Hints From Heloise: Topsy-turvy coffee

June 24, 2013

Dear Readers: Here is my little SOUND OFF: I travel a lot and stay in different hotels and hotel/motel chains. Every hotel (or chain) carries a different brand of coffee, and the packages never open the same way. I was in Midland, Tex., recently doing a speech for their wonderful Meals on Wheels volunteers. The coffee packages in my hotel opened at the bottom of the package! Am I missing something? Things usually open at the top. Why can’t manufacturers make the packaging easy to open and easy to spot the little starting “tear”? I know this is minor, and I do love being able to have a cup or two of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning, but have mercy on us road warriors! -- 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 Readers: Other uses for back scratchers:

* Use to reach things on high shelves.

* Pull things from the back of a cabinet.

* Unhook strung lights.

* Reach under a bed.

* Remove leaves from gutters.

-- Heloise

BREAD HEELS

Dear Heloise: My family saves bread heels and uses them as hamburger buns. No one in the family likes them for sandwiches, and they usually are thrown out. Instead of wasting them, we keep them in the freezer until we’re ready to use them. Just defrost and toast. -- A Reader in New Mexico

GET RID OF ANTS

Dear Heloise: I have a problem with ants in my kitchen. Can you help? How do I get rid of and prevent these pests? -- Rita in Indiana

What a pesky problem! Clean counters and eating surfaces with a solution of vinegar and water. DO NOT use on marble counters. If you can tell where the ants are getting in, sprinkle the area with boric acid or borax powder. Caution: Do not use boric acid if there are small children or pets that will have access to the area. It can be toxic if ingested in large amounts. The smaller the pet or child, the less it takes.

Do not leave any food, especially sweet stuff, out for long periods. Put everything away in well-sealed containers. Clean the kitchen floors often, and try to take trash out daily.

Another thing to do is treat the ants you can’t see. Place “bait” traps around in areas ants are prone to be seen. The traps are available at many grocery and home-improvement stores. -- Heloise

SOAP SCUM

Dear Heloise: In one of your articles, there was a solution for cleaning scum on glass (shower doors -- Heloise) using shampoo. I have misplaced it. Could you reprint it, please? I thank you for your articles — they have been a blessing in so many ways. -- Glenda B. in Louisiana

Glenda, I would be happy to reprint it. There really is no “solution” to make. Just take some shampoo (a cheap one) and, with a scrubbie or a wet washcloth, scrub the glass and then rinse. If you are having a hard time getting the soap scum off, do this Heloise hint AFTER your shower, when all the “gunk” is soft. -- Heloise

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.

, King Features Syndicate

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