Hints From Heloise: Ask for an extension

June 16, 2014

Dear Heloise: I would like to suggest to your readers that they ask for SEAT-BELT EXTENDERS for their cars.

Most people do not know that they are available for all makes and models, but you have to ask for them. They are free. If you do not need them for yourself, you may need them for someone who will be in your car in the future. I think it should be mandatory for all cars (new or used) sold to have them in the car for use, if needed. -- Pamela W. in Ohio

Seat-belt extenders are an important part of a vehicle, but unfortunately, they are NOT AVAILABLE for all makes and models of cars. If you want an extender, you must contact the car dealer. Many dealers will give them to you for free, but others may charge a small fee. They also may ask you to sign a waiver saying that you know about the warnings related to effectiveness and liability when using extenders. -- Heloise

SILICA-GEL PACKETS

Dear Heloise: When I find little packets of desiccants (silica-gel packets) in boxes to keep moisture out of the contents, I wonder if it is safe to put one in my cracker jar. I did try it, and the crackers stayed just as crisp and fresh as when I opened it, but is this safe? -- Vicki A. in Idaho

Although these packets are nontoxic, they are not recommended for use with food (unless the packets came packaged with that particular food item). To keep your crackers fresh, store them in an airtight container or even the freezer.

There are many other areas in your home where you could reuse silica-gel packets, but don’t use them when storing food. -- Heloise

TELEVISION WATCHING

Dear Heloise: The other day, I was having a hard time understanding the dialogue on a favorite TV show. When my daughter walked into the room, I mentioned to her how hard it is to hear dialogue when actors talk too fast or too quietly. She told me she has a way to fix that when it happens to her.

Without a second thought, she took the TV remote from me, turned the volume to “mute,” and the closed captioning appeared on the bottom of the screen. (Heloise here: Some TVs do not have this feature.) I now do this with any program’s dialogue that I am having difficulty understanding. -- Candace W. in New York

CLEANING SHOELACES

Dear Heloise: My problem was washing my shoelaces in the washing machine without them getting tangled with the laundry.

I thought that if I put them both in the foot part of a pair of socks (white laces in white socks), that it should work, and it did! They came out of the laundry nice and clean, and without tangles! -- Diane S. in Maryland

BEACH BAG

Dear Heloise: When I go to the beach looking for shells and stones, I use a lingerie bag (or two) to carry them in. The sand filters out! -- Janet M. in Michigan

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at www.washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

2014, King Features Syndicate

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