The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Keep the finish with vinegar

Dear Heloise: Thank you for your continuing education on efficient, safe and easy household solutions to everyday problems.

On our new REFRIGERATOR there is a plastic drip plate under the water-and-ice dispenser. Drips of water have left a white residue on the plastic that I could not remove without scratching the finish on the plastic. Ah, I thought, let me try white vinegar. I poured enough full strength to cover the residue, and a few minutes later it was gone. The plate looks brand-new! -- Carol in Maumelle, Ark.

Vinegar can do just about everything. When I go to my grave, I think I want a bottle of vinegar with me! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: We often forgot about stains on our clothes that happened during the course of the day, and they ended up being washed, but the stains did not come out. I solved that problem by hanging the bottle of stain spray on the end of my laundry hamper. When we toss our clothes into the hamper, it is really simple to give the stains a quick spray. -- Janet S., The Villages, Fla.

Be sure to read the instructions on the product, because some products suggest that the garment be washed in a certain amount of time. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I read your column every day in my local Washington state newspaper, the Columbian. Thank you for your positive, cheerful and can-do attitude!

I used to have trouble getting the last sliver of hand soap to remain stuck to the new bar of soap. I finally figured it out: To get the two pieces to stick together initially, soak each in water for an hour and then press them together (this can be a gushy process). -- Jean in Vancouver, Wash.


Dear Heloise: I have been a fix-it-yourselfer for years. If you are like me, you have an amazing collection of screws, nails, washers and such, many of which are in glass jars. I have started re-storing all of my treasures in clear plastic jars from mayonnaise, peanut butter or other similar containers. -- Russ B., Broad Run, Va.


Dear Readers: If you have a garage sale and you don’t sell everything, here are a couple of options for the leftover stuff:

Take photos of the items and post them on online auctions. If you choose a local online Web site, DO NOT meet the people at your house — or theirs, for that matter. Always choose a neutral, public location so that safety is considered.

If you don’t want to do this, call a charity to see if it will pick up your items. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I enjoy your column in the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee. To clean all those velvety jewelry boxes, use a lint picker (roller). Problem solved! -- A Reader, via e-mail

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

, King Features Syndicate



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