Dear Readers: If you change your own car oil, what do you do with the OLD OIL? Oil can end up in landfills, storm drains, sewers and other places that it should not go if you don’t recycle it correctly.

There are many collection centers for household hazardous waste. You can take the oil to gas stations or quick-oil-change places; repair shops will usually take it without charge. Collect the oil in a leakproof container (such as a plastic jug formerly for milk or juice).

Recycled oil can be taken to refineries, reprocessed and used for heat or to generate electricity. According to the American Petroleum Institute, just two gallons of recycled oil can be used to make enough electricity to run a typical household for nearly a 24-hour period! -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Does your blood pressure rise when at the doctor’s office? Many people have “white-coat syndrome,” a higher blood-pressure reading when taken in a medical office. A lot of people are nervous when at the doctor’s! Here is a hint: First, get to the doctor’s office early so you are not rushed and stressed. Take calming, measured breaths, and try to relax. When called to be tested, make sure you sit for at least five minutes before your pressure is taken. Have your blood pressure taken at least two to three times on the same arm. This should give a more accurate reading. If you are still having high readings, ask about at-home monitoring. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Many years ago, there was a hint for keeping throw rugs from slipping. It involved painting some substance on the worn-out backing, but I’m not sure what it was. I used the remedy, and it was a perfect solution, as one could easily shake the rugs without fooling with a nonslip mat to keep the rugs secure. -- Barbara M., Columbus, Ohio

Barbara, you are remembering a hint to paint the bottom of rugs with a special paint that puffs as it dries. Available online or in craft stores, the paint can be painted or sprayed on. The paint “puffs up” when you heat it with a hair dryer and is fast-drying. Wait about three to four days before you wash the rug. Use a white paint to make sure it doesn’t stain the floor. The paint will wear out at some point; just reapply. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Here’s a simple, inexpensive way to help keep your basement cool in the summer. Buy white foam poster boards (available at office-supply stores). Set them on the inside window ledge, propped against the windows that get direct sunlight. They block the heat from the sun while letting in enough light to see by. They can easily be taken down and put back up as desired. A big help during the hot, hot summer! -- Gail M., Washington, D.C.


Dear Heloise: The best advice I have ever gotten from you is to use a rubber band to open water bottles, soft-drink bottles or any kind of bottles. This hint works and has never failed me! Thank you! -- L.W. in Arkansas

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