Dear Heloise:

Would you please repeat the directions again on how to keep a dishwasher clean using citrus drinks? It was in our paper some time ago, and I lost the clipping. Please put it in the paper as soon as possible. Thank you.

Melda R. Leister

Lewistown, Pa.

I'd be happy to reprint this safe and easy "recipe" for cleaning a dishwasher for you and other readers who could use it.

All you need to do is put 1 to 2 tablespoons of citric acid in the detergent cup of your empty dishwasher and let it run through a complete cycle. If the staining is heavy, you might need to repeat the process.

Citric acid can usually be found in grocery stores that sell items in bulk. Here in San Antonio, we found it for $4.99 a pound. If you're unable to find the citric acid, it is also possible to use powdered lemonade mix that contains citric acid. Just put a packet of mix in the detergent cup and run the machine empty through a cycle.

Dear Heloise:

It seemed that I always overpacked my suitcase when we visited my parents each summer. So, what I did when I returned home was make a list of everything I actually wore. This gave me a true idea of what I really needed to pack. Next year, I will be ready with my list (which I left inside my suitcase) and will not pack a bunch of clothes that I won't wear.

Jane Doe, Anywhere, USA

Dear Heloise:

After reading people's suggestions to keep grocery bags from spilling in the trunk, I have to tell you something I observed a lady doing. She was placing all of her grocery bags into a laundry basket in the trunk of her car.

I have since tried it, and it is wonderful. So, now I keep a laundry basket in the trunk of my car, too. The bags are contained, and if they are not too heavy, I can carry the basket into the house, saving several trips to the car.

Joanne Reedy, Conover, N.C. Dear Heloise:

Bar soap acts as a lubricant for sticky zippers, drawers, doorjambs and window frames.

Just rub it up and down both sides of zippers, doorjambs, window frames or drawer guides.

Jeannie B., San Diego

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.(c)2003, King Features Syndicate