Hints From Heloise: Empty bottles are no gift

February 11, 2013

Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about donating used items:

“While helping my mom pack hygiene bags for the homeless and disadvantaged, I noticed that some people donated products from hotel stays. While this is a kind gesture, the majority of the containers were either empty or contained literally just drops of product!

“I was horrified and sick to my stomach, and wondered how many people received empty bottles, as the packers had no clue that the tiny bottles were empty.

“Please ask your helpful readers to not donate empty or next-to-empty bottles! -- Paula, via e-mail”

Paula, you are right, and thank you for reminding my readers. Readers, please donate GOOD goods! Half-used of anything is of no use and wastes the volunteer’s time. -- Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com

FAST FACTS

Dear Heloise: Uses for a half-gone bag of chips:

* As a topping for salads and soups.

* On a sandwich for crunchiness.

* Coat vegetables with the crumbs, then fry.

* Top casseroles and other dishes with them.

-- Margarette in Texas

JEWELRY CLEANER

Dear Heloise: Can you please reprint your recipe for jewelry cleaner? I have used it once and was very happy with the results, but now I can’t find my copy. Thank you. -- A Reader, via e-mail

I sure can! This Heloise homemade jewelry cleaner works well and costs just pennies to make.

Just mix equal parts ammonia and water. Soak jewelry for a few minutes, and use an old toothbrush to GENTLY remove any built-up dirt. Rinse jewelry with warm water. Be sure to put something over the drain so you do not lose your pieces!

This cleaner recipe is only for real GOLD and DIAMOND jewelry. DO NOT use with opal, pearl, turquoise, coral, malachite, amber, lapis lazuli, jade or any other soft or porous stone.

Save leftover cleaner in a clearly labeled jar. You can reuse it until the mixture turns cloudy. But since it’s so cheap, after a few times, pour it in the kitchen sink and scrub with a brush, and any grease and grime will disappear. -- Heloise

HARD SEAL

Dear Heloise: When removing a heat-sealed lid (as in canning jars), just insert a metal edge (dull side of any knife or coin) into the thinnest slot between the lid and the first screw bump, and twist. You won’t damage the lid, it can be used again for short fridge storage (ONLY -- Heloise), or you can put it on the jar upside down, put the screw ring on and store the jar with no dust getting in the jar. Make sure the jar is dry first. And DO NOT use the lid a second time for canning, because the seal has been compromised. -- Gail in San Antonio

CANDLE-WAX CLEANUP

Dear Heloise: Easy cleanup for candle wax, especially after eight days on a menorah: Spray with nonstick cooking spray before use. The wax will rub off. -- Cathy 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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