HINTS FROM HELOISE

Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise:  I'm a single dad, and my three-year-old daughter has a teddy bear she loves to death. I've sewn it up several times, but now it needs to be washed and I don't know if it's safe to wash or not. Can you help me out here? What should I do? - Jason F., Portland Ore.

Jason, place the bear in a pillowcase and close it with a safety pin. Wash on delicate with a little laundry detergent. Remember, less is more in this case. Rinse twice. Then put the bear (still in the pillowcase) in the dryer on low heat. If it's still damp when you remove it from the dryer, lay the bear out to dry completely.

Give your daughter (and the teddy bear) a big hug from all of us here at Heloise Central. - Heloise

SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, Texas 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com     

COFFEE CREAMER CONTAINERS

Dear Heloise:  A large container of flour is hard to handle, especially for someone who is short like me (I'm 5 feet tall). So I put flour in empty coffee creamer containers that have small holes and shake like a saltshaker. When I need just a little flour to use while making gravy or to thicken a sauce, it is much easier to use the coffee creamer container than try to scoop out flour from a big bag. - Helen S., New Haven, Conn.

LEMONS AND LIMES

Dear Heloise: We use lemons and limes in a number of recipes around here, but instead of tossing out the squeezed half, I save them in a plastic bag in my freezer. Once a week I like to toss one in the garbage disposal to freshen the smell in the kitchen. It's my favorite way to recycle something! - Lynda T., East Orange, N.J.

INDOOR POLLUTION

Dear Heloise: Indoor air can be very polluted. Dust, animal dander, bacteria, dust mites, mold and mildew can alter the quality of the air you breathe. Here are some hints to reduce many indoor pollutants:

-  Have your heating and air conditioning system checked once a year by a professional. Change or clean filters every month.

-  Control the humidity level by trying to keep it between 30% to 50%. Dampness is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew.

-  Dust your home often to eliminate animal dander, dust and dust mites.

-  Use exhaust fans that vent to the outside. These can remove moisture and contaminants. - Hector E., Baltimore, Md.

CONTRACTORS

Dear Heloise: We're going to remodel our kitchen and master bath, but I don't know what to ask the people I talk to about doing the work. Got any hints for me? - Stacy R., Rittman, Ohio

Stacy, first ask if they are licensed in your state. Next, are they insured and bonded? Will your remodeling project require a permit? Will they be using subcontractors? How long have they been in business? Will they provide you with a list of references and their phone numbers to ask if they were satisfied? Was the work finished on the agreed deadline? Last, were they happy with the job done? - Heloise

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