Home & Garden

Hints From Heloise: Best ways to whiten clothes

DEAR HELOISE: Would you kindly share your “recipe” for whitening clothes? Thank you.

Ralf in Stuart, Fla.

DEAR RALF: Keeping whites white can be a challenge, and it’s much different today than it was years ago.

Most automatically think “bleach” to whiten, but stop! Chlorine bleach breaks down fluorescent brighteners that manufacturers use in a lot of white fabrics, even bath towels. How crazy is that? Don’t use chlorine bleach on white towels?

Mix up a solution of equal parts hydrogen peroxide (3 percent), baking soda and water. Put the clothes in the washer, turn the water on until it fills the tub, then pour in the magic formula. Let sit for five to six hours, then wash as usual. Stains happen, no matter what.

DEAR READERS: Surely someone in your family has had a minor medical situation, such as cold symptoms, sore throat, a minor cut or pinkeye, but your family doctor is booked. Think about the medical clinics that are appearing in grocery stores, drugstores and big-box stores, and as stand-alone businesses in many strip centers.

If there is one in your neighborhood, stop in and take a look around. The plus side is extended hours, they accept most insurance, and you usually don’t need an appointment.

DEAR HELOISE: This is my pet peeve: When I approach a stop sign after a man at an opposite corner, and he signals me to go through the intersection. Please, follow the rules of the road, and don’t worry about me. I can handle myself!

Janet, via email

DEAR JANET: Wow! Those are awfully strong words. If someone is being courteous, what is the harm? The other driver (would you have the same reaction if the driver was female?) probably is just being nice. Readers, what say you?

DEAR HELOISE: I am at my wits’ end! My clothes in my closet are dusty. I hate, hate, hate dust, plus I am allergic to dust, and it causes havoc with my asthma! I don’t have a clue!

Lorilynn, via email

DEAR LORILYNN: I hear you! Dust is a pain that unfortunately will not go way.

The only way to prevent dust in the closet is to be sure there is no AC vent inside the closet. If so, close it.

Keep the doors closed, and hang garments up to “air out” before putting them back in the closet. No fresh air, either – it carries dust with it. The classic Catch-22!

Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.