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Hints from Heloise: Tools can use a little vinegar

Dear Heloise: I read your column in the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. I am interested in getting RUST OFF GARDEN TOOLS. I think you can use vinegar. Do you have a solution? -- Jacquelin L., Short Hills, N.J.

You’re right -- the answer is my beloved vinegar! Small garden tools, such as clippers, can be placed in undiluted white or apple-cider vinegar overnight or longer. Let soak, scrub with a brush or scrubbie, rinse and then dry. For larger tools, you can take vinegar-soaked rags or towels, wrap them around the rusty areas and then cover with plastic wrap. There are so many uses for environmentally green vinegar. If bolts and screws are lightly corroded with rust, a good soaking in vinegar can remove the rust. -- Heloise


Dear Readers: It’s inevitable: Jeans get holes, skirts might become too short and seams fall apart. When your favorites need a patch-up, try something different! Repairs and fix-ups are a great time for using embellishment, creative stitching and fabulous fabrics or remnants. Add fabric trim to a short skirt or leftover pieces to cover holes in jeans. Spiff up your wardrobe while saving money! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I like to save money and recycle by reusing old glass jars that held food such as pickles, jellies and sauces. I always wash them with soap and water, but at times it seems like an odor still lingers from the food that it used to contain. I finally realized that if I store the jars with the lids off, allowing for air circulation, the odor eventually goes away and stays away. -- Diane S., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I fell and broke my left femur and wrist. After surgery and rehab, I returned home. Bending to retrieve whatever had fallen was a problem, but a reaching grabber saved the day many a time.

When the object needing to be picked up is too small for the grabber, I take a piece of double-sided tape and affix it to the top of a cane, and I am able to reach it every time. Tiny pieces of paper, a pencil and a piece of uncooked pasta are just some of the items I’ve been able to pick up in seconds. -- S.C., Bridgewater, N.J.


Dear Heloise: Here is a hint I use when feeding my cats. Most canned cat food comes with a pull-tab lid to open the can.

I pull off the lid, hold the lid with one finger through the pull tab, dump the food onto a plate or dish, and use the edge of the lid to slice up the food. It seems like the cats prefer the food chopped in this manner, and it keeps me from dirtying a utensil. -- Ashley W., via e-mail

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.

2012, King Features Syndicate

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