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Helpful Hints

by Heloise | May 22, 2020 at 1:39 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: About a week ago I lost my house key. It was a frustrating moment when I discovered I couldn't get into my house. A locksmith charged me $100 to open my door and to make a new house key for me. I never wanted this to happen again, so I put an extra house key in an empty pill bottle with a tight lid, and hot glued a stone on top. I buried it in my garden. The only thing above ground is the stone. I never have to worry about being locked out again.

-- Karen in Massachusetts

DEAR HELOISE: I go swimming a couple of times a week and always rinse out my swimsuit and swim shoes when I get home. I find that putting a little vinegar in the water gets rid of the chlorine smell in the suit and shoes.

Another hint that helps me when I sew is to slip a piece of white paper under the presser foot on the machine when threading the needle. The reflection of light from the white paper makes the needle's eye more visible and easier to see.

-- Annie in Nebraska

DEAR HELOISE: Just read a comment from a reader in a column concerning dull laminate countertops. Having had the same problem with my cream-colored countertop, I discovered the dye in a printed paper towel was transferring to the laminate. I used a weak bleach solution to remove the dye.

-- Sharon in Ohio

DEAR READER: I consulted with one of the largest manufacturers of laminated countertops in America, and they DO NOT recommend using bleach on a laminated countertop. In fact, they said harsh chemicals should be avoided. Continual use of bleach will damage the finish on just about any laminated countertop or flooring.

DEAR HELOISE: Overeating is way too easy to do -- for me, anyway. So, when I get home from shopping, I make single-serving goodie bags by putting my favorite snacks into resealable, plastic snack bags. No more bingeing from the cookie or chip bag.

-- Rita in North Dakota

DEAR HELOISE: This is a simple hint, but I have found that it's timesaving and just makes sense. In the trash containers around the house, I have extra bags ready and waiting in the bottom of the trash container. When I empty the trash, I just have to reach down and grab the next bag.

-- Ginny in Texas

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle on 05/22/2020

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