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This article was published February 13, 2014 at 2:41 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: Is it OK to use an old cast-iron skillet on a smooth-top range?

  • C.B. in Iowa

DEAR READER: Maybe yes and maybe no. Some glass-cooktop manufactures say it’s OK, depending on the skillet; others say no altogether.

Older cast iron usually is covered with rough areas and bumps on the bottom, which can damage the glass top. The damage(scratches) happens when the pan is slid across the cooktop rather than being lifted and moved. Older cast iron holds heat (which is why we love it to cook in), which may cause the element in the glass top to shut off.

Newer cast iron is made differently, and you can find many with smooth bottoms that are covered in enamel. These cast-iron skillets should be OK, but as always, do check with the manufacturer to see what it suggests.

DEAR HELOISE: I noticed that my cats’ hair was all over the side of the bed that I do not lie on. My solution was to use a lint roller. When I make the bed, I give it a quick roll.

  • Beth in Texas

DEAR HELOISE: I am a natural brunette, but my hair has always had a hint of red and brassy tones. I now use shampoos and conditioners for silver or blond hair. These are purple/blue and help eliminate brassy/red tones. I had several bottles of other shampoos I had bought. I always loved the scents, so I started using them as body wash. The ones with added hair conditioner work even better than regular body wash, and my skin has never been softer.

  • Kathy R., via email

DEAR READER: You are onto my secret! I, too, use the “purple” shampoo, but I mix it with my regular shampoo - about one-third purple and two-thirds regular. It helps keep my natural silver hair from looking dull. I also love the scented shampoo as a body wash. It does the job, and frankly is a lot cheaper than expensive body washes.

DEAR HELOISE: The easiest way for me to remove the leftover wax from my glass votive holders is to put them in the freezer for an hour or two. I can get most of the wax off by just pushing on it with my fingers. For the stubborn wax, I just use a butter knife to push off the wax, making sure not to scratch the glass with the knife.

  • C. Fuller, via email

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

Weekend, Pages 36 on 02/13/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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