Pull spout from laundry detergent bottles for a bit more cleaning power

DEAR HELOISE: Don’t toss the laundry-detergent bottle when it no longer pours. Carefully remove the spout with pliers, and you’ll usually find enough detergent for another load of clothes. Also works with dishwasher detergent. – Dolores G., via email

DEAR DOLORES: You also can add some water to the bottle, slosh it around and pour into the washer while it is filling up. - Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I had the stove moved to clean behind it. Yikes, such a disgrace! Once the stove was moved back, there is a small space between the stove and cupboard.

I got out the trusty duct tape and put it sticky-side up on the floor by the stove and countertop to catch the debris. – Pat Z., Warren, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: All the media suggest changing batteries in our smoke alarm when the time changes. Since daylight saving time is now for nearly eight months, this leaves batteries in twice as long as “regular time.” I change ours Jan. 1 and July 4. This equals battery time of six months each, and they are very easy dates to remember. – J.B. in Atlanta, Texas

DEAR J.B.: You can do this if you like, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, once a year is fine for changing the batteries in smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. – Heloise

DEAR HELOISE: I’d like to share a couple of my hints with you and your readers: Plastic bags from dry cleaners are great for covering seasonal centerpieces, floral centerpieces and door wreaths.

Plastic hangers with “clips” on each end are great for drying hand-washables. Roll an item in a bath towel to remove excess water, then hang it on the clips to complete drying. – G.P., Middlebury, Conn.

DEAR HELOISE: I use a drawer-style plastic box (17-quart size) in my cupboard to hold all my mixing utensils and measuring cups, spatulas, potato masher, etc. I have limited drawer space, and all those utensils cluttered my counter space. It doubles as a shelf to put hot pads, recipe books or even towels on. This is my favorite hint, and I show everyone this idea. – A Reader, Sanford, Mich.

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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