Dear Heloise: I want to tell you how wonderful VINEGAR is. I live where dust settles on everything. My porch floor is stained a dark color, and the dust really shows on it. I take a jug of vinegar and a damp mop, and I pour straight vinegar and mop. The vinegar cleans and shines it all in one. Then I damp-mop it with clean water. I do the same thing to my basement cement floor.

Thanks for your vinegar hints. -- Betty Lee, Bedford, Iowa

Betty, vinegar can cure almost any problem. It works on many stains, odors, etc. I have a pamphlet that is filled with great ways to use vinegar around your home. It will save you money because you won’t have to buy expensive cleaners; you can just use good ol’ vinegar. To receive a copy of the six-page pamphlet, send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Did you know that vinegar makes cleaning metal miniblinds easier? Just mix a half-cup vinegar with a half-cup hot water. Then put on a cotton glove and dip it into the solution. Wipe both sides of the miniblind slat and rinse with water. The dust and grime will come right off, and they will be just like new. Give it a try! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: For Christmas, I received a set of hot sauces from someone who knows I love the stuff.

One bottle, however, is a sauce made from peppers from India that are supposed to be the world’s hottest. This stuff is really hot! I have found a use for it.

We recently had an addition to our household, Romeo, a toy poodle. Although he is only a few months old and weighs just 3.5 pounds, he can do some damage to carpet and upholstered furniture by chewing. Just one drop of the super-hot sauce rubbed on whatever he is chewing stops him immediately. He doesn’t even taste it. A mere sniff stops him.

We enjoy your column in The (Baton Rouge, La.) Advocate. -- Doug Johnson, Denham Springs, La.


Dear Readers: Niky O’Neil sent a photo of her “grand dogs,” Anesti and Senja, yellow Lab brothers who are sleeping cuddled against each other. To see the brothers, go to and click on “Pets.” -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I read the hint about using a garden rake to hold necklaces. I’m glad it works for the reader. But I have a neater closet just using a man’s tie hanger for my necklaces and chains. They come either round, with a handle extended for screwing into a wall, or long, with a center hanger for hanging on the clothes rod. -- Carol W., Webster, N.Y.

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

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