Dear Readers: Spring cleaning is in full swing. Closet cleaning? Here are some items to NOT donate to charity: — Dirty, stained, ripped, moldy, foul-smelling clothes and shoes.
— Dirty, stained, chipped, cracked kitchen dishes and service items.
— Furniture that is beyond reupholstering, be it damaged or worn, covered in pet hair, etc. — Electronics older than five years. — Toys with broken and/or missing components.
— Out of season clothes and household items.
Call the donation center if you have questions about what you can and cannot donate. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Recently I had my first big dinner party and used a beautiful tablecloth given to me by my mother-in-law. Unfortunately, it has candle wax spilled on it, and I don’t know how to get it out. HELP! — Taylor D., Burlington, Vt.
Taylor, first, put the tablecloth in a plastic bag and put it in your freezer for a couple of days. When the wax has hardened, carefully scrape off the wax with a dull knife. Place paper towels on both sides of the stain and turn on your iron to a warm (not hot) setting. Press over the paper towel to absorb all of the wax. Keep moving the paper towel around to absorb the wax stain onto a clean area. Launder or dry clean your tablecloth as you would normally do. —Heloise
TASTY ICE CUBES
Dear Heloise: With warmer weather on its way, my family likes to enjoy a cold drink of lemonade or sometimes a soft drink. I take an ice cube tray and freeze ice cubes from the lemonade or soft drink so the drink stays cold and the ice doesn’t water down the taste. When I make punch for a party, I do the same thing with an ice ring so the punch doesn’t end up tasting bland. — Tanya C., Springdale, Ark.
Dear Heloise: Here where I live we have beautiful azaleas, and I’ve found a way to make my azaleas bloom and thrive better than most! I take leftover coffee and use it in my garden, then sprinkle the coffee grounds around the plants. Azaleas are an acid-loving plant, and by adding a little more acidity (careful — not too much) it helps to nourish my azaleas and makes them grow abundantly. — Darla K., Metairie, La.
Dear Readers: A ripped, torn or dirty mask will not provide an acceptable level of protection. Throw it out and get a new one. — Heloise
P.S. Cut the elastic bands on the mask before disposing of it so the bands can’t get wrapped around anything or anybody, like wildlife.
Dear Heloise: With all the hand-washing and hand sanitizer, my nails are in bad shape. Any hints for this? — Mary Ellen R. in New Jersey
Mary Ellen, use a cuticle oil immediately after washing hands, and rub in petroleum jelly around cuticles at night. Keep your diet strong with milk (if you can have it), sweet potatoes and broccoli. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I use a rubber squeegee on my dog to remove loose hair before washing. This saves my plumbing from all the hair, and the dog gets cleaner. — Gary P. in Indiana