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Save water, reduce clogs while avoiding plumber

DEAR HELOISE: When people use the garbage disposal, they only let the water run for a short period of time. This does not flush the garbage from the “U” pipe below the sink. I save the water (that I run to get it hot) in a gallon milk jug. When I use the garbage disposal now, I use the whole gallon of water to make sure all the water has gone down the drain. I hope this helps people avoid a huge plumbing bill. – Rosemary in Texas

Cabinet space

DEAR HELOISE: We recently moved into a house with very little cabinet and drawer space under the sinks in the master bathroom. In the cabinet, I use stackable plastic drawers for my small items (makeup, toiletries, medicines, etc.) and still have room for larger items. I am actually more organized and neater than I was with more space.

My husband sometimes works nights. So not to bother him when he is going to bed and I’m getting up to start my day, I just pull out the plastic drawer and take it to another part of the house. – Sherry in Monument, Colo.

Close curtains

DEAR HELOISE: I take a binder clip with me on vacation. It’s perfect for clipping together hotel-room draperies that won’t close all the way otherwise. — Alice Berntson, Salem, Ore.

Toasty bed

DEAR HELOISE: Here’s the solution to the problem of bedsheet selection in the winter. My husband is from Buffalo, N.Y., and he likes to use cotton sheets in the winter. I am from Miami, and I hate cold cotton sheets when I am already cold enough. Since he won’t switch to the flannel sheets that I love for the winter, I take a beach towel and stretch it out over the fitted cotton sheets on my side of the bed. We’re both happy, and the problem is solved. — Shirley, Falls Church, Va.

Sink stains

DEAR HELOISE: I have a hint for cleaning old enamel kitchen sinks: use dishwasher gel. Spread a thin film, using rubber gloves, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse, and your sink will be sparkling white. – Angela Helot of Niles, Ohio

DEAR ANGELA: Yep, it’s the strong concentration of detergent and chlorine bleach. Don’t use this on a colored sink. – Heloise

Glow in the dark

DEAR HELOISE: I don’t want to awaken my husband by turning on the light when I get up, so I put a big stick-on, glow-in-the dark star on the doorjamb of the bathroom. A second star is on the flashlight by the bedside table and another is on the switch for the lamp. – Barb in Virginia

Shower-curtain repair

DEAR HELOISE: If the holes at the top of a plastic shower curtain rip open, I cut the good part of the plastic shower curtain into a gigantic square or rectangle and use the sheet of plastic as a colorful tablecloth on one of my outdoor patio tables. – Christie Adams, Honolulu

DEAR CHRISTIE: Aloha to my readers in Hawaii! Glad to be back “visiting” Oahu! Mahalo. – Heloise

Vinegar for coffeepot and pet dish

DEAR HELOISE: I use the vinegar from cleaning my coffeepot to clean my dog’s water dish or the birdbath. Hot vinegar works really well, and I don’t waste energy heating vinegar for both tasks. – Margaret Schultz, Green Lake, Wis.

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, Heloise@Heloise.com.

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