Dear Heloise: What can I use to clean the inside of my washing machine? It looks a bit yucky inside! I remember reading in your column how to do this, but have since forgotten. Can you help? Barbara B., via e-mail
You're probably seeing a buildup of laundry detergent, liquid fabric softener and just plain dirt that accumulates inside the washing machine, especially on the top inner rim of the tub. A good cleaning is usually all it takes to get rid of that "yuck," but first check the owner's manual or go to the manufacturer's Web site for the recommended cleaning instructions.
Or, here's a Heloise hint you can give a whirl:
Set the machine on the highest water level, put the water temperature on hot and set on a "normal" wash cycle.
Fill a gallon jug with hot tap water.
When the cycle begins, stop it and add the gallon of water. Be careful not to overfill -- you just want to get the water level up high enough to reach that yucky upper rim.
Next, add 2 to 4 cups of household chlorine bleach. Close the lid and restart the wash cycle.
After a few minutes, stop the cycle, but don't open the lid.
Let the washer sit for 30-plus minutes to give the bleach and hot water time to work at removing all the "yuck" you did see and also that you didn't see. Let the machine finish the wash cycle, and then open the lid to air out the inside.
Your washing machine should be squeaky-clean and ready to handle laundry.
Note: Before doing a load of towels, take one and wipe the inside rim of the tub, the fabric softener dispenser and other areas where "yuck" seems to accumulate just to stay on top of buildups that can cause odors! Heloise
Dear Heloise: I just finished making three yarn pompoms (a cluster of brightly colored strands of yarn, or they can be made from nylon net, which my mother, the original Heloise, made in the early 1960s -- Heloise) to put on my luggage when I travel. I tie them on the handle so that when my luggage comes around on the conveyor belt, I can spot it right away. I use different variegated yarns. Olive T., via e-mail
Dear Heloise: If you take a 1-inch PVC end cap, drill a 1/8-inch hole in it and tie it off with an 18-inch piece of nylon twine, it makes a great cap to replace the type that came with a tiki torch but has become all dried out and split.
We have tried this with our 12 tiki torches and found that it works great. Hope you find this a helpful hint. Rodny and Jane Glidden, Palermo, Maine
Smart thinking! The tiki torch cap we measured was 1 inch wide, but be sure to measure an old cap just in case the diameter is different! Heloise
Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, Fax: (210) HELOISE or E-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate