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Freshen trash can with essential oil

Question: I have a lidded garbage can next to my bed, full of my daughter’s diapers. I can’t seem to get rid of the odour. I have tried replacing the bag, but it’s still there. Any suggestions on how to remove it? Julio

Answer: Unfortunately, the odour will linger if diapers are kept inside, but you can reduce the smell. Clean the garbage can with either bleach and water or vinegar and water; if possible, use a bathtub faucet to rinse (pressure washer or hose is best for large receptacles). Dry well. Pour either: Fresh coffee grounds, kitty litter or baking soda and essential oils onto the bottom of the can (making sure that your daughter does not have access to the contents); discard contents after one week. Some people lay a cardboard car freshener on the floor of the can; this is only effective if the can is clean. Dollar stores also sell scented garbage-can liners.

Make your own diaper pail/trash, smelly cupcakes. Fill a muffin pan with six cupcake liners. Combine two-cups baking soda, a few drops of your favourite essential oil and half cup water to make a thick paste. Scoop the baking soda paste into the cupcake liners; fill each liner three-quarters full. Leave to dry 12 hours, remove paper muffin liner. Place one smelly cupcake into the garbage can or diaper pail. If you are putting smelly cupcakes into a cloth diaper bag, you can leave them in the bag and add them to your laundry.

Question: How can I get black scuff marks off painted ceramic without taking the paint off? Also, I have a large area of melted red wax crayon in the back seat of my car. It is not possible to scrape any of it off as it has soaked into the fabric. Tamara

Answer: To remove scuff marks on ceramic pieces, rub with an art eraser and wipe with a damp cloth. To remove wax on upholstery, heat the wax using a hair dryer and scrape as much of the wax as possible. Spray WD-40 onto the area, leave for 10 minutes and wipe. Scrub the area with Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo and water. Rinse with water and let air dry (test all products on an inconspicuous area first).

Question: My daughter who owns a dog is considering putting down carpeting. We did this in the past and found that the vacuum cleaners we tried failed to remove the hair. Can you suggest which type of carpet surface would limit this problem? Olva

Answer: Consider purchasing a commercial grade, synthetic carpet such as polyester, or nylon. While natural fibres are environmentally friendly, synthetic fibres are more practical due to their durability and stain resistance, and they are therefore longer lasting. Choose a tightly woven fabric with a short pile. Tight looped carpets such as berber are popular but can easily snag on the dog’s nails. Some people opt for pet resistant carpets that are chemically treated, others feel that these are an unhealthy choice. My personal choice would be to purchase replaceable commercial carpet tiles. They are easier to install, can last a long time and are simple to replace. Buy a few extra, so that you can replace them as needed.

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.

Have a great suggestion or tip? Please send an email. Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


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