The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Dial in a new cellphone home

Dear Readers: Today, it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t own a cellphone! In the United States alone, people upgrade to a new phone every year or so. This means there are millions of phones waiting to be RECYCLED! Throwing them into the trash is not eco-friendly, since cellphones contain hazardous-waste components.

The best way to recycle is to research which groups or companies are accepting them in your community. Many phone retailers, state or local waste-management companies and charities collect them to refurbish and give to battered-women’s shelters or to those in the military. You can keep up with technology and do the right thing for the environment! -- Heloise


Dear Readers: We bathe our dogs as needed, but rarely do we clean their collars and leashes! Here are a few hints to help you:

For canvas or nylon leashes and collars, brush to remove dirt and other yuck! Take off all metal tags. Use a little detergent in the washing machine, and put the leash and collar into a cotton pillowcase and tie (or safety-pin) it closed. Place in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, and let the items air-dry. Don’t put them in the dryer!

For leather items, wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth and clean periodically with saddle soap, if needed. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: After reading your article in The (Canton, Ohio) Repository about giving coupons to other people, I had to write to you for the first time.

I take coupons for diapers and baby food to a laundromat and put them on a table or a bulletin board. My grandson has a girlfriend who’s a real collector of coupons, and I give her all the ones I don’t use. She has used so many that at times she has even gotten cash back. -- Paula D., Canton, Ohio


Dear Heloise: I am an artist and have to change paintings often. That can leave an ugly nail hole. I just use an old sewing-machine needle. They are strong and sharp, and sewers change them often (recycle!). I nail gently, up to the hilt (like a small nail), with a hammer, to where the needle gets fatter. When I pull it out, it won’t leave a big hole. -- Andy P., via e-mail

Andy, have you been peeking at my walls? I’ve done this for years, but please note that this is for lightweight items. I’ve also used several needles for one painting. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I would like to remind anyone who has small children around to make sure they close all their spray bottles. Children love spray bottles, and if sprayed into their eyes, it can be very dangerous. -- Janet T., Mayer, Ariz.

Good point, Janet! Spray bottles do come with “on/off” positions. We just have to remember to put them in the “off” position when done. -- Heloise

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.

2012, King Features Syndicate



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