Dear Heloise: I would like to know if BUTTER has to be kept in the refrigerator. I buy a pound of butter, and I put a stick on a glass dish and keep it covered on the counter. I put the rest in the refrigerator until needed. Is this correct? -- A Reader, via e-mail

Great question! Well, yes, it’s probably okay under certain conditions. If your kitchen is a reasonably cool temperature, so the butter stays solid and it’s only a few days, you’re probably okay. However, according to manufacturers, it is best for butter to be refrigerated until used. They recommend keeping it in the original container in the coldest part of your fridge, and not storing it in the door. Most packages will have a “use by” or “best by” date on them, so be sure to use it by then.

So, it’s up to you! Butter is better if kept in the cold, but butter kept out of it is probably safe, as long as you don’t let it get old! -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Heloise: When my mom went to the hospital to have my baby brother, she had a gift for me to unwrap every single day that she was in the hospital. (In those days, they kept mothers about a week.) I can still remember the basket of gifts, each one wrapped individually in tissue paper, that I chose a trinket from each morning that she was gone. It was such a neat idea, and now I do it with our grandchildren when they come to stay. -- Corrinne Berkland in Texas


Dear Heloise: I travel frequently on business. I’ve heard that hotel TV remote controls can harbor germs.

On last week’s trip, the remote was visibly dirtier than usual. I remembered that I had some zipper sandwich bags with me, so I dropped the remote into a bag and zipped it up. The remote worked fine from inside the bag, and there was no more worry about germs. This hint might be handy at home as well to protect your remote when enjoying TV while eating messy foods. -- Doug C., Palmdale, Calif.

Yes, it is handy at home, especially if there are family members who eat sticky food while watching TV! Glad you wrote. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Headphones should be cleaned! Depending on the style, this can be tricky. If you use earbuds with a silicone tip, remove the tip and place it in a small bowl containing a few drops of dish soap in some warm water. Let soak for a bit. Remove, clean with a cotton swab, rinse and gently dry. Don’t reattach until completely dry. If the earbuds do not have the removable tip, clean them with a soft, dry cloth. You don’t want to risk ruining them with moisture. -- 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.

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