Helpful Hints
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Helpful Hints

Oct 31, 2023

DEAR HELOISE: I just have to respond to the message from J. Abner in Gulf Cove, Fla. They hit the nail on the head. Just cover your food in the microwave with a microwave-safe plastic cover, and you'll never have a messy microwave.

I bought one of those covers from my granddaughter when she was selling items for a school fundraiser during fifth grade. My granddaughter is now 28 years old, and the microwave cover is as good as new, saving me the time of cleaning a microwave. If something splatters, just wipe it out and wipe off the glass plate. In a matter of minutes, the microwave is clean. So simple. Try it.

-- R.M.H.,

in Arkansas

DEAR HELOISE: Like Marizee from Bakersfield, I, too, have switched to paper. We had always used plastic baggies when we cleaned the cat litter box. Now, I use lunch-size paper bags that will degrade at some point in the future, as opposed to plastic, which lasts forever.

-- Liz,

Mission Viejo, Calif.

DEAR HELOISE: Our plumber says that tissues do not dissolve in the toilet bowl. Toilet paper is designed to dissolve, but please remember to dispose of tissues by throwing them in the wastebasket. Let's do what we can to prevent problems that require a plumber's assistance.

-- Nancy Henson,

Dayton, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: Enough with the weird methods of opening jars for the first time. Using a bottle opener, slide the end under the jar lid and gently pry up. When the pressure on the jar loosens, the lid center will pop up, and the lid will screw off easily.

-- Richard Wallish,

via email

DEAR READERS: To help deodorize your mattress, vacuum the mattress first, and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Leave it on for around 30 minutes, then give it a good vacuuming.

Also, to give a fresh smell to a drawer, fill a small cloth bag with baking soda and put it into the drawer to help absorb odors.

Take note that baking soda is really good for this type of cleaning and deodorizing.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

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