Dear Heloise: Is there a solution that a person can soak new dishcloths and dish towels in to REMOVE THE SIZING used to make them look pretty when they are hanging on display in stores? I have tried many, many, many washings in hot water, to no avail. It’s as if they have had so much fabric softener that they will never work properly. And I haven’t used fabric softener for years, since it renders drying cloths completely useless. -- Sheila in Virginia
Sheila, a ton and a half (kidding!) of readers agree with you, as do I! I have had this same problem, so I asked my longtime friend Neil Mandell, who is a textile expert. He explained that sizing is like a starch, and EACH THREAD is entirely coated before weaving, which is why it is so darn hard to remove!
Try again with the hottest water possible and the longest cycle, to allow more time for the coating to dissolve. You might let them soak for a while in the hot water. Then dry towels in the dryer (sans fabric softener), which will help soften them. If this doesn’t work, try soaking the towels in vinegar. This should help to break down the sizing. Another alternative is to try using washing soda. I hope this helps soften the problem. For many more money-saving vinegar hints, order my popular vinegar pamphlet. Send $5, along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (65 cents) envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Keep vinegar in a labeled spray bottle to have handy for easy cleaning of bathrooms, etc. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Does anyone else complain about the irons that are currently being sold? For the past 15 years, the four or five irons that I have purchased have not gotten hot enough to iron garments. I always buy steam irons, and I have used several different brands, with no luck. Does anyone have a suggestion for a brand that he or she finds satisfactory? -- Donna in California
Many would agree with you! I just had this discussion with a college roommate, Rosie, who recently bought a new “upscale” iron. We both agreed that it’s worth the money to buy a high-end model. You’ll find that they even seem to make ironing easier. Honest! -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are a few hints to keep the end of tape from sticking to the roll:
* Fold over a small section.
* Roll the end around a nail.
* Stick the end to the table.
* Roll the tape backward to make a loop.
* Place a penny or small object on the end.
STORAGE ON SALE
Dear Heloise: During a recent “white sale,” a comforter set was purchased. It came in simulated luggage with a sturdy handle, zipper and pockets. Only the front was transparent plastic, so it will be reused as a storage container for my pets’ winter sweaters, blankets and beds. All cleaned, folded and ready for next winter. -- Margarette in Texas
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