Renovation & Design

SOLUTIONS: Repel spiders with citrus scents

QUESTION: I am having a problem controlling spiders in my basement. Big, black, ugly spiders crawl into my downstairs bathroom on a weekly basis. Any idea as to how I can make a non-toxic spider repellent? Also, why do spiders like to make their way into my bathtub? I have found a number of them in there, and I refuse to share my expensive bubble bath! Thanks. Bernice (Arthur, Man.)

ANSWER: No need to share your bubble bath! Spiders do not like taking baths, but instead fall into the tub and because the sides are smooth, they cannot make their way out. It is a myth that spiders come up through drain pipes. The reason you find spiders in the bathroom is that they are thirsty little creatures looking for water. To repel spiders, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray edges and corners of basement. Spiders lick their own feet and do not like citrus smells.

QUESTION: I have a 100 per cent white cotton T-shirt and was foolish enough to wear it under a new unwashed black fleece track suit. Of course it is now covered with black fuzz. So far, I have only washed the shirt alone (no difference). Can you suggest a solution to my fuzz problem? Fern (East St. Paul, Man.)

ANSWER: Wrap duct tape around your hand (sticky side out), and press and release fuzz until it is gone.

QUESTION: My husband installed light/dark engineered hardwood flooring in the living room and then moved the furniture around. Now we have two long scratches. Can this be fixed? Agnes (Winnipeg, Man.)

ANSWER: Engineered flooring is a sandwich of finish wood and plywood. The finish wood is what you see and walk on. The plywood underneath comprises 80-90 per cent of the floor. Deep scratches in engineered flooring cannot be sanded out. But surface scratches can be sanded two or three times and then refinished. Your best bet is to enlist help from a professional flooring expert. Another option is to purchase wax floor repair, match the colour to your flooring, spread with a putty knife and lightly buff.

QUESTION: I am an avid reader of your column in the Winnipeg Free Press. As I'm an owner/operator of a home cleaning business, I put your advice to use on many occasion. Recently, my daughter was cooking rice in an aluminum pot (stainless steel bottom) and left it boiling too long. She could smell the rice burning, so she immediately began to empty it into a plastic garbage bag. Needless to say, the plastic instantly adhered to the bottom of the pot. As I don't want to throw away one of my good pots, I was wondering if perhaps you might have solutions I could try. Betty (Winnipeg, Man.)

ANSWER: Break out the WD-40! Desperate times call for desperate measures. In a ventilated area, spray the damaged pot. Leave for 20 minutes and scrub with an abrasive cleaning pad. Wash well before using.

QUESTION: A pen broke in my car and now I have blue ink on the carpet. Suggestions to remove it? Laura (Warren, Man.)

ANSWER: Spray the area with shaving cream and scrub until ink is gone. Rinse and dry. If stain remains, spray with mosquito repellent and wipe, use repellent containing DEET. Test on an inconspicuous area first.

Tip of the Week:

-- To remove hairspray from eyeglasses or any non-porous surface, use rubbing alcohol.

Reena Nerbas is the author of the national bestselling Household Solutions series. Her website is You can contact her at Box 429, Blumenort, Man., ROA 0C0.


Browse Homes

Browse by Building Type