Wicker furniture is easy to clean

Dear Heloise: I have some wicker furniture. It is dirty, and I was wondering what is the best way to clean it. — Cheryl, via email

Wicker is wonderful! If it’s indoor furniture, then all you need to do is pull out your vacuum and use the brush/upholstery attachment. Also, take the furniture outside if you can, and turn it upside down to really shake loose some of the dust.

If it needs a deeper clean, mix 2 pints of cool water and 1 tablespoon of salt, and apply to the wicker using a damp sponge or microfiber cloth. Don’t overwet; just wipe. After the solution has dried, scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water on a clean cloth and let dry.

This should get your wicker clean. For the future, dust or vacuum the piece often to keep dirt and dust from accumulating. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: A couple of our bathroom faucets started letting out noticeably less water when we turned them on. My husband took out the aerator screens and showed me all the sediment on them. To get the sediment off, he soaked them in vinegar for a couple of hours, and the faucets were like new. — Tina W. in Texas

Aerators can get clogged, especially if you have hard water, as we do here in San Antonio. Many times, just rinsing them under water will remove the dirt and sediment. However, for stubborn gunk, my beloved vinegar is just the answer. Just be sure not to soak any stainless-steel parts, or they can end up pitted.

Vinegar has so many uses! I wrote my Heloise’s Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More pamphlet, which you can order by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Add 1 cup of apple-cider vinegar to bath water. Makes your skin (and tub) squeaky clean! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I line my shelves with self-sticking shelf liner, but I have a hard time getting it to stick without air bubbles. I developed a new method. I remove the backing only from the edges, and I leave the center. Then when I place it on the shelf, only the edges stick. — Carol in Florida

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 email, Heloise@Heloise.com.