Solutions and substitutions Dec. 26

Reena Nerbis

Dear Reena,

I picked up a few old books at an auction; the books carry a musty odor that I am unable to destroy. What can I do to take away the stink? Arthur

Dear Arthur,

Place the books inside of a sealable plastic bag. Pour one eighth cup baking soda inside the bag and shake. Seal the bag and place it in the freezer for one week. Shake out baking soda, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your fresh smelling books.

Dear Reena,

I make homemade egg rolls and as they fry, they fall apart and the filling escapes into the cooking oil. How can I prevent egg rolls from opening during cooking? How does one reheat egg rolls so that they remain crispy and not soggy? Vince

Dear Vince,

Begin by brushing the egg roll wrapper with a bit of egg white (I call this kitchen glue). Close the wrapper and press. When oil is hot, use tongs to carefully hold the seam of the egg roll into the oil to seal it. After a few seconds drop the egg roll in the oil, the seam should remain closed. To reheat egg rolls, bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 mins. Broil for one minute or until wrappers are crispy.

Dear Reena,

My indoor walker is leaving black marks on my carpet. Is there something I can coat the wheels with to prevent this? Luther

Dear Luther,

Tires are black due to the chemical “carbon black,” which is a combination of various forms of tar and vegetable oil. There is nothing official that removes the residual chemical. Some people have great success by wiping the wheels with either rubbing alcohol or household ammonia. Other people enlist a friend to run the walker over snow on the driveway which wears off some of the black residue (dry well). The good news is that overtime; the marks should become considerably less. Remove any marks on vinyl flooring with a rubber eraser. Clean marks on carpet with dish soap and water. If the walkers had straight legs instead of wheels, you would have the option to slit rubber or tennis balls and fit them over the feet of the walker.

Dear Reena,

One of the phone buttons on our cordless phone is stuck. Is there any way to unstick it other than buying a new phone? Thanks. KM

Dear KM,

Your best hope is to give the phone keypad a good cleaning by using rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth. Clean the entire keypad. Next dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and clean around each number. If the button remains stuck check out the warranty or contact the manufacturer.

The Cold Brings Colds

• 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 one lip balm with my name and the word ‘SICK’ on it. Ted

• 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 nose does not 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

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.

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