Dear Heloise: I have found your hints in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch very helpful. Now I need your advice.
My outdoor white resin furniture -- a table and four chairs -- is badly discolored with mildew and other outdoor elements. How do I clean it? Mabel Williams, Dolphin, Va.
Try a solution made of:
3/4 cup regular household bleach
1 tablespoon powdered or liquid laundry detergent
1 gallon water
Mix well, and before you use this solution, test a small amount on a hidden area of the resin furniture to make sure it does not discolor or change the appearance. If the test goes well, don some rubber gloves, arm yourself with a soft-bristled brush or a sponge and begin tackling that ugly discoloration.
First, apply the cleaning solution to one small area at a time and let sit for five minutes. Follow by scrubbing the area, then rinse well. Continue until all the pieces have been cleaned. Afterward, if the resin furniture just doesn't clean up to your liking, there are spray paints specifically made for plastic or resin surfaces that might work well at giving your outdoor furniture a new look! Heloise
FYI: Some readers have had great success cleaning this type of furniture using a pressure washer or taking the pieces to a carwash!
Dear Heloise: One thing I have that is useful when I travel is an ordinary sink plug. I bought one with a small-size bottom, to fit in any sink opening, and a larger flange. So often on my travels, the sink does not have a plug, and I can use mine when I want to rinse out a couple of articles of clothing. On one foreign tour, several members of the group borrowed it. Mary Middleton, South Orange, N.J.
Dear Heloise: When we moved, I thought I had checked all of the closets and drawers in the old house, but found out differently when I recently received a call from the new owners. All of a sudden, one of the kitchen drawers would not close properly. After removing the drawer and using a flashlight to get a good look, they found a stack of mementos from my children's elementary days, including handmade cards. Instead of tossing them out, they called the phone number we had left in case they had any questions about the house to tell us of their find.
The moral of this letter is to remind everyone to remove drawers in the kitchen, bathrooms and even a workshop to make sure nothing has been pushed back behind or under them. A Reader in California
Yes, you are right! One of my secretaries recently moved into a new home and found that the previous owner had overlooked a cabinet full of crystal glasses. Moving can be overwhelming, and you might not think of everything, so have a friend or family member walk through the house right before moving the last box -- an extra set of eyes can be helpful! Heloise
Dear Heloise: Battery-operated push lights are inexpensive. I place one in each room of our home, and when the electricity goes off, I don't have to scramble for candles. D.P.W., West Monroe, La.
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.
King Features Syndicate