Here’s How to Remove Odour From Containers


Dear Reena,

I have several old plastic containers that smell musty. Should I throw them out, or is there a way to remove the smell? — Caris

Dear Caris,

Use a pastry brush and smear the plastic interior with either mustard or toothpaste. Make sure that you cover every corner. Fill the containers with water and leave for a few hours. The smell will be gone.

Dear Reena,

Do you have any tips for the time-consuming job of cleaning baseboards? — Pamela  

Dear Pamela,

Use a good quality micro-fibre cloth and warm soapy water. For a bit of a time-saver, slip old socks on your hands, dip them in your cleaning solution and wipe. 

Dear Reena,

Every time I store potatoes at my house, within days they start to grow eyes. How can I prevent this? I keep them in my pantry, in a wooden potato box that has onions on the bottom. I’ve tried keeping an apple with the potatoes, but to no avail. — Mandeep

Dear Mandeep,

Sounds like you may have high humidity in your home. Contrary to what many experts advise, I have always stored potatoes in a plastic bag in the fridge. They last for months without any problems.

Who Knows What Your 

Nose Knows? 

Whenever I have a cold, I rub the bottom of my nose with lip balm so that my nose doesn’t become sore. I label that lip balm tube with my name and the word “sick” on it. — Betsy

My children used to waste an entire box of tissues in one day when they had a cold. Now I purchase the softest roll of toilet paper that I can find, and they use one or two sheets at a time. Their noses don’t become sore from rubbing, and we aren’t wasting as much. —  Manfred

I cut up an old, soft bedsheet and made it into hankies for my husband and I to use whenever we have a cold. Wash in hot water. — Alex

Vacuuming Tips That 

Don’t Suck

• The following is a list of areas that many people neglect to vacuum regularly: Inside drawers, blinds/curtains, ceiling fans, brooms, under furniture, mattresses and furniture cushions, accent cushions, computer keyboard, clocks and window sills.

• Vacuuming in all directions helps lift carpet fibres and increases the amount of dirt and dust sucked up by vacuums.

• Dust before you vacuum. This reduces the amount of dust that flows into the air, and lands on the floor.

• Empty your vacuum canister regularly. Waiting until the canister is almost full reduces suction from the vacuum, resulting in a less effective clean.

Tips That Really Stink

Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to seven days.

Regarding tearing up while slicing onions, I peel onions before I slice them, and then place the onion in the freezer for 30 minutes. The cold slows the conversion of the sulfoxides, which is what makes your eyes sting. — Lucille

The best way to store garlic is in an open basket for air circulation at room temperature. Don’t remove the papery outsides until just before use, as it protects the garlic. — Lucille

Don’t store potatoes and onions near each other, as gases from the onions can hasten sprouting in potatoes. — Roy

I find that roasting garlic turns it into a spreadable paste; this tastes great on toasted bread. — Lucille

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website at Ask a question or share a tip at