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Dear Heloise: When I get ready for a trip, I take a PICTURE OF MY PACKED SUITCASE(S) on my mobile phone. I also put my name, office address and phone numbers inside my luggage because sometimes people pick up the wrong bag at the airport. This way they can call me to let me know that they took my luggage by mistake. So far, I've only had my luggage lost once when I went to Los Angeles, but my luggage had a nice trip to Honolulu! - Frank W., Springfield, Ill.
PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
Dear Readers: To give your home a warm, seasoned scent, add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to 1 cup of water, and microwave on high until the water boils, usually around three minutes. The aroma will remind you of a bakery. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I've found an easy way to clean my stainless steel appliances (we have five). The best cleaners are those eraser-type sponges. I just wet one a little and wipe across back and forth. I dry with a soft cloth. I've loved your hints for many years. - Sharon in Clayton, Ohio
Dear Readers: Labeling with red or purple nail polish is one of my tried-and-true hints. Which items get labeled? Read on: • keys • the "Off" position on an appliance • the "On/Off" button on the TV remote - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I had some furniture with scratches that I thought was ruined. I discovered wax sticks can fill in and hide the scratches. These are available at the hardware store, and they come in many colors. - Belinda E. in Florida
Dear Heloise: Brown sugar can get rock-hard! I've found that putting a few apple slices in the container with the sugar will soften it. - Maddie T. in Pennsylvania Leave the slices in overnight. - Heloise
GET OFF THE SOFA!
Dear Heloise: I got tired of yelling at the dog for getting up on my new sofa. I took a long sheet of air-filled packaging and tucked it around the seat of my sofa. The moment the dog jumped up there, he was startled by the popping noise and the feel of plastic under his little paws. Problem solved! - Sally P., Van Wert, Ohio
Dear Heloise: When my dad died, I inherited his tools. They were expensive and top of the line in quality, but they had been neglected over a number of years and had gotten rusty. My wife said you'd recommend vinegar to get the rust off, so I soaked them in vinegar for 10 days, then took them out and used a pad of steel wool to remove the stubborn rust. Now they look as good as if they were new. - Trent D., Baton Rouge, La. I love hearing how my favorite household cleaner came to the rescue once again! Vinegar can also remove corrosion for most small, rusty objects like screws and bolts, or the mechanism of a padlock.
For more cleaning and deodorizing hints using vinegar, order my six-page pamphlet by sending $5, along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. FYI: Don't toss out that used vinegar! Pour it on unwanted grass between sidewalks or steppingstones. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: While buying paint at a local store, the salesman told me to take a wide rubber band and stretch it over the can opening and down the sides. This allowed me to wipe off excess paint against the rubber band rather than the edge of the can of paint. It just creates less of a mess when painting. - Noreen L., Edgewood, Ind. A
Dear Heloise: My housekeeper comes every two weeks, and since I have a hard time putting the fitted sheets on, I have her put two fitted, bottom sheets on the bed. I can change the sheets once a week. I just take off the top one and there's another. All I have to do is put on the flat sheet, which is easy for me to do. - Vicki G. in New Mexico
Dear Heloise: My coffee filters used to collapse whenever I made coffee, and that resulted in coffee grounds in each cup. Now, I wet two sides under the faucet and use my thumbs to push the filter tighter to the sides. This holds the filter up without collapsing during the brewing process. - Judy V., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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