Hints From Heloise: The wonders of washing soda

January 1, 2012

Dear Readers: Do you know what WASHING SODA is? Is it the same as baking soda? Nope, it is not! Washing soda (or sodium carbonate, soda ash or sodium crystals) is generally used as a laundry booster and a strong household cleaner. Here are some other ways to use washing soda:

Dissolve soap scum on tubs, sinks and tile by mixing a solution of 1 / 2 cup of washing soda and a gallon of warm water. Scrub the entire area and rinse. (Not safe on fiberglass.)

Remove grease from stovetops, and especially a dirty, grimy exhaust fan, by using the washing-soda solution mentioned above. Always be sure to wear gloves when working with washing soda.

Washing soda usually can be found near the laundry detergent. If you are unable to find it, try asking a store associate for help. -- Heloise

Visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, for links to my Facebook and Twitter pages -- hints, fun facts and more! Come see photos and check out what’s happening.

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 Readers: Recycling hints using 2-liter plastic bottles:

* Cut off the bottom and use as a small planter.

* Cut and use the top as a funnel.

* Use to freeze water for a cooler.

* Use the bottom as a water or food bowl when traveling with pets.

-- Heloise

PACKAGE MAILING

Dear Heloise: I have children and grandchildren living in another state, so I often mail packages to them. Recently, I discovered a neat trick for packing fragile items:

1. Partially fill a plastic shopping bag with the contents of a shredder.

2. Tie the bag, pressing the air out of it.

3. Now the bag easily can be crammed around, in and under the item (use as many bags as necessary to fill the box completely).

4. When the recipient opens the box, the confetti is contained and makes no mess.

NOTE: The key is to not fill the bags more than half-full so that they remain pliable.

I now empty my shredder into the bags and keep them ready for the next time I want to mail a package. -- Amy Pace, Kingsport, Tenn.

LAST BIT

Dear Heloise: There was a full 4 ounces left in a bottle of lotion after the pump quit working — that’s 1 / 4 of a 16-ounce bottle! My hint is:

Remove the top and turn the bottle upside down into a small container that has a lid. Leave the bottle several hours or overnight, until all visible lotion is out of the bottle. Put the lid on the smaller container and place in a convenient location.

I like to use it after the shower, because then the lid will always be replaced, and the lotion will not dry up. -- Glenna from Middletown, Ohio

HANDY TISSUE BOX

Dear Heloise: Here is my favorite way to recycle an empty tissue box: I put it in the laundry room -- it is the perfect place for lint, loose strings, etc. -- A Reader, via e-mail

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.

2012, King Features Syndicate

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