DEAR HELOISE: We have large, doormat-style rugs at the inside doors of our church for folks to clean their feet as they enter the church. With all the traffic, the rug mats, once secured by two-way tape, have moved, leaving a sticky substance on the church rug. How can we remove the sticky tape residue without ruining the rug?
– Janis McQuade, Elkin, N.C.
DEAR JANIS: What a sticky situation! First thing to do is to try to gently scrape off the stuff with a dull knife or spoon. Then blot the area with dry-cleaning solvent (which you can buy at most grocery stores). Blot the area until the dry-cleaning solvent is absorbed, and try to remove the adhesive. The next step is to mix a solution of 2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Again using a clean cloth, blot the residue area with the solution. You probably will have to repeat this step several times.
DEAR HELOISE: I read the hint about disposing of broken glass and realized that I have a hint I could share:
I buy lots of pet food and save the empty bags (making sure there are no lingering pieces of kibble, then folding and storing in a kitchen cabinet). When there is an accident, I sweep up the broken glass and pour it directly from the dustpan into a pet-food bag, roll it shut and secure it with a bit of tape. Because of the wide mouth, it all pours in, and the multithickness of the bag prevents cuts.
– Pam Z. in Texas
DEAR PAM: A cleanup and recycle hint all in one! What could be better? Thanks for writing.
DEAR HELOISE: When traveling and staying at a hotel, turn one of the plastic sleeves covering the drinking glasses/cups inside out and cover the possibly unsanitized TV remote control.
– A Reader, Merrimack, N.H.
DEAR N.H.: Good travel and health hint, and one for folks in a hospital, too!
DEAR HELOISE: I haven’t seen this situation addressed, yet we who process mail orders encounter this problem daily. Possibly your readers can benefit from this bit of advice:
When sending in a check, money order or any type of payment with an order, do not use staples, tape or glue. This oftentimes destroys the payment, plus the order, as we attempt to take it apart. I don’t know if this has been given any thought by readers sending in mail orders, but it is very important.
– Julie B. in Indiana
DEAR READERS: Recently, a column about compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) explained how to clean up after one breaks. However, many of you wrote regarding how to dispose of the burned-out ones.
• Lyman and Rachel A. in Louisiana wrote: “Perhaps you should remind folks that burned-out bulbs cannot be put into regular household garbage or recycling, as they are considered hazardous materials. CFLs may be recycled at community hazmat recycling events. Also, big-box hardware stores offer recycling for bulbs of all shapes and sizes.”
• Jennifer M. in California wrote: “The CFL (broken or not) ... needs to go to a hazardous-material collection site. And while the readers are at it, they can take their batteries, old paint and chemicals there also.”
DEAR HELOISE: I hung a small wind chime on the inside doorknob of my back door, and hung a small bell on a string from the doorknob inside my front door. I know from the sound which door someone is coming through – or for that matter, when my kids come in late at night.
– A Reader in Virginia
DEAR VIRGINIA: I, too, have a bell on each door in our home, and I can hear which door my husband, David, is coming in. A cheap alarm!
DEAR HELOISE: When shopping for produce, I find it easy to slip a hand into a produce bag provided, then grab lettuce, radishes, etc. I then pull the produce bag over my hand and the produce. This keeps my hand dry, and it’s so much easier than trying to push items, especially lettuce, into the bag.
– Liz G., via email