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By Heloise

This article was published April 7, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week’s Sound Off:

“I work for a retail chain store. Among the conveniences provided to our customers, we have trash receptacles in our parking lot. These are meant to be used for trash, such as coffee and soft-drink cups, etc. Many customers have taken to using them to dispose of household garbage. This causes the cans to fill up faster than we can empty them. Dumping household garbage in public trash cans is a big no-no!” - Dumped On in Ohio

DEAR READERS: Other uses for a potato masher:

Break up ground meat when cooking.

Mash eggs when making egg salad.

Use to mix up items in a round pot or bowl.

Make designs on peanut-butter cookies.

Crush up fruit to make jams and jellies.

DEAR HELOISE: Could you please repeat your recipe for drain cleaner?

  • Jessica H. in Tennessee

DEAR READER: The recipe for drain cleaner is simple: Pour a half cup or so of baking soda down the drain. Then pour 1 cup of vinegar down, and listen to the bubbling. Let sit 15-30 minutes. Turn on the hot water for a few seconds, then run cold water for about a minute. This method will not work to unclog a sink, but if you do it regularly, it should help prevent a clog.

Got a little mold in your bathroom? Put hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) in a spray bottle and spray the areas of mold to clean.

P.S.: Be sure to turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom to remove moisture when you shower. Or at least open a window, and keep the bathroom door open after showering to let the moisture escape.

DEAR HELOISE: I do a lot of catalog shopping, sometimes paying with a credit card or check. I make a copy of the order, with the source of payment and also the date. This way, I know which card is used, what has been ordered, the amount and about when I can expect the merchandise to be delivered.

  • Glenna D., Chanute, Kan.

DEAR HELOISE: Whenever I am painting a room or something outside, I wear an old pair of sunglasses. That way, any paint that splatters from the roller will get on the glasses and not in my eyes.

  • Jack in Texas

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

ActiveStyle, Pages 30 on 04/07/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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