The Washington Post

Hints From Heloise: Out of ink? Maybe not

Dear Heloise: I read with interest an INK-CARTRIDGE PROBLEM in one of your columns. The writer was having a problem with her printer registering an “out of ink” alert.

My printer had a similar problem. I tried cleaning the ink cartridge with alcohol packets. I cleaned the bottom of the cartridge and ink container with one, and I reinserted the cartridge into the printer and printed a test page. This enables me to continue printing for several more pages. It really works -- try it! -- Roberta E., Middleton, N.J.

Roberta, thanks for your hint. Other readers shared their hints:

* Jack P. of Rockaway, N.J., says: “The best way to solve this problem and save a lot of money is to buy ink from a supplier (I found them on the Internet) and refill the cartridges yourself. You can buy a 16-ounce bottle of black ink for $15-$20 and refill it about 100 times.” (A good hint, but it can be messy! -- Heloise)

* Leonard Blanton of Florence, Miss., says: “Buy a black-and-white printer. We have saved money.”

* Carol, via e-mail, says: “My suggestion is to look up on the Internet your brand and model of printer and include the gist of the message you get. You will find lots of forums where people will tell you how to make the messages stop and actually use up the toner or ink that is in the cartridge.”

Thank you for taking the time to drop a line! Y’all are the best readers in the world! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I use a small, long lint brush, originally made to use in the dryer to clean out dust and lint, to clean under the bottom of my kitchen stove. You should have seen the crumbs that appeared on the brush. The brush was long enough to grab nasty stuff from underneath the stove, yet bushy enough to catch all the dirt and lint, plus a lot of hair from my furry pet. -- A.R., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I want to throw in my solution for opening a jar. I cut two rectangular pieces out of the palm and back of a latex glove. Use one to hold the top of the jar and one to hold the bottom of it. No problem opening jars anymore. -- Carol in West Virginia


Dear Heloise: I end up with a lot of hotel key cards that seem to follow me home. I figured there had to be a good use for them.

I came up with the hint to use one to scrape the lint trap/filter on my dryer after a load. The lint balls right up, and it is easy to just grab it up. The filter is clean as a whistle. -- 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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