The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Hints From Heloise: Drying out the cash stash

Placeholder while article actions load

Dear Heloise: I decided to keep some cash currency at home in my floor safe. After a couple of months, I opened the safe to retrieve some cash and realized the currency appeared to be damp. Is there anything I can do to keep this cash currency safe?

— Elisa Budman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Elisa Budman: Place an open box of baking soda in the safe. Baking soda naturally absorbs moisture and also will help get rid of odor from mold and mildew.

You also can put silica gel packets on the bottom of your floor safe — you know, those little packets we get in new purses, luggage, vitamin bottles, etc. Either of these suggestions should take care of the dampness.

Dear Heloise: One year a paper shredder was a gift under the Christmas tree. We plugged it in and shredded all of our scraps and nonusable gift wrap, bagged it and used it to wrap gifts the following year, especially as cushioning in the boxes for gifts sent by mail.

— Nancy, The Villages, Fla.

Dear Heloise: I can't remove the baked-on cooking spray on my nonstick pans. Any hints for me?

— Jan, Kalama, Wash.

Jan: first, mix equal parts baking soda and water to make a paste and apply it on the surface of your pan with a soft sponge or cloth. In a gentle circular motion, work the paste into the corners and over any area where there is cooking spray residue. Afterward, rinse the pan under warm water and, if necessary, follow up using a mild dishwashing soap.

Dear Heloise: My husband smokes. I have air purifiers but still have nicotine residue on the walls. What can I use to wash my walls?

— Vicki, via email

Vicki: Fill a spray bottle with warmed vinegar mixed with warm water (using a one to one ratio), and spray it on the walls. Nicotine and tar leave a sticky residue that the warm mixture will help dissolve, making it easier to remove. For really stubborn stains, use warm vinegar full strength.

Vinegar should be a must-have in every home! There are so many ways it can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking, so I’ve put together a six-page pamphlet full of vinegar uses that you can have by visiting or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: To remove smoke odors, place a bowl of vinegar in the room. No more smoke smell!

Dear Heloise: If a person has a gas dryer, I would not recommend drying the plastic liner for the shower curtain in the dryer. That first blast of hot air will cause the plastic to shrivel and could cause a fire. I hang mine up outside on the porch.

— Rita in Connecticut

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

2020, King Features Syndicate