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HELOISE Add first aid to the many uses of versatile vinegar



Published: Mon, June 6, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dear Readers: Anyone who reads my column knows that I sing the praises of vinegar for cleaning, getting rid of odors and cooking -- but for summertime first aid?

Yes. Vinegar is a natural antiseptic that can help stop the itching of insect bites, wasp stings and other skin irritations.

If you have a close encounter with a jellyfish, white vinegar can neutralize the venom and help soothe the pain. In fact, if you're planning a day at the beach, be sure to take along a small bottle of vinegar.

And when you return home, you can clean plastic beach toys by washing them with soap and water and then rinsing in vinegar to kill bacteria.

Vinegar is so versatile I've put together a six-page pamphlet filled with many vinegar hints. To order one, please send $4 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (60 cents) envelope to Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. In this pamphlet you'll learn that you can use vinegar for hair care, pet stains and even ant prevention. All the old favorites are there, too. Every household should have a big jug of vinegar on hand. Heloise

P.S. I even travel with white vinegar in a small bottle to use on the road.

Dear Heloise: To recycle potholders that no longer look good enough to displayed in your kitchen, use them as cushioning pads between stacked frying pans to prevent scratches. Linda in Sherwood, Ark.

Dear Readers: Here at Heloise Central, the computer keyboards are always humming along. So, we thought we would share a few low-tech hints for high-tech equipment.

UNever spray cleaner directly onto the keyboard.

UA small, soft paintbrush (or large makeup brush) is a great tool to dust your keyboard.

UTo remove crumbs and dust bunnies, turn the keyboard upside down and give it a gentle shake. You will be amazed at what comes out.

UYou can use compressed air (found at office-supply and camera stores) to clean the keyboard.

UYou can remove individual keys and clean under them. Keep in mind that some of the bigger keys might have springs, and putting them back could be difficult.

UPut a spare place mat over your keyboard when not in use (especially for an extended time frame) to keep it clean and dust-free.

UDon't keep food or beverages near the keyboard. A spilled drink can wreak havoc and could damage it. Heloise

Sound off

My pet peeve is dirty microwaves -- especially the one at the office that everyone uses but no one wants to clean. The buildup in that one was gross and unsanitary. I would ask everyone to take a minute or two after using the microwave to wipe up any spills inside. If everyone does this, the interior will be sparkling. V.N., Richardson, Texas

You aren't alone in your complaint -- you should take a gander at the ones in most radio-station and TV-station break rooms. Heloise

XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) HELOISE, or e-mail heloise@heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate




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