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Hints From Heloise: Most down quilts do not need to be dry cleaned

DEAR HELOISE: Can a feather down quilt be cleaned at home safely? I live in a rural area with no dry cleaners. Any help is appreciated.

E. Gall, Hot Springs, S.D.

DEAR E. GALL: Yes, you can clean it at home; most do not have to be dry cleaned. If there is a laundry facility near you, it probably will have large-capacity washers and dryers. This job can be done there quicker and more easily than at home.

Most important: Check to be sure the seams are secure. If the quilt was handmade, or is very old, don’t put it in a top-load washing machine – it just may fall apart!

Do check the care label. You should be able to use a washing machine. Do wash it by itself. Do use mild laundry liquid detergent and the delicate cycle.

Do use an extra rinse or two to remove all the soap

Do place it in the dryer alone. Do dry on low temperature for longer time, not on high heat for less time.

DEAR HELOISE: My family does a lot of traveling by car. Everyone is responsible for his or her luggage, pillows and anything taken into a motel room. You “pack out what you packed in” every day. Mom and Dad are not housekeepers; the kids must pick up, clean up and keep the room neat. Trash is discarded every time we stop for gas or supplies, not at the end of the day! The kids draw cards to see who gets to ride shotgun, and they can trade if they want to.

Ma and Pa Plus Four from New England

P.S.: Oh, yes, the grown-ups’ two votes outweigh all others!

DEAR HELOISE: I have been using your cleaning solution for about a year. I am ready to make a new batch, but I have misplaced the recipe. Can you please reprint it?

E.M., via email

DEAR E.M.: Happy to reprint it for you. Here is the recipe for one of my all-purpose cleaners. You will need:

▪  1/2 cup of ammonia

▪ 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol

▪  1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid

Mix the ingredients together with enough water to make 1 gallon. Put in a clean bottle and label clearly. Do wear gloves, and don’t let children play with this. There are so many cheap cleaning solutions that you can make. To receive the best money-saving recipes, order my pamphlet. Send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Don’t forget to always have vinegar and baking soda handy. These two are great for grease and grime and general cleaning.

DEAR HELOISE: Regarding the hint about carrying a whistle in the woods so you can be found: I carry a whistle with me so that if anyone approaches me in any kind of unusual manner, I can just start blowing it for some attention.

I.G., via email

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

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