The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Going to the mat

Dear Readers: A recent column sharing a hint from a reader about using BATHMATS IN THE CAR, on top of the regular car mats, brought several comments from you, as well as an e-mail from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many readers wanted clarification that if you do place bathmats in the car, they are NOT to be placed on the driver’s side, which is correct. I think this reader meant that she put the bathmats on the passenger side, NOT on the driver’s side.

The NHTSA states: “Incorrect or improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle may interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash,” and offers these tips from its Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving:

* Remove old mats before installation of new mats.

* Never stack mats, as that may increase the potential for pedal interference.

* Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation, and use the available retention clips to secure the mat in the proper position. This will prevent the mat from sliding forward.

* Check that the mats are the correct size and fit for the vehicle and do not interfere with the full operation of the foot controls (accelerator, brake and clutch peddles).

-- Heloise

P.S.: Thanks to all who wrote, and it’s nice to know that you care and want to caution others if they misunderstood the reader’s hint.


Dear Heloise: Love to read your column in the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. Almost everyone has recently had to deal with the mess of snowy, slushy winter roads. With freezing temperatures, many carwashes also are closed. Even though we can’t get the WHOLE car clean, every morning we at least clean the headlights and taillights, and check the washer fluid. It’s so important to see and be seen, especially during bad weather! -- Peggy S. in Nebraska


Dear Heloise: We subscribe to many magazines and newspapers. Also, we make charitable contributions throughout the year. Both often mail requests for payment soon after we have already made our payment for the year.

I bought colored index cards and a folder. Each charity is a yellow card, magazines pink and newspapers blue. I write the date paid, the amount paid and when the next payment is due. I have records going back four years, so I can see what I paid the past few years and decide whether I still want to continue. -- A Reader in California


Dear Heloise: Sometimes you don’t have time to let your curling iron cool off before packing it when traveling. I know you can pack it in an oven mitt, but I take a cool, wet washcloth and wrap it around the hot barrel while I finish getting ready. It typically takes a short time (five to 10 minutes) for the iron to cool off enough to pack. This works on flat irons, too. -- Stella L. in Rhode Island

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

2014, King Features Syndicate



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