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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published June 17, 2014 at 2:00 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: I would like to suggest to your readers that they ask for seat-belt extenders for their cars.

Most people do not know that they are available for all makes and models, but you have to ask for them. They are free. If you do not need them for yourself, you may need them for someone who will be in your car in the future. I think it should be mandatory for all cars (new or used) sold to have them in the car for use, if needed.

-- Pamela W. in Ohio

DEAR READER: Seat-belt extenders are an important part of a vehicle, but unfortunately, they are not available for all makes and models of cars. If you want an extender, you must contact the car dealer. Many dealers will give them to you, but others may charge a small fee. They also may ask you to sign a waiver saying that you know about the warnings related to effectiveness and liability when using extenders.

DEAR HELOISE: When I find little packets of desiccants (silica-gel packets) in boxes to keep moisture out of the contents, I wonder if it is safe to put one in my cracker jar. I did try it, and the crackers stayed just as crisp and fresh as when I opened it, but is this safe?

-- Vicki A. in Idaho

DEAR READER: Although these packets are nontoxic, they are not recommended for use with food (unless the packets came packaged with that particular food item). To keep your crackers fresh, store them in an airtight container or even the freezer. There are many other areas in your home where you could reuse silica-gel packets, but don't use them when storing food.

DEAR HELOISE: The other day, I was having a hard time understanding the dialogue on a favorite TV show. When my daughter walked into the room, I mentioned to her how hard it is to hear dialogue when actors talk too fast or too quietly. She told me she has a way to fix that when it happens to her.

Without a second thought, she took the TV remote from me, turned the volume to "mute," and the closed captioning appeared on the bottom of the screen. (Heloise here: Some TVs do not have this feature.) I now do this with any program's dialogue that I am having difficulty understanding.

-- Candace W. in New York

DEAR HELOISE: My problem was washing my shoelaces in the washing machine without them getting tangled with the laundry.

I thought that if I put them in the foot part of a pair of socks (white laces in white socks), that it should work, and it did. They came out of the laundry nice and clean, and without tangles.

-- Diane S. in Maryland

DEAR HELOISE: When I go to the beach looking for shells and stones, I use a lingerie bag (or two) to carry them in. The sand filters out.

-- Janet M. in Michigan

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

Heloise@Heloise.com

Style on 06/17/2014

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