Dear Heloise: Please repeat your hint on checking GRILL BRUSHES for loose bristles. I had one stuck in my throat after eating a hot dog, which had picked up a stray bristle while on the grill. Thanks! -- C.F., via e-mail

You’re right! It is worth mentioning again, so here goes! If you clean your grill with a wire brush, remember to take a wet paper towel and wipe down the grates afterward. This will catch any stray bristles and prevent them from being transferred to your food. Also, consider using alternative tools, such as nylon scrubbers or grill “stones” that are made from recycled materials. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I had a skin irritation on my lower extremities and decided to generously sprinkle baking soda in the bath water to see if it might calm the irritation. Not only did it help the irritation, it left my legs and feet feeling so smooth and soft. Rather than using the shower, I now make it a habit to occasionally do a baking-soda bath! It’s very relaxing! -- Donna B., via e-mail

You have discovered one of the many uses for baking soda. Add about 1/2 cup to warm bath water, and your skin will be silky smooth! You just have to love baking soda and all the things you can do with it. I sure do, which is why I wrote my Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints and Recipes pamphlet. To receive a copy, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Baking soda also can be used to clean brushes and combs. Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of water, and soak the brushes and combs overnight. Simply rinse well, and they are ready to use again. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: When you are a road warrior like me, your hotel room becomes your home away from home, and I like it to be as quiet as possible. That’s why, when booking hotel rooms, I request a room away from any potential noise. I don’t want a room facing street traffic or a room close to the elevators, icemakers or laundry rooms. My Heloise hint: Ask hotel staff, when making reservations, to reserve your room far away from any potential noisemakers. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have a hint for making old jackets new again. Take off the original buttons (this works particularly well if the buttons are just for decoration). Add buttons with a unique shape or color for a completely new, inexpensive, updated look. -- Cathy M. in New Mexico


Dear Readers: Running out of blush can make any girl’s morning drab. In a pinch, put a bit of lipstick in your hand and add a drop of moisturizer. Mix well; pat it on your cheeks and blend. This will give you a nice, natural color without the powder! -- Heloise

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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