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This article was published February 7, 2013 at 3:08 a.m.

— DEAR READERS: An easily forgotten task is washing makeup brushes, but there’s no end to the list of things, besides makeup, trapped in those bristles. Ideally, makeup brushes should be washed one to two times per month.

Start by moistening the brush with lukewarm water. Point the bristles downward to prevent water from getting into the handle. Using a mild shampoo (I like using baby shampoo), start lathering the soap between your fingers, working it from the base to the tip of the brush. Keep the brush pointed down. Gently squeeze down the bristles over and over, adding a little more water each time, until the brush is clean. Wipe the brush on a paper towel and reshape it into its original brush shape. Lay all brushes on their sides. Setting them upright, in a brush holder, will allow water to work its way down the bristles and loosen the glue holding the brush together. Allow brushes to dry overnight before use.

DEAR HELOISE: Whether you purchase something in a store or by mail order, be sure to save the original box for at least a short time. Until you use the item, you may not know if you want to keep it. By saving the box, you will be able to return the item (especially by mail) if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work.

If you have the storage space, consider saving boxes a little longer. If you know that you are going to move, electronics are one item in particular that it’s great to be able to repackage in the original box for protection.

  • Andrew G. in Utah

DEAR HELOISE: Toss some clean tennis balls, your pillows and a fabric-softener sheet into the dryer for 10 minutes. Setting the dryer on the “medium” heat setting ensures that any and all dust mites will be killed. This is a great help for those who suffer from allergies while also extending the longevity of your pillows.

  • Helen W., via e-mail

DEAR HELOISE: I had some food items that needed rinsing, but I didn’t want to dig out the big colander. I came across an old pie tin and had an idea. I took an ice pick and poked several holes in the bottom of the tin. Now I have a makeshift colander that is just right and that I willcontinue to use in a pinch.

  • Kristen P. in Idaho 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 36 on 02/07/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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