Dear Heloise: I have a glass-top stove that I really like. The only problem is that if something boils over or if the bottom of the pot is wet, it leaves stains on the cooktop that I can’t get off. I know there are cleaners to help get the gunk off, but I was wondering if you had any home remedies. -- Lynn in Oklahoma

Yes, you probably have on hand one safe home remedy: baking soda! Wait until the glass has completely cooled, wet a sponge or microfiber cloth with water and pour on some baking soda. Scrub the surface, and the burnt-on spills should come off easily. Rinse well and wipe dry with another cloth.

However, the commercial cleaners really do a good job, and I think they are worth the investment. For more money-saving baking-soda hints, order my six-page Heloise’s Baking Soda Hints pamphlet by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (64 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.


Dear Heloise: One thing they taught us in cosmetology school was: To help extend the life of nail polish and to prevent it from becoming thick, wipe off the top of the bottle so that polish doesn’t accumulate around it. The excess polish lets air in, and that is what will make it thicken faster.

I have wiped off bottles that were already thickening, and they became more fluid. It doesn’t always work, but it most often does. -- B.J. Walker, via e-mail

B.J., thanks for the reminder! I wear a pretty light-purple/lilac nail polish, but it did thicken after a short while. You’re right, and I’m now cleaning the neck every few uses.


Dear Heloise: I have a clock, and the case is made of ormolu. Do you have a formula for cleaning ormolu? -- Kenneth F., Danville, Ky.

Use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to dust ormolu. If it is discolored, try using a clean cloth moistened with distilled water. Because these pieces may be valuable, it probably would be best to contact an antiques specialist before trying anything else. FYI: Ormolu is a term describing a “fire-gilding” process, which was done over brass to give an in-depth texture to a piece.


Dear Heloise: I’m an at-home sales consultant for kitchen products, and just about one of the first things we learn is how to get rid of onion smell on our hands. All you have to do is rub your hands on stainless-steel bowls, tables, utensils, etc. Since we use stainless-steel bowls, it’s no problem for us. -- Chef Pepper, via e-mail

Send a 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.

2011, King Features Syndicate