DEAR HELOISE: I have long hair and have noticed how it has become the current fashion trend, so I thought I'd share this hint. I discovered that having long hair is nearly as bad as having a shaggy long-haired dog in the family. In the past, when I vacuumed the carpets, the roller got filled with innumerable, annoying, tightly wound strands of strong hair that had to be pulled out.
Suddenly, I got an idea. Certainly, I thought the hair is just lying on the surface of the carpet. What if I used a broom or a brush to capture a portion of the hair before I vacuumed? I went to my broom closet and found a scrubbing brush on the end of a broomstick. So, I tried long gentle sweeps of the surface of the carpet, and sure enough, I could pick up quite a bit of hair, saving some of the usual struggle of removing hair from the roller brush. From that day on, that is what I do.
-- Priscilla Zanni,
DEAR HELOISE: Many people have pictures of family and places they have been, and most of those pictures are just "pictures in a box." As most people now have computers, they should just scan those pictures, and they can put the "who, what or where" on its file name. Then, they can be stored on the computer or on flash drives, and can be searched for and found very easily. No longer just "pictures in a box" -- and in case of disaster, they can be saved. Plus, hundreds of pictures can be saved in just a little space. I put them in folders, with dates on them so that I could have months and years together. For example: Folder 2001, Mom and Dad, vacation at the beach. Thank you.
-- Gene Stephenson,
DEAR HELOISE: With regard to the lady who tapes her grocery list and coupons to her car steering wheel, I have a far better solution, so as to not forget those things when going shopping. Take a clothespin or a clip and just attach the list to your car keys. If you need to take food somewhere, put the food in the fridge along with the car keys. You can hardly forget your keys when leaving home.
DEAR HELOISE: One of my family's favorite ways of economizing and reusing resources over the holidays is wrapping gifts with black and white newspaper and tying them with twine or ribbon. This produces a simple, rustic look and cuts down on the storage space necessary for all the usual gift-wrapping bling.
-- A Reader, in Va.
DEAR HELOISE: How do professional maids clean walk-in showers, where the walls and part of the floor cannot be reached from outside the door? I end up taking off my clothes and sloshing around in some chemical cleaners. I fill a large drinking cup with water from the shower head to rinse the tiles and floor. Surely, professional maids do not clean showers in their client's houses in this manner.
-- John, via email
DEAR READER: Here's another solution. This is my Heloise home-style method for cleaning the shower: Use a sponge mop that has been dipped into a bucket containing a mixture of ½ cup of vinegar, 1 cup of clear ammonia and ¼ cup of baking soda in 1 gallon of water. Rub the mop around the surfaces, and then rinse with clear water. (Also, don't try to remove stains on porcelain tiles or fiberglass with abrasive powders or steel-wool pads, because they will scratch.) Happy cleaning.
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email