Dear Heloise: I use small beads and sequins for craft projects and found that plastic zip-top bags were not a good option for storing leftovers, as they seemed to tear easily. Now, I save empty prescription bottles (washed, dried and with labels removed). I store the tiny beads and sequins in these transparent containers. Using a funnel to fill the containers makes it easy, with few spills.
Hope this helps someone else who's even once picked up a bag of beads and had them spill on the floor due to a small tear in the bag! Robin Gladstein, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: Could you possibly tell me how to clean the plastic tray that is under the water and ice dispenser on my refrigerator door? Some elements from our water built up on the tray, and neither scraping nor cleaners seem to do anything. A solution would be much appreciated. Bonnie Olson, El Paso, Texas
The solution is here -- good ol' vinegar once again! What you're describing sounds like a hard-water buildup that vinegar tackles well. Just remove the drip tray, if you can, and place it in the sink. Soak in warm white or apple-cider vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash and dry. For really stubborn buildup, use a scrub brush after soaking!
Vinegar just happens to be one of my favorite household cleaners, and it's great at cleaning soooo many things. To tackle hard-water and soap buildup on chrome bathroom fixtures, just wipe with undiluted vinegar and leave for about five minutes, then rinse well. Vinegar is a nontoxic grass killer and weedkiller, helps kill bacteria in a drain and can brighten dark clothes, plus much more! Heloise
Dear Heloise: While using a mop with the floor-cleaner bottle attached, I discovered that I was out of the wipes that attach to the mop pad. So, I used a terry washcloth, and because of the sticky-sided fabric tape on the mop pad, the washcloth clung to it perfectly. I can remove the washcloth, wash it and reuse it over and over. Much less expensive than purchasing the refill wipes for the mop. D.B., Harrisburg, Pa.
We love it! The entire office applauded this hint. I tested it, and you're right -- mop the floor, and into the wash the cloth goes. Everyone has a few extra washcloths around, or pop into a discount store and pick up a dozen cheap ones -- they're great! Heloise
Dear Heloise: I used to have issues finding my sewing needles. Frustrated with all the needles I'd lost, I found that the little plastic containers in which mechanical pencil lead comes work fantastically. It's just the right height for standard needles, and I haven't lost one since. D.N., Burnsville, Minn.
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