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This article was published April 19, 2013 at 2:14 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: Do you have any hints for removing gasoline smell from clothing?

  • Sandi L. in Mont.

DEAR READER: As you have found out, just washing gasoline-soaked clothing - especially heavy jeans or work shirts - does not get the clothing completely odor- or stain free. Since gasoline is a petroleum product, it can leave an oily residue and still smell, even if washed several times. To be 100 percent safe, the clothes should be hung outside to “air out” for at least 24 hours, until the smell is completely gone, before washing the clothing. If they are really saturated, you should first hose them off outside. Since there is a slight risk of combustion (fire) because of the potential fumes coming from the washing machine, do not put them in the washer until you can no longer smell the gasoline.

After airing the clothing outside, wash the items alone (with nothing else) on the hottest setting that’s safe for the fabric, and at the highest water level. Add a quarter cup of ammonia and a little extra detergent. Do not also run the dryer with wet clothes while the soiled clothes are in the washer, in case the gas fumes linger.

You must let them air-dry and see if the gasoline smell is gone. If not, repeat the steps. Do not put the clothes in the dryer until the stain and smell are completely gone.

DEAR HELOISE: My smart phone auto-rotates the screen depending on which way I am holding it. Is there a way to disable this?

  • A Reader, via e-mail

DEAR READER: My new phone does the same thing sometimes. It depends on which phone you have. But you can try this: Double-click the home button (the same way you would to close applications). This should bring up a multitasking bar on your screen. Swipe across the icons from the left to the right, and you will see a circular arrow, which is the auto-rotate symbol on most phones. By tapping this icon, you will turn off auto-rotate.

If that doesn’t work with your phone, go to your phone’s menu and choose “Settings.” Select “Display,” and it should give you an option for auto-rotate.

If you still are having trouble, contact your service provider or stop by a location. Someone there should be able to help you.

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

MovieStyle, Pages 34 on 04/19/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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