DEAR HELOISE: I like to use reusable bags for my groceries, and over time the cardboard bottoms get bent. This hint was suggested to me by a checkout girl at my favorite grocery store. I tried it, and it works great.
First, wash each bag as directed. Next, purchase plastic needlepoint canvas from a craft store the heavier, the better. Cut each sheet to fit your bags, using the old cardboard as a pattern. You can cut this as large or as small as you like. I cut mine to fit inside the bottom seams for each bag. Then you can simply slip-stitch the canvas inside each bag. I used heavy-duty thread and stitched all around the bottom of each bag.
I fixed all my bags this way several months ago, and so far they all are in very good shape.
Betsy L., Camp Hill, Pa.
DEAR READERS: What everyday items around your house can be used to remove a splinter?
b.) White school glue
c.) A credit card
d.) All of the above
The answer is "d." for superficial splinters, any type of tape, a thin layer of glue that has dried, or a credit card (gently used in swiping motion) should get the splinter right out.
DEAR HELOISE: I have a hint regarding postage. I purchased a pretty good postal scale, as I do a lot of mailings. At each group of mailings, I calibrate my scale to zero to make sure everything goes OK. Then I take five quarters (25-cent pieces) and check my scale, and it should be exactly 1 ounce.
I told clerks at a post office about my system, and they were a little skeptical, but tried it. Sure enough, it came to 1 ounce; however, the post office calibrates its scales with a special system.
Ed M., East McKeesport, Pa.
DEAR HELOISE: While dressing recently, I noticed that my blouse collar curled up. Since I was in a hurry and my curling iron was hot, I quickly sprayed some hair spray and ironed the curl away.
Nancy Z., Portage, Ind.
DEAR NANCY: Great hint just be careful about using hair spray, because it might stain your clothing, so don't do this on an item of clothing that requires dry cleaning.
DEAR HELOISE: Help! Any advice for getting underarm stains from deodorant/ perspiration out of men's shirts? Thanks.
J.A. In Dayton, Ohio
DEAR J.A.: Yes, I do have some helpful hints for you and my readers to take care of this unsightly problem. According to the experts at the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute, stains can occur with prolonged exposure to deodorants and perspiration. Here are some hints for how to clean stains and prevent them in the future:
Before washing, soak the garment (especially the underarm area) in an enzyme detergent or presoak.
Wash shirt in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.
Wash the shirt as soon as possible don't let it "cure."
Wearing a garment again before washing can cause buildup; wear it once.
Try not to overuse deodorant, and let it dry before putting clothing on.