Hints From Heloise for March 21

Sunday, March 20, 2011; 8:42 PM

Terra-Cotta Care

Dear Readers: TERRA-COTTA POTS for spring flowers may need a little tender, loving care.

If there is a white film on them, it's probably salt deposits and mineral deposits from the water. Before cleaning the pots, make sure all the soil and dried dirt are off the pots. Use a soft-bristle brush to clean the pots inside and out, with just plain old soap and water. Rinse well and let dry. If the white stains are still there, then vinegar to the rescue! Wipe the entire surface of the pot with full-strength regular or apple-cider vinegar. When dry, wipe with baby or mineral oil. Let the pot dry completely before planting.

How to prevent the white spots? Apply acrylic sealant on the inside and outside of the pots. Vinegar is a dynamo in the home; it can be used in many different ways! I have put together a six-page pamphlet containing my favorite uses for vinegar. If you would like to receive one, just send $5 and a long, stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Vinegar, as a general rule, has no expiration date. It may become cloudy over time, but its properties aren't affected. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Wire coat hangers can be versatile:

… Use as a stake for winding plants.

… Use to hang craft ribbon and thread.

… Camping? Use to hold paper towels.

… Fashion into a circle and cover with pantyhose for a pool skimmer.

-- Heloise


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