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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published July 14, 2014 at 2:09 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week's Sound Off, about the position of UPC codes:

"My Sound Off is about soft-drink companies. Why can't they put the UPC code on the same side as the opening to pick up the boxes of cans? It would be so much easier and more convenient for consumers to place the boxes in their cart without having to turn the boxes over to be scanned with the handle on the bottom."

-- Connie O. in Louisiana

It can be a hassle to have to turn things over just to be scanned. Until they change the positioning, try placing it on its side in the cart. Then the bottom can be seen to scan the code, and you still can reach the handle.

DEAR READERS: Here are other uses for empty thread spools:

• Wrap leftover bits of ribbon or trim around them.

• Decorate and make into ornaments or garlands.

• Nail on drawers with missing drawer pulls.

• Glue a wire inside the spool hole and curl the other end of it to hold a picture.

• Use to make dollhouse furniture.

DEAR HELOISE: My family and I go camping a lot. Our sleeping bags can get really dirty. What is the best way to wash them?

-- A Reader, via email

DEAR READER: The first thing you should do is look for a care label. Each sleeping bag should have one that tells you if it can be machine-washed or if it needs to be dry-cleaned.

They usually can be cleaned in the washing machine. Set the machine to a gentle cycle and fill the tub with water. Add the detergent and let it mix before putting the sleeping bag into the machine. Push the sleeping bag down to remove all the air bubbles. If your machine has an extra rinse cycle, use it to remove all of the soap. Hang to dry. You can put the sleeping bag in the dryer if you want, but add a few tennis balls or clean tennis shoes to help distribute the filling so it will not get lumpy.

DEAR HELOISE: Whenever my daughter goes on a field trip, I get her a disposable camera to take. She is too young for a cellphone, and I wouldn't want anything to happen to my camera. I love getting the film developed and seeing things through her eyes. I may have been to the places a hundred times, but it is nice to see what things she feels are important. And there are always several pictures of her and her friends, which are nice, too!

-- Janice, via email

DEAR HELOISE: I like to listen to tapes and music in bed at night. I have glued a small button to the on-off button of my music player and the volume button. That way, I can feel it in the dark.

-- Dorla R., Wilbur, Wash.

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 on 07/14/2014

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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