Hints From Heloise

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Thursday, October 7, 2010; 12:00 AM

Taking Care of Oriental Rugs

Dear Readers: Do you know any hints to keep your gorgeous ORIENTAL RUGS looking beautiful? A pad, sometimes called a cushion, under the rug is a good idea, because it slows the wear of the carpet and is smart for safety reasons -- a padded rug won't slide around on hardwood or tile floors. The pad should be slightly smaller than the rug.

Lightly vacuum the rug weekly in the direction of the pile only (the smooth texture), using a vacuum with suction only and no beater bar, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute (www.carpet-rug.org). Be aware that a new rug will shed, possibly quite a bit, which is normal.

Try to keep the rug out of direct sunlight to prevent fading, and rotation is important to promote even wear. Turning the rug 90 degrees every six months or so is ideal, depending on the amount of use.

Most Oriental rugs are made of wool, and dirt and grit will work their way into the rug. Professional cleaning by an Oriental-rug expert is recommended at least every few years, again depending on wear and tear.

Spills? Inevitable, unfortunately. Blot with paper towels from the outside of the stain to the inside, and consult your professional cleaner.

Enjoy your Oriental rug every day, but don't neglect it. The rug should last for several generations with good care. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Another alternative for guests using the same towel in the guest bathroom? I put several color-coordinated, inexpensive hand washcloths in a cute basket on the counter. This provides each guest with his or her own towel, and he or she simply tosses it in a basket on the floor after one use. They're all laundered together, and the "towels" are fresh again for more company. -- Ruth Rink, Santa Maria, Calif.


Dear Heloise: Baseball caps can be washed on the top rack of your dishwasher. You can use a clothespin to attach each cap to the dishwasher rack. Wash only your caps; don't wash dirty dishes with them. Use the amount of dishwasher detergent you would normally use, and stop the dishwasher after the rinse cycle.

Hang the caps to dry, and place a blown-up balloon in each cap so that it maintains its shape. When the caps are done drying, you can just pop the balloon with a pin. -- A Reader in Texas

Caution: No collectible, autographed or rare caps in the dishwasher! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I save funeral cards that I have received as bookmarks whenever I read a book. I change cards with each book, and it then gives me a chance to think about and pray for that person while I am reading the book. -- Linda, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: We save the sweet-and-sour sauce from Chinese takeout to use as a quick barbecue sauce. It adds a little kick to our chicken. -- Sam, via e-mail

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2010 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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