Fabric triangles keep sheets from slipping

DEAR HELOISE: Garage sales and resale shops have supplied me with several nice sheet sets, except that the bottom sheet slips off the mattress at the headboard. Added elastic did no good, nor did the clip-on gadgets made for this.

I cut triangles out of sturdy fabric large enough to tuck under the mattress and sewed them to the corners, then hemmed them securely. No matter whether the mattress is thick or thin, the sheet with the triangle underneath the corner stays secure. — Becky, Texarkana, Texas

More than one use

DEAR READERS: Here are some uses for toothpicks:

n Use as a cake tester.

n Holds plastic wrap up off food.

n When painting a wall, place in nail holes to show where pictures were hung.

n Clean grime from under the edges of built-in stove tops.

n Use around the outside of baked goods to separate from the pan.

– Heloise

Cleanser concern

DEAR HELOISE: I have a big question that I haven’t seen addressed in your column. We live in the Hill Country of Texas (not too far from San Antonio), and we have a septic tank. What are the effects of vinegar on a septic tank? — Deanna J., Canyon Lake, Texas

DEAR DEANNA: Research shows that using safer biodegradable cleaners, like vinegar, is better than harsher cleaners, especially if you use a lot at one time. So, small amounts of vinegar as a cleaning agent should be OK in a septic system, and certainly is better than superstrong products.

We have a septic system, and I’ve used vinegar for 30 years without a problem.

Also, don’t stress the septic tank by running many loads of laundry and the dishwasher at the same time.

If cleaning-product labels warn of danger or poison, don’t pour them down the drain. There’s lots of information available online about the proper care of septic tanks. If you don’t have access to a computer, contact your county extension office.

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.

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