Dear Heloise: My windshield has been streaky for a while, and I assumed I just needed to wash my car. My father told me I needed to replace my WINDSHIELD-WIPER BLADES. He was right! Still learning from Dad. - No Name, No Shame, via e-mail

Your father was right! Wiper blades work best for about six months to a year, depending on several variables. Even if your car sits in the driveway and isn’t driven, exposure to heat, sunlight, weather and dirt can cause wipers to harden, crack or tear. Ruined wipers can leave a windshield streaked, which is a BIG safety hazard, especially in bad weather.

April, known as National Car Care Month (sponsored by the Car Care Council,, is the perfect time to check the condition of your wipers.

Check them for tears. Just lift the wiper a little and run your finger along the edge to feel for nicks, tears, etc. To extend the life of your wipers, clean them during your checks using a clean cloth (microfiber is my favorite) that you wet with window cleaner, then rinse with water. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have six grown children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Consequently, I have received many gifts in my lifetime.

However, the greatest gift I have ever received is probably the least-expensive one of all. I received a fairly large jar with a lid on it, and a hand-written label stuck on the front, titled “Mom’s Memories.” My children write notes and secretly slide them in the jar anytime they visit. The notes are things they remember about growing up, things that were instrumental in their lives. Really heartwarming! -- F.M.G. in Arkansas

A heart hint that sings and lifts your spirits! Love it! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: When removing dryer lint, press it into a ball and tie with string or ribbon. Leave enough to tie to a tree, limb or bush. Birds and other wild animals use the lint to make nests, which keep their young warm.

I use different-colored ribbons, which gives an attractive appearance to my garden. -- Wanda S. in Texas

What a sweet hint! Another hint is to comb the hair from a hairbrush and leave it outside for birds to use. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: Whenever I stack glasses or cups together, I put sheets of paper towels in between them. I cut the sheets in four. I pop a square on top of the glass, set the next glass in the first and continue stacking. When I use the glasses/cups, I save the sheets and use them again when I put the glasses away. -- Karen P. in Florida


Dear Readers: Day-to-day tasks like putting in contacts, taking pills and putting in earrings all can lead to one thing: something lost down the drain! Put a washcloth, swatch of nylon net or tissue over the drain to catch anything that might go down the drain, never to be seen again! -- 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.

, King Features Syndicate