A Bernese Mountain Dog sits on a Toronto front porch Saturday, July 6, 2019. There are new warnings from the FDA about certain brands of grain-free dog food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Hints: Dealing with a mess made by a dog

Dear Readers: If your dog wets on the carpet (and let’s face it; it’s bound to happen at least once), don’t worry. Blot up as much as you can with paper towels and sprinkle baking soda on the stain. Let sit for 15 minutes then vacuum thoroughly.

The baking soda with neutralize the stain and the odour — virtually no spot, no smell! Baking soda is a workhorse in the home. Nontoxic, safe, cheap and readily available, I keep boxes on hand.

I’ve compiled a collection of my favourite baking soda hints, hacks, recipes and helps into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy. Visit www.Heloise.com to order, or send a long, stamped (75 cents) envelope along with $5 to: Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Look for large boxes of baking soda in the laundry aisle for even more savings. — Heloise

INDOOR POLLUTION

Dear Heloise: Indoor air can be very polluted. Dust, animal dander, bacteria, dust mites, mold and mildew can alter the quality of the air you breathe. Here are some hints to reduce many indoor pollutants:

l Have your heating and air conditioning system checked once a year by a professional. Change or clean filters every month.

l Control the humidity level by trying to keep it between 30 per cent to 50 per cent. Dampness is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew.

l Dust your home often to eliminate animal dander, dust and dust mites.

l Use exhaust fans that vent to the outside. These can remove moisture and contaminants.

— Hector E., Baltimore, Md.

CONTRACTORS

Dear Heloise: We’re going to remodel our kitchen and master bath, but I don’t know what to ask the people I talk to about doing the work. Got any hints for me?

— Stacy R., Rittman, Ohio

Dear Stacy: First ask if they are licensed in your state. Next, are they insured and bonded? Will your remodelling project require a permit? Will they be using subcontractors? How long have they been in business? Will they provide you with a list of references and their phone numbers to ask if they were satisfied? Was the work finished on the agreed deadline? Last, were they happy with the job done? — Heloise

DIRTY TEDDY BEAR

Dear Heloise: I’m a single dad, and my 3-year-old daughter has a teddy bear she loves to death. I’ve sewn it up several times, but now it needs to be washed and I don’t know if it’s safe to wash or not. Can you help me out here? What should I do? — Jason F., Portland Ore.

Dear Jason: Place the bear in a pillowcase and close it with a safety pin. Wash on delicate with a little laundry detergent. Remember, less is more in this case. Rinse twice. Then put the bear (still in the pillowcase) in the dryer on low heat.

If it’s still damp when you remove it from the dryer, lay the bear out to dry completely. Give your daughter (and the teddy bear) a big hug from all of us here at Heloise Central. — Heloise

COFFEE CREAMER CONTAINERS

Dear Heloise: A large container of flour is hard to handle, especially for someone who is short like me (I’m 5 feet tall).

So I put flour in empty coffee creamer containers that have small holes and shake like a saltshaker. When I need just a little flour to use while making gravy or to thicken a sauce, it is much easier to use the coffee creamer container than try to scoop out flour from a big bag. — Helen S., New Haven, Conn.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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