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HELOISE: Diluting bleach stops spots

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear Heloise: I just had to thank you and the woman who wrote to share what she learned about the use of the bleach dispenser in an automatic washer. That finally solved the mystery of the intermittent spots in my laundry.

I was getting a few small bleach spots only every once in a while, and it seemed to coincide with the times that my husband helped by doing his load of whites with bleach. After reading about how bleach can lodge in the bleach dispenser and be spit out onto the next load, I realized what had happened.

After my mother’s admonition, I had always diluted the bleach I put into the dispenser, but my husband hadn’t, so the spots appeared only after he’d done his bleach load. He now knows to dilute the bleach!

Elsie in Huntsville, Ala.

Isn’t it amazing that we are still learning from each other? Thanks to all my readers who take the time to share.


Dear Heloise: When preparing to move across the country, I bought a three-section wire-bound notebook to help keep me organized.

I used one section for details on the place I was moving from: the Realtor’s info, checklist of utilities to turn off, garage sale/recycling info, how to transfer medical records, etc. I used another section for details of the place I was moving to. The middle section was for details needed in transit: the moving company, lodging reservations en route, etc.

I’ve kept the same notebook and used it for a couple of moves since then. When it came time to shut off utilities at the first place I moved to, the information was still there, and that became the “from” section for the next move.

It is important that everyone helping you move know what the notebook looks like so that it does not get packed.

Early on, clear one shelf in a kitchen cupboard, linen closet, etc., and use it for the things that must not be packed, such as current medications, maps, notebook, cellphone chargers, keys or garage-door openers to be left behind.

Moving is always stressful, but keeping the most essential information in one place can help with your peace of mind.

Peg Wherry, Bozeman, Mont.

Dear Heloise: When working in my flower gardens, sometimes the gardening tools are too big to get between dense plants. I found the perfect solution: I use a pronged spaghetti scoop. It’s just the right size!

Fits easily between and around all plants.

Jean Milici, Torrington, Conn.

Dear Heloise: In the kitchen drawers for utensils and small household gadgets, I use plastic place mats as liners. If they are too large, I trim the transparent border for an exact fit. One side has a textured, nondecorative surface, which prevents it from slipping in the drawer. The place mats are easy to clean, too.

Margarette Mattern, Temple, Texas

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or email it to

King Features Syndicate