Hints from Heloise: Cleaning the house

Published 8:00 am Saturday, October 9, 2021

Dear Heloise: I own a company that cleans office buildings and homes, and there are some small secrets to cleaning a place that some people don’t know. Perhaps I can save them time and money by sharing a few.

— First, most people use too much product to clean glass. Use a little less and you’ll avoid streaks. Better yet, we use car wax on large mirrors and glass. Apply it, let it dry, then buff it off. You get a beautiful shine.

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— Never use bleach on laminated countertops. You’ll ruin them in a short time. Never use bleach on natural stone countertops, either. You’ll end up removing the sealant. Both countertops do well with hot water, mild dish soap and a clean sponge. Dry off after you wash it.

— Don’t use vinegar on grout. Sudsy ammonia is best for tile floors/counters/showers with grout. Vinegar will eventually eat away at the grout.

— If you want to clean your rugs, vacuum first, then use a steam cleaner afterward. However, never saturate the rug with water, or you’ll end up with mold and mildew. Remember, don’t use more soap than the instructions call for, or you’ll end up with a soap residue. If in doubt, hire a professional to do the job.

— Got a feather duster? Throw it out. It just moves dust around. And always dust before you vacuum. –George J., Quincy, Massachusetts


Dear Heloise: My pen leaked in my shirt pocket, and now I don’t know how to remove the stain. Can you offer a hint on this one? — Thomas S., Wake Forest, N.C.

Thomas, soak the ink spot in warm milk before ink has a chance to dry. For a dry ink stain, rub in table salt and dribble lemon juice over the salt. Repeat if you need to, but this should do it!

For all of my readers out there, I have a pamphlet on removing odors and stains in my pamphlet Heloise’s Handy Stain Guide for Clothing. To get a copy, just go to www.Heloise.com, or send $5 along with a stamped, self-addressed, long envelope to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Make your life easier with this handy guide on stain removal. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: My brother will be entering college in the spring of 2022. So before he goes I’d like to get him a nice gift, but I don’t know what he’ll need or would use. Any hints on gift giving? — Michelle M., Garden City, Kansas

Michelle, a dictionary or a thesaurus (or both) would certainly be useful. A gift card to a bookstore will also come in handy. An alarm clock or a backpack might be nice for him. As he gets closer to entering college, he might start to drop hints on what he needs. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just useful. — Heloise

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