Hints From Heloise: Disinfect or sanitize?

May 2, 2013

Dear Readers: What is the difference between a DISINFECTANT AND A SANITIZER? There are a lot of products out today that advertise these properties.

Here’s the germy difference: A disinfectant DESTROYS OR KILLS germs on surfaces or objects. A sanitizer REDUCES the number of germs on a surface or object to a safe level (according to public health standards), but does not necessarily eliminate germs completely.

Looking for a simple, safe, cheap sanitizing spray that you can make at home? Mix 1 tablespoon of regular household bleach with 1 quart of water. This mixture loses effectiveness rather quickly when exposed to light or heat, so make only enough to use in a day or two. Want more money-saving cleaning solutions? Order a copy of my Heloise’s Homemade Cleaning Solutions pamphlet by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cleaning Solutions, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Oh, be sure to put this solution in a CLEARLY labeled, opaque bottle, and keep out of reach of children and pets. This is safe for most hard household surfaces, such as kitchen and bath counters. -- Heloise

SAVE MONEY

Dear Heloise: Here is a handy (and frugal) hint for your readers who hate throwing away used sandwich bags. After lunch, I bring the bag home. Then, if it is still in good repair, I wash with a little warm water and dish soap and put it in the drying rack. The next day, I use the bag again. I save money and feel like I’m helping the environment at the same time. -- Eric M., via e-mail

SAFE HANDLING

Dear Heloise: I purchase extra-large containers of shampoo and conditioner from the hair salon. They are quality products and too good a bargain to pass up. But I couldn’t lift them in the shower, much less pour out the amount needed, especially when my hands are wet and soapy.

I found a packet of two containers that were just the right size. One was red and one yellow. They are standard-size mustard and ketchup containers! I just snipped the tops a little so the liquid would pour easily. Also, I used a permanent marker to mark them. -- Carol M. in Pennsylvania

JUST A CAPFUL

Dear Heloise: When removing nail polish, I use a cotton swab to remove the polish from around my cuticles. To prevent losing the cotton swab in the bottle, I pour a little remover in the cap and then dip the cotton swab in it. -- K.W. in Oregon

STORING PUZZLES

Dear Heloise: After finishing a large jigsaw puzzle, before breaking it up to put in the box, I take off the straight-edge pieces and put them in a plastic bag. It is so nice, when deciding to put the puzzle together again, not to have to wade through 1,000 or 500 pieces to find the straight edges and get started on the picture! -- Marion W. in Florida

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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