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By Heloise

This article was published December 14, 2013 at 2:55 a.m.

DEAR READERS: If you or someone you know suffers from allergies, here are hints on how to cut down on allergy triggers in your home:

When coming home, remove shoes at the door to avoid tracking allergens in.

Remove carpets and rugs, if possible, particularly in bedrooms. If not, vacuum several times a week, and clean two to three times a year.

Use mattresses and pillows that have a fitted allergy barrier to act as a protective cover.

Wash sheets and bedding weekly, or more often, in hot water if there is a dust-mite allergy.

Pet dander can be a source of allergies, so give pets baths at least once a week.

Vacuum the entire home regularly using a vacuum that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.

Houseplants such as spider plants, English ivy and Boston ferns help with indoor pollution.

DEAR HELOISE: Will you please reprint your suggestion for what to do with old VHS tapes?

  • Marilyn S., Palmyra, Pa.

DEAR READER: This is a wonderful organization, worth cleaning out that closet or drawer filled with old tapes for! Send your VHS tapes to Alternative Community Training. ACT aids people with disabilities by providing employment opportunities along with other services. Employees recycle VHS tapes and other electronic products, such as CDs and DVDs. The address is Alternative Community Training Inc., 2200 Burlington Street, Columbia, Mo. 65202. If you have questions, call ACT at (800) 359-4607.

DEAR HELOISE: Searching for a desk for my son was difficult. All of the options seemed too small or childish. I had the idea of getting an inexpensive but good-looking coffee table to go with a small chair for my son to work at. He loves his new school and craft area, and I love knowing he has his own special space for work.

  • Annelise in Minnesota

DEAR HELOISE: The best way to store partly full cans of spray paint is upside-down. Turn the can upside down; depress the nozzle until you get only gas. Don’t turn the can upright. Cap it and put it on the shelf. When the can is upside-down, the end of the pickup tube will be in the gas propellant.

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

HomeStyle, Pages 38 on 12/14/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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