Dear Readers: The convenience of a dishwasher is undeniable. However, LOADING THE DISHWASHER is always a topic of debate! Here are some hints from the manufacturers about the correct way to do it:
* If you are not running the dishwasher right away, be sure to PRE-RINSE.
* Load plates and bowls with the serving surface FACING the water spray.
* Be careful when placing long-handled utensils in the dishwasher -- they can catch in the dishwasher swing arm and prevent dishes from getting clean.
* Forks and spoons should be alternated right side up and upside down to prevent nesting.
* DO NOT place glasses or mugs ON the tines. Place them between the tines, according to most manuals! Yes, I know most of us place them over the tines!
* Flat pans and cookie sheets should be placed around the sides of the bottom rack so they don’t block the water spray.
Read your dishwasher’s manual, or check online, to learn the best way to use your machine. If you’re not sure about putting something (wooden bowls, wood-handled knives or crystal) in the dishwasher, then wash it by hand. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I read your previous column on securing your purse in the shopping cart at the grocery store (Heloise here: in the child seat with the seatbelt straps). I found that when I put mine IN THE CART, under the child seat, the belt reaches it, and it is safer than in the child seat. The purse also is not as easy to reach into. It makes me feel safer. -- Shirley H. in New York
Shirley, this is an ongoing topic! Even though your way does “hide” and secure your purse, it’s still possible for a thief to get into it and grab your wallet. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I have quite a few of the popular long scarves, and finding one readily in a drawer became a problem. I had extra pants hangers, and the thought hit me: Each hanger has four bars (for four pairs of pants) and is made of plastic with a nonslip surface.
Each hanger can hold up to 12 scarves (unless they’re heavy). -- Muriel W., Fair Oaks, Calif.
Dear Heloise: After trimming a lot of holly branches with many thorns and having no gardening gloves, I thought of oven mitts, which are perfect for picking up any thorny garden clippings. They wash easily, are ready for the next trimming session and protect my hands and arms. -- Kathleen K., Lake Forest, Calif.
Dear Heloise: I purchased a couple of standing paper-towel holders and placed them in our bathrooms. They are perfect for storing two or three rolls of toilet paper. That way, if the roll in use runs out, extra rolls are available. Very handy! -- Jean M. in Connecticut
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