Renovation & Design

Inexpensive household cleaner you can make at home

Question — Do you have a recipe for an all-purpose cleaner I can make at home? Tim

Answer — Into a spray bottle combine one and a half cups water, and one and a half cups rubbing alcohol. Add two tbsp. white vinegar. This combination can be used to clean your bathroom, counter, windows and walls. Extra Note: The best tool for cleaning windows is a good quality microfiber cloth.

Question — Can you 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? Egon

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

Question — We have hardwood floors on the main level of our condo; they are approximately 15 years old. Is there any way to fix the pit holes and gouges in the floor? Gavin

Answer — The following are three options ranked in order of my most to least favourite. 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. A less perfect option is to pull out a jar of smooth peanut butter. Spread peanut butter onto damaged areas. Let sit for one hour and wipe off all excess. Lastly, colour in scratches with matching crayon or permanent marker.

Reena’s Baking Hacks

When baking, crack eggs into the bowl first, before any other ingredient; that way if you drop a piece of shell, you can fish it out.

I never mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients; I add them all at once and combine them all together.

Before baking, take out all the ingredients in the recipe, and set them on the counter (chefs call this “mise en place,” or everything in place). As you add an ingredient to the bowl, put it away. That way you will know which ingredient you already used, and you won’t add an ingredient twice.

Nail a strip of half inch wood to the inside of your baking drawer (see photo). Slide the handle of measuring cups into the wood along the sides. Keeps your measuring cups organized.

Use parchment paper on baking sheets to preserve your pans.

Before baking bread or buns, brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt. The bread will end up golden yellow, instead of pale.

Don’t be stingy with chocolate.

Smart Advice

If you get cramps in your legs at night, drink a small cup of tonic water. It takes them away almost immediately. Must be the quinine in it! A life saver! — Moira

I place a paper towel next to the onion that I am cutting. The towel absorbs the chemical and I never tear up. — Sekine

Prevent people from stealing Amazon packages by setting up a doghouse. When ordering on-line, add a note for the carrier to leave the package inside the doghouse. — William

Use Dawn dish soap to clean your bathtub. Scrub with a non-abrasive cloth. It does a great job, and you won’t have to breathe the toxic fumes that most cleaners give off. — Gale

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 at: Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:


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