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Substitute and Solve - Gelatin-milk paste cheaper fix for oily face than pore strips

Dear Reena,

I have a very oily t-zone on my face. I buy pore strips to clean my face (especially my nose) and they really seem to help, but they are too expensive and I can’t afford them. Is there any way to make pore strips at home? Thanks, Vessa

Dear Vessa,

You want cheap? I’ve got cheap! Go to your local grocery store and purchase a box of unflavoured gelatin and milk (any kind of milk works). In a little microwavable dish, combine one teaspoon milk with one teaspoon gelatin powder. Microwave for 10 seconds. Cool and then use a small paintbrush to brush liquid mixture onto your face (avoid eyes). Leave for 10 minutes and peel. Works just as well as pore strips.

Hi Reena,

I have very expensive custom madecellular shades on all of my windows and the draw cords on all of them are getting very dirty.I’ve tried bleach with water on a cloth and run the cloth up and down the cord but it is not doing anything.What would yousuggest I use to clean them? Thank-you for your time, Linda

Dear Linda,

Your best bet is to scrub all cords with Sunlight laundry bar soap and water. If you cannot locate Sunlight, use Ivory bar soap. Scrub and rinse with water.

Hello Reena,

I read your "Solutions & Substitutions" every week and even though I reached a milestone (80), I still love learning new things and I enjoy your adviceto everyone very much.I have a problem that I’m hoping you will be able to solve for me. A few weeks ago I bought a ‘plastic/rubber’ mat for my tub. Once I brought it home and put it in my bathroom, I realized it had a terrible rather toxic odour. I have no idea how to get rid of this smell. Can you please help me? Thanks a bunch, Anne

Happy Birthday Anne and many happy returns,

The bathmat is "off gassing" and will eventually stop smelling. In the meantime, soak the mat in 10 drops of tea tree oil and enough water to cover the mat. Leave for two hours and rinse well. Tea tree oil can be found at most grocery stores in the pharmacy department as well as health food stores.

Dear Reena,

We have had our second cork floor installed in the kitchen. It is made of the kind of cork that is pre-finished and no additional sealant is added once the floor is laid. We chose this kind as we are both very sensitive to strong smells. In less than a year, the first floor started lifting slightly where the cork boards meet. The company would not take responsibility and made the salesperson who sold it to us pay for it to be replaced as she had advised us to clean it with an electric steamer. They gave no instructions. The salesperson says she has never seen this happen before and has overseen the laying of many similar style cork floors. It has now been replaced but we cannot get any clear instructions from the manufacturer as to the safest way to clean this type of cork flooring. Can you advise please? Thanks in advance, Sandra

Dear Sandra,

Great investment! Cork floors are not only beautiful but also comfortable to stand on. In order to keep cork flooring looking its very best, vacuum or sweep the floor regularly. Mop the floor at least once a month making sure not to use excessive water. The floor should be damp not wet. Avoid using harsh cleaners; one teaspoon of dish soap and one teaspoon white vinegar added to mop water is all you need.

Feedback from Readers who Care

Re: Putting graphite inside of a plug

Dear Reena,

While putting graphite inside of a plug may make it easier to help the plug slide in and out, this is a hazard because a loose substance flopping around inside of a plug can cause a short in the plug and catch fire. Thanks, Brian

Re: Making your own TV dinners at home

Hello Reena,

I’d like to share an experience about something that has drastically lowered the cost of a daily hot meal at our work place. Recently our office lunch room received a new appliance called Hot Logic that, without any programming what so ever, automatically heats multiple personal sized refrigerated or frozen sealed meals brought to work from home. These meals can be either leftovers from a home cooked meal or personal frozen meals from a store. Thought you would like to know how this new product has really lowered our costs, yet increased our meal choices and really simplifying meal heating at our work place. We found our unit online and it works great! Sincerely, Mary

Great Tips of the Week

I like to wash Lego blocks once in a while and when I do, I put them inside of a mesh laundry bag. Tie a knot to keep it closed and toss the bag into the washing machine. I wash with cold water and laundry detergent and lay them on a towel to dry. Submitted by Phoebe

I have one of those big Kitchen Aid blenders and never knew where to keep the attachments so that they wouldn’t look messy. I then purchased a few 3M plastic hooks and hung them in my pantry; now I hang the attachments and they look organized! Submitted by Paul

Whenever I paint wooden chairs, I gently tap a nail into the bottom of each leg. I can then paint the feet of the chairs and they don’t touch the floor, so no paint gets smudged. Remove the nails when paint is dry. Submitted by Mark

Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:

» householdsolutions@mts.net

(204) 320-2757

reena.ca

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 20, 2014

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Dear Reena,

I have a very oily t-zone on my face. I buy pore strips to clean my face (especially my nose) and they really seem to help, but they are too expensive and I can’t afford them. Is there any way to make pore strips at home? Thanks, Vessa

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Dear Reena,

I have a very oily t-zone on my face. I buy pore strips to clean my face (especially my nose) and they really seem to help, but they are too expensive and I can’t afford them. Is there any way to make pore strips at home? Thanks, Vessa

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