HELOISE: Caring for pots made of terra-cotta
Dear Readers: Terra-cotta pots for spring flowers may need a little tender, loving care.
If there is a white film on them, it’s probably salt deposits and mineral deposits from the water. Before cleaning the pots, make sure all the soil and dried dirt are off the pots. Use a soft-bristle brush to clean the pots inside and out, with just plain old soap and water. Rinse well and let dry. If the white stains are still there, then vinegar to the rescue! Wipe the entire surface of the pot with full-strength regular or apple-cider vinegar. When dry, wipe with baby or mineral oil. Let the pot dry completely before planting.
How to prevent the white spots? Apply acrylic sealant on the inside and outside of the pots. Vinegar is a dynamo in the home; it can be used in many different ways! I have put together a six-page pamphlet containing my favorite uses for vinegar. If you would like to receive one, just send $5 and a long, stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Vinegar, as a general rule, has no expiration date. It may become cloudy over time, but its properties aren’t affected.
Dear Readers: Wire coat hangers can be versatile:
Use as a stake for winding plants.
Use to hang craft ribbon and thread.
Camping? Use to hold paper towels.
Fashion into a circle and cover with pantyhose for a pool skimmer.
Dear Heloise: With our electricity going off several times throughout the year, I found that if you have yard solar lights, you can bring some of them inside the house. They provide enough light for you to see inside the house. We also have candles and lanterns, but until you locate and get them lit, the solar lights provide enough light.
Ruby, via e-mail
Dear Readers: I love my houseplants, including African violets, scheffleras, corn plants, etc. However, when one of them starts to look a little sickly, which happens, I move it into the kitchen so that I can keep an eye on it and try to get it healthy again. These plants get a little more TLC.
Dear Heloise: I have found that the easiest way to remove personal information from prescription-bottle labels is to wet the label and scrub with a plastic scrubber or small, stiff brush. The label quickly disintegrates. Of course, this doesn’t work when the label has tape over it. As always, I love your column.
Ginny in New Jersey
Dear Readers: Kudos to the clothing manufacturers who are making care labels with print that is large enough to read! It should not take a magnifying glass to read the laundry instructions.
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate