Dear Heloise:

What can be used to clean the inside of an insulated beverage container?

A Reader in Florida

It's as easy as putting three to four tablespoons of baking soda in, then filling it the rest of the way with hot water. Let it sit several hours or overnight, then follow by giving the container a couple of good shakes. Pour the baking soda and water down a drain or garbage disposal (this helps to deodorize the drain as well). Rinse the container out well, and it should now be fresh-smelling and clean.

Another suggestion you can use is to squirt some automatic dishwasher detergent into the container and then finish filling it with hot water. Give it several shakes to mix things up, and let this sit for 30 minutes. Follow by washing and rinsing the container well. Either one of these methods should help clean those insulated beverage containers.

FYI: Insulated containers are not only handy for beverages such as coffee. They can be used for soups, stews or any other hot-food item and are especially good for a hot meal while on a road trip. I have also heard of them being used to hide jewelry in an inconspicuous place -- who would ever think to look through your kitchen cabinets?

Dear Heloise:

I went through all of my photo albums and took out the best of my five children's baby pictures, their school pictures and various other ones I felt were of favorite memories from their growing-up years. My son scanned them and made a CD for each child. One of my sons has passed away, so his two grown children also received a copy.

I ran the pictures through a program and entered their ages in each photo (as I always write dates on the backs of pictures). The actual photos are now in a special coffee-table album.

Louise Morell, via e-mail

Dear Heloise:

When removing stickers from fruit, when you get one off cleanly, use it to stick to the next one and pull it off.

It comes off without having to dig your fingernails into the fruit.

Fruit Lover in California

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)2004, King Features Syndicate