Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about hotels and Internet charges:
“I travel quite frequently for work. With the high cost and added taxes of rooms, it seems wrong to be hit with an additional charge for Internet service, especially when the charges are for 12 and 24 hours of service and you’re using it only for a couple of hours.
“For those on a budget, it is a large expense that I really think hotels could offer to guests free of charge. -- C.L., via e-mail”
It’s not that simple. The hotel must pay for all of the equipment needed to provide Internet service, as well as someone on premises to help with any problems. It does seem like it should be free, but for the guests who do not use the service, it would not be fair to add on to their room charge. I do agree with you about the 12/24-hour part! Always ask how the 24-hour period is figured — midnight to midnight, or a “daily” basis? And don’t hesitate to ask at checkout if you feel you were charged unfairly. Many times the hotel will adjust the rate, especially if you are a member of its loyalty program. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Other uses for plastic tortilla warmers:
* Store coffee filters in one.
* Keep pancakes, toast or bagels warm.
* Use as a child’s plate to keep food contained.
* Hold leftover condiments.
* As a candy dish.
CLEAN THE WALLS
Dear Heloise: How do you remove air-freshener spray and hair-spray marks from walls painted with latex paint? -- Bev Z., via fax
Bev, what a sticky situation! You need to use a mild cleaner that will be safe for walls. Here is one to try: Mix equal parts baking soda and white (nongel) toothpaste. Use a clean, damp cloth to gently apply the solution. It may take a few cleanings to remove all of the spray. And always be sure to test in a hidden area first! When clean, wipe off the mixture with a damp cloth. Baking soda is a fabulous product to keep around the house. It can be used for so many things! Want to know what all I use baking soda for? Order my pamphlet Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes. Send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Need to clean your fiberglass tub? Wash with a solution of 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When I make soup using a large can of tomatoes, I rinse out the can, fill it about halfway with water and use it as my “spoon rest.” The spoon stays clean, and it helps keep my stove clean, too. When done, it gets rinsed out and put into the recycle bin. -- Susan M. in California