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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published August 12, 2014 at 2:04 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Can you believe that one in seven U.S. drivers still doesn't wear a seat belt every time he or she gets in a car? What the heck are people thinking? Some states have primary laws about seat belts, and others have secondary laws.

Primary laws allow police to pull over a driver because he or she does not appear to be wearing a seat belt, and that's all it takes.

Secondary laws allow drivers to be ticketed if they are not wearing a seat belt when they are pulled over for another offense. A law-enforcement officer might see an out-of-date license plate, a rear brake light out or someone driving faster than the speed limit. Check the laws in your state or any state you may be driving through.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a hint that can help others who paint around the house: Take a large rubber band and stretch it around the paint can (Heloise here: from top to bottom) so that it lays flat across the open top. Dip your paintbrush in the paint and wipe the excess off by wiping the paintbrush against the rubber band. The rest of the can stays clean.

-- Lisa W., via email

DEAR HELOISE: We have a couple of chest-type ice coolers that we use during the summer. Whenever they get dingy, I scrub them with baking soda and water. Then, in between uses, I store them with some baking soda sprinkled in the bottom. Keeps them fresh for the next time we need them.

-- Barbara P. in Colorado

DEAR READER: Keeping baking soda in the house is a must. There are so many ways to use it in the house, garage, outside and all over the place. To control odors, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of diaper pails, garbage cans and trash compactors.

DEAR HELOISE: In our busy household, it can be hard to communicate with one another. When in a hurry, a guaranteed way that my family knows what is going on is by leaving notes on the bathroom mirror. We keep a dry-erase marker on the counter, and anyone who needs to leave a note just writes the message on the mirror.

-- Kathy W. in Indiana

DEAR HELOISE: Getting ready to go on vacation, I needed to leave a set of keys with a relative who was going to be watching my home. I went crazy looking for a key ring, but I couldn't find one. I happened to notice a paper clip sitting on the counter and ended up using it to keep the keys together.

-- Jim P. in Massachusetts

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

Style on 08/12/2014

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