters is a razor blade, however; this is recommended for professional use, as you do not want to mark the countertop. Another option is to purchase soap scum remover formulated specifically for granite countertops. Note: Not all granite countertops require sealing, check with the manufacture to verify whether your particular counter should be stripped or sealed.

Dear Reena,

Our red dyed leather sofa has been stained by chocolate. I removed the hardened portion, and then attempted to remove the stain with dishwashing liquid. This has resulted in a dark brown center, with a very light outer ring, where the dye has been somewhat removed. What can I do to restore the leather? Thank-you very much for your response. - Ruben

Dear Ruben,

Apply a small amount of vinegar to the area, this may be all you need to get the job done. Whenever attempting to clean leather, you should always test cleaners on an inconspicuous area first. Over the years readers have had great results getting rid of stains by using one of the following: non-bleach, non-gel toothpaste, shaving cream, hairspray, Goof Off, Goo Gone, Sunlight bar soap, saddle soap, Windex, Calvin Klein Obsessions After Shave or Axe Body Spray. Discontinue application if leather dye begins to fade. Another favorite leather cleaner and renewing product is Urad (available online).

Dear Reena,

Can you please tell me what to use to remove the glue, off the glass, that was used to adhere the seal on the wood stove glass door? - Thanks, Chris

Dear Chris,

Apply one of the following to the glass: cooking spray, Goo Gone or WD-40. Leave 10 mins. and wipe. Clean the glass well, so that no product remains.

Dear Reena,

I bought a large container of cream cheese and put one third in a smaller container. Should I freeze the rest, or is it better kept in the fridge? It would take me over a month to use the small container. - Shirley

Dear Shirley,

I am often amazed at how long cream cheese lasts; check the expiry date before taking any further steps. If the expiration date allows you to keep the cheese in the fridge, it should be fine. Foil wrapped cream cheese should last 3-4 weeks in the fridge. You can freeze cream cheese, but only do so, if you have no plans to use the cheese for baked goods such as cheesecake, because the cheese consistency changes after freezing. If you use cream cheese for spreading on toast, then freezing the cheese is no problem.

Feedback from Wonderful Contributors

Re: Storing Christmas Decorations

Dear Reena,

To store Christmas decorations properly, I use the dividers found in wine boxes from the liquor store. I put the dividers in my plastic boxes. The nutcrackers are safe standing up in the larger boxes. I cut the dividers to fit inside smaller boxes for small items etc. Happy New Year to you, Pauline

Re: Preserving Photos

Dear Reena,

Just a couple of observations regarding your advice to one of your readers regarding images and albums. Asking many individuals to scan in copies of their print or film images might be equivalent to asking me to tune up the space shuttle? Making high quality scans is very much a combination of the right equipment, and a knowledge base involving both film, and the digital world, that, and the final expected output. Printing copies is a whole other topic! Hence, I do like your suggestions of enrolling in courses and asking other companies for advice. An added tip, is to protect the original prints and, (if they kept them) the negatives! In the long run, the old analogue images may have more archival potential than the electronic copies. People should also make sure they are using 100% acid free components, both in the albums, and the attachment method for the image copies there within! --- Wayne

Re: Cleaning Grout

Dear Reena,

I think that Barbara's question about cleaning grout is about the actual tile in her shower, not discolored grout. I had black tile, and it looked awful with hard-water splotches. I used a vinegar (or lemon juice) solution to make the tiles shine again. It’s important to squeegee the tiles dry after every shower, so there won’t be any more spots. I enjoy your column! Jeanie

Begin the Year with a Clean Cell Phone

  • Maintain your phone while working over a soft surface. 
  • Remove the phone from the phone case. 
  • Maintenance of the phone case depends on the material makeup of the case. 
  • Wipe the phone with 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol, and a soft cloth. 
  • Use a cotton swab to clean outer crevices, and the sides of the phone. 
  • Do not use ammonia or ammonia products i.e. Windex or any abrasive products. 
  • Invest in a stylus pen if you prefer to lessen the frequency of phone and finger contact. 

Reader’s Suggestion Regarding Keeping Brown Sugar Soft

Dear Reena,

I always keep a salted soda cracker in with my brown sugar and it never, ever hardens. Cheap solution! - Linda

Fabulous Tips of the Week

PAM Non-stick cooking spray is handy for removing paint, and grease from hands. Submitted by: Gurna

Remove dead skin by dabbing the chapped area with mayonnaise; leave it to dry for a few minutes. Rub area with damp fingers, dead skin will disappear from feet, knees, elbows, or face. Submitted by: Alex

Here is the best fruit salad dressing: Combine orange juice with sour cream, add grated orange rind. Pour over the fruit salad. Submitted by Matthew

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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