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DEAR HELOISE: Tags! They itch, they scratch your neck and they're a nuisance. But what if you don't want to cut them off a garment that you might recycle, or you keep changing sizes and might need the tag for later?

Just buy a roll of heat-sensitive seam-binding material, cut to size and stick it between the tag and garment. Apply a warm iron. Problem solved. The tag stays down, even through laundering.

-- Cheri W. in Arkansas

DEAR HELOISE: I found your column on CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) very informative.

I am wondering if you would give us some guidelines on the bulbs that should be purchased for three-way lamps (50-100-150). I have looked in the stores, but cannot determine how the replacements should be labeled. Do these new bulbs come in three-way?

-- A Reader in New Jersey

DEAR READER: Yes, these bulbs are available in three-way, and are labeled as such (50-100-150). You should be able to find them in stores, but look online if you are having trouble locating them in your area.

DEAR HELOISE: We deep-fry french fries outside to keep the odor out of the house. While the fryer was cooling, we had a gust of wind strong enough to tip the deep fryer over and spill all the canola oil onto the concrete patio. Do you have any suggestions for removing the oil without damaging the concrete?

-- Catherine P.

in New Hampshire

DEAR READER: Thank goodness no one was hurt when the oil spilled! Place baking soda on the spill, followed by liquid dish soap that contains a grease-fighting ingredient. Using a plastic brush, scrub the entire area, and then leave it alone for a few hours. Rinse well with water. You can repeat this cleaning process several times. If this still doesn't clean the area to your satisfaction, try an automotive degreaser from an auto-supply store.

For minor burns, mix three parts baking soda to one part water, apply to the area and cover with a cool, damp cloth.

DEAR HELOISE: My mom doesn't like me chewing gum, so I go through a lot of mint tins. I collected them, trying to find something to do with them when I realized I could add sandy dirt and plant a tiny cactus or air plant in them. They're nice gifts for friends and family, and are easy to care for.

-- Jake in Arizona

DEAR HELOISE: When I go to the beach or pool -- somewhere I will need a beach towel on a chair -- I take chip clips with me. I use them to hold my beach towel to the chair so it doesn't blow away.

-- Peggy, 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

Style on 05/13/2014

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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