Renovation & Design

Make canned soup sizzle with extra ingredients


You can always add extra vegetables, pasta and even meat and cheese to your favourite canned soups for a special treat.

Question: I am not a huge fan of canned soup, but in a panic I stocked up on a bunch of canned soups. How can I improve the taste? — Jessica

Answer: You can liven up many soups by adding one or several of the following suggestions: tomato or marinara sauce, tomato juice, frozen or fresh veggies, rice, pasta, Raman noodles, potatoes, sautéed peppers and/or onions, milk, beans, and spices, Right before serving you can add crackers, bread or cheese.

Question: My wife and I bought a new refrigerator and matching range in Nov 2019. Since day two, when the fridge starts to cycle, it runs 30 seconds and starts making a popping sound. The noise comes from the freezer area and can be heard on the front and inside. Three separate service companies have looked at the appliance. They all say this is how energy efficient appliances are. Have you heard about energy efficient fridges doing this? — Mo

Answer: You are right, this is a very common complaint, and there is a long list of reasons why refrigerators make popping, clicking or buzzing sounds. The expansion and contraction in fridge’s sometimes cause a popping sound, and although annoying, this is normal and according to the experts no cause for alarm. Sounds also occur in fridges that have a water and ice maker feature. Or, if the fan inside the fridge is not aligned properly, or if the condenser fan motor is not working properly and needs replacing. It is also possible the pop is a result of the defrost timer, which pops when the timer on the heater clicks from on to off and when the evaporator coils are cooling after defrosting the freezer. One step that sometimes helps is to remove the back panel and clean the condenser fan motor, but chances are this is not going to make much difference. Replace the condenser fan motor and note if the popping stops.

Question: I spilled juice on my laptop, it still works but now some of the keys stick. The juice has sat for a week and it’s dry. How can I clean the keyboard without ruining it? — R.

Answer: With the computer off, begin by removing the batteries from the bottom of the laptop and unplug the computer. Use a small paintbrush or a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to wipe the top of the affected keys. Gently lift each key enough to wipe around the frame of the keys.


Re: Smell under sink: If you hook up your vacuum cleaner on the blower setting for about an hour to any sewer vent pipe in the house the warm air being blown out of the room will likely melt the ice blocking the sewer vent on the roof. Cheaper and safer than playing around on an icy roof. Works for me. — Robert

— Make your own pocket-sized cleaning/hand wipes. Half fill a small pill container with baby-wipes (maybe cut them in half) pour in a little isopropyl alcohol, add more wipes and a little more isopropyl. Use as needed. — Rowena

Ever been frustrated by the puddle of water that collects on the floor after a shower? Sew a piece of Velcro to the shower curtain, adhere the other section of Velcro to the wall. During shower time attach the curtain to the wall to alleviate all gaps. — Jan

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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