Kids' party hat can double as funnel

DEAR HELOISE: Hello! Today it was time to empty two partial liquid-laundry-detergent containers into one. I didn’t have a funnel to fit the detergent bottle.

In the pantry, I spotted some little kids’ cardboard cone-style party hats left over from a party. I cut the pointed end to fit snugly into the detergent bottle. No detergent burps or spills, and the used “funnel” went into the garbage. — Mary, via email

DEAR HELOISE: Here’s an easy way to make a homemade air freshener: All you do is slice some lemons into a pot of water and let it come to a boil. Turn the heat off and let sit on the stove. The aroma will waft through your home, giving a wonderful citrus smell. — M.G., via email

DEAR HELOISE: I recently got married and moved into my husband’s home. For the first time in all my years, I found holes in my T-shirts. After my husband pulled a suit out of another closet, it finally dawned on me that it is moths. Can you please help me get rid of the moth problem? — Denise, via email

DEAR DENISE: Your best bet is to try to remove everything and clean it, or at least examine the items for moths or larvae. Take them outside and shake them out. Wash the clothes that you can with the hottest water safe for the fabric. Dry clean the rest, if you can. Vacuum the closet, and scrub the walls and floor if possible. If storing items in the closet, place them in plastic storage boxes to give added protection.

An inexpensive way is to buy cedar chips. Place in an old pair of pantyhose and tie off the end. You can make it however large or small you need, depending on the size of the space. You can place in closets, drawers, etc. Hope these hints help rid you of your moth problem. — Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I have arthritis, which means it is difficult for me to turn the key in the lock on my front door. A wonderful lady at a home-improvement store helped me. She made me a new key with a square, extra-large base for my fingers. It is great. It’s cute, and I now have a painless way to open my front door. — Maria in Huntington Beach, Calif.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a new above-the-counter microwave that I used for popcorn. I apparently left the popcorn bag in too long. The bag got smoky, caused the interior to be covered in a smoke film, and it smells on the interior. I was able to get most of the smell out, but a “yellowing” color remains on the interior. Any suggestions? Thank you. — Rick Schweer, via email

DEAR RICK: This happens a lot. Heloise hint here: Don’t walk away from the microwave while cooking popcorn.

Sprinkle some baking soda on a wet, clean sponge or dishcloth, and wipe all the inside surfaces of the microwave, especially where you notice the yellowing. You may need to do this a couple of times to completely remove the discoloring. Baking soda is such a good cleaner and deodorizer. Since it is so cheap, it’s a favorite of mine.

Baking soda also can be used to clean the rubber gasket on your microwave as well as your refrigerator. Make a paste of half water and half baking soda, and use a sponge to rub it around the gasket. Rinse well, using a damp microfiber cloth, and dry. — Heloise

Hints from Heloise is syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Send great hints to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; by fax, 210-HELOISE (435-6473); or by e-mail,