Dear Readers: Pouring boiling water down your kitchen sink may not be a good idea. If your kitchen plumbing is made of PVC piping (PVC is plastic), the hot water can potentially damage the pipes.
How to clean the drain? Sprinkle a generous amount (about 1 cup) of baking soda in the sink, dampen and buff gently. Then rinse with warm, not hot, water.
Baking soda is a workhorse in the home. Nontoxic, safe, cheap and readily available, I keep boxes on-hand. Add a generous glug of warm vinegar to amp up the cleaning power. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found spring cleaning to be more difficult. At one time I could sail through my little home and have it over within a weekend. Now, however, I do one room a month. I’ve also gotten less fussy over my home as far as cleaning goes. I’ll clean the windows and baseboards, shampoo area rugs if they need it, wash curtains or blinds, and vacuum all upholstered furniture, then polish all the wood furniture. Since I live alone, my home stays clean 99 per cent of the time, and I have time to do the things I really love doing. – Elaine V., Ocala, Fla.
Need to dust some tiny or complicated areas? Try this: Use a small paintbrush to clean …
— Ornate picture frames
— Louvered doors
— Figurines — Fancy moldings
LITTLE RED WAGON
Dear Heloise: I hated running back and forth from the house to the detached garage when unloading groceries. Then one day I saw a little red wagon at a garage sale and got an idea. I bought the wagon, and now I load it up with all sorts of items when I’ve been shopping. No more four and five trips out to the car to get things! — Ellen A, Fort Wayne, Ind.
WHAT IS WICKER?
Dear Heloise: Remember wicker from the 1980s? It appears to be making a comeback! But what is wicker? A fiber? — Shauna S. in Tennessee
Shauna, yes, I’ve been seeing more wicker about. The term “wicker,” however, refers not to the material, but to the actual act of constructing the piece. Wicker, some say, is derived from the word “woven.” What’s woven? Reed, willow, rattan … strong, durable fibers that are lightweight. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I’m hearing the term “mid-century modern” a lot these days. What does it mean? — Angie R. in Oklahoma
Angie, “century,” of course, refers to the century that’s passed, the 20th century, and “mid-century” is anywhere typically between 1935 and about 1965. The phrase refers to architecture, interior design, photography, even clothes and jewelry.
You must be doing some remodeling or decorating! Mid-century modern designs feature clean, uncluttered lines, sparse and spare furnishings without a lot of detail work on them – just pieces that invoke a feeling of simplicity and freshness. Nothing fancy or frou-frou, for sure! Enjoy your decorating; email me a pic! – Heloise