Dear Heloise: I love reading your hints in The Bakersfield Californian; I have used several and tell my friends about them. I have a laundry question: I accidentally left my towels in the washer too long after the cycle was done. I didn't realize it until after I took them out of the dryer, and they have a stinky/musty smell now. Is there a way to get rid of the smell without throwing out my towels? Dana, Bakersfield, Calif.
Dana, don't throw away those towels; instead, if they are bleachable, try soaking them in the following solution: Mix 1 gallon of hot water (put it in a plastic dishpan -- do not use an aluminum container), 1 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent and 1/4 cup of household liquid chlorine bleach. Mix well and add the smelly towels. Let soak for at least 30 minutes, then remove and throw in the washing machine to be washed using the hottest water temperature and the regular amount of laundry detergent.
For towels that cannot be bleached, wash using the normal amount of laundry detergent and the hottest water temperature setting. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda during the wash cycle. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and could do the trick. In fact, baking soda has many uses around the house, several of which I have included in a six-page pamphlet titled Heloise's Baking Soda Hints and More. To receive a copy, send $4 and a self-addressed, stamped (60 cents), long envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. And while we are on the subject of baking soda, sweeten up your dishwasher by sprinkling some baking soda on the bottom occasionally or when you don't expect to be using it for a few days. Heloise
Dear Heloise: While riding our subway system here in the D.C. area, I realized that my dripping umbrella made the station floor hazardous, not to mention getting me or my bag wet. One day, as I unsheathed my local paper, I had a "eureka" moment, realizing what a perfect size the plastic bag was for the size of umbrella I was using. I've carried a newspaper bag ever since, even offering one to friends in need, much to their amusement and gratitude.
Thanks for your column -- an entertaining and informative read. Patricia Bowden, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I buy my husband and our kids those battery-operated toothbrushes. I replace them every three months (I write the date on the bottom of each). Instead of just tossing each one, I use them to clean crevices in the shower, toilets, around sinks, etc. They work great to clean hard-to-reach spots, and since they are battery-operated, they clean much better than a regular brush.
No sense throwing them away; keep them with the cleaning supplies and use until bateries run out! Michelle from California
Dear Heloise: After losing an 8-iron from a matched set, I now use a small address label on each golf club, just below the grip. A Reader, Hot Springs Village, Ark.
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
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