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This article was published December 20, 2012 at 3:39 a.m.

— DEAR HELOISE: I sleep on a queen bed, but only half of it. The other half is empty now, after more than 50 years. For clean sheets, I pull up the four fitted corners, spin all bedding 180 degrees and pullthe corners back down. I reposition the top sheet and anything else, change the position of the pillows, and I’m ready for another weekof clean sheets.

  • H.P.K. in Colorado

DEAR READER: A clever idea! Although experts recommend washing bedsheets and pillowcases once a week to help decrease the allergens in your home, two weeks should be just fine, since you are sleeping on the “clean” side. You might want to do the pillowcases every week because of facial and hair oil that gets on them.

Next time you wash your sheets, give your laundry a little something extra by adding1/2 cup of baking soda along with your regular detergent!Have a stuffed animal that you’re nervous about putting through the wash? Sprinkle baking soda on the “fur” and let sit. Follow with a gentle brushing. You’ll be shocked by how much grime you’ll remove! Baking soda is cheap and environmentally friendly, so stock up!

DEAR HELOISE: We recently installed a doggie door in our sliding door, which has an east exposure. When the slider/screen was open for fresh air, there was a gap where flying insects could come in, plus the doggie door let in too much sun.

For only a few dollars and a trip to the dollar store, our problems were solved in minutes. A table runner taped at the top of the doggie door blocked out the sun. Then, by fitting a water “noodle” in the gap between the doggie door and the screen door, we were able to handle both problems. The noodle can be cut easily with a serrated knife.

  • Marcia M. in Washington

DEAR HELOISE: I know that smoking is a horrible habit, and I am trying to quit. In the meantime, it is harder and harder, when out in public, to find a place to smoke one cigarette, let alone find an ashtray for the remnants.

I now carry one of the metal mint tins in my pocket or purse. This way, I have an ashtray with me, and no worries about what to do with my ashes or leftover cigarette butt.

  • Gwen, via e-mail Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio,Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or e-mail

Weekend, Pages 37 on 12/20/2012

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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