Hints from Heloise: Gasoline smell in clothes tough to remove

Published: Saturday, Apr. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 9CALIFORNIA LIFE

DEAR HELOISE: Do you have any hints for removing gasoline smell from clothing?

I have run them through the washer multiple times, but it hasn't worked!


– Sandi L. In Montana

DEAR SANDI: Yikes and double yikes! As you have found out, just washing gasoline-soaked clothing – especially heavy jeans or work shirts – does not get the clothing completely odor- or stain-free. Since gasoline is a petroleum product, it can leave an oily residue and odor even if washed several times.

To be 100 percent safe, the clothes should be hung outside to air out for at least 24 hours, until the smell is completely gone, before washing the clothing.

If they are really saturated, you should first hose them off outside. Since there is a slight risk of combustion because of the potential fumes coming from the washing machine, do not put them in the washer until you can no longer smell the gasoline.

After airing the clothing outside, wash the items alone on the hottest setting that's safe for the fabric, and at the highest water level. Add 1/4 cup of ammonia and a little extra detergent. Do not also run the dryer with wet clothes while the soiled clothes are in the washer, in case the gas fumes linger.

You must let them air-dry and see if the gasoline smell is gone.

If not, repeat the steps. Do not put the clothes in the dryer until the stain and smell are completely gone.

DEAR HELOISE: My smartphone auto-rotates the screen depending on which way I am holding it.

Is there a way to disable this?

– A Reader, via email

DEAR A: You, too! My new phone does the same thing sometimes. It depends on which phone you have.

But you can try this: Double-click the home button (the same way you would to close applications). This should bring up a multitasking bar on your screen. Swipe across the icons from the left to the right, and you will see a circular arrow, which is the auto-rotate symbol on most phones. By tapping this icon, you will turn off auto-rotate.

If that doesn't work with your phone, go to your phone's menu and choose "Settings." Select "Display," and it should give you an option for auto-rotate.

If you still are having trouble disabling auto-rotation, contact your service provider or stop by a location. Someone there should be able to help you.

DEAR HELOISE: It is a struggle to get my son to read. I have a system to get him to read more. For every minute he reads, he gets a minute to do something he wants. He can watch TV, play outside, etc. If he reads for five minutes, then he gets five minutes of TV, or whatever. This method could be used with all sorts of activities.

– A Busy Mom, via email

Send a great hint to Heloise, P.O. 79500, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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