Home Life & Style Hints From Heloise: Let’s clean!

Hints From Heloise: Let’s clean!

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Dear Readers: It’s Saturday; let’s clean! But are we cleaning or disinfecting? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning is defined as using soap or detergent to remove dirt, dust, grime and germs from surfaces, but doesn’t necessarily kill the germs. Disinfecting involves using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.

Common everyday commercial products that you find at the grocery store are fine to clean and disinfect. But you can save money by making your own cleaner/disinfectant at home.

I’ve compiled my favorite Homemade Cleaning Solutions into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? Visit Heloise.com to order, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope with $5 to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

FYI: Never, never ever mix ammonia with bleach. This will cause a noxious gas.

Dear Readers: Meet Denise R.’s Patootie, an adorable, smiling Terrier mix. She is ready to play!

Do you have a furry and funny friend you’d like to share? Email a picture and description to: [email protected]

Dear Heloise: We adopted Patootie, a rescued stray, two years ago, and she arrived with chronic ear problems. We’ve found that the home remedy swimmers ear cure — equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar — seems to keep her ears healthy.

If she starts pawing at her ears and they sound squishy, I fill up her ear canal with the solution and massage the base of her ears to make sure it goes in. She doesn’t love it, but she does love that the mixture dries out her ears.

The groomer, who cleans her ears as part of the session, said that her ears had never looked better. I thought you’d want to know yet another use for vinegar! Cheers!

— Denise R., San Antonio, Texas

Denise R.: Thanks so much! Readers, check out Heloise.com to see Patootie, and check with your veterinarian about the alcohol and vinegar ear solution!

Dear Heloise: I have a lot of pet hair on my carpet, but I can get a twofer (exercise and pet hair pickup) by using my rubber garden clogs. I drag my feet back and forth, right to left and back. That movement gives me great inner thigh aerobic exercise. It also gathers the pet hair into an easy-to-pick-up shape. I don’t have to empty my vacuum container as often either.

— Barbara C., San Antonio, Texas

Barbara C.: I love this! The idea of getting beneficial exercise from the mundane task of picking up pet hair is fabulous! I think I’m going to try that myself. Thanks for sharing. Keep those ideas coming.

Dear Heloise: If you’re from Texas, you know about the burning, itching effects from a close encounter with a fire ant. Out of desperation, I dabbed hand sanitizer on my stings and found that the alcohol in it must have neutralized the poison. Within minutes, the itching and stinging eased up.

— Jane in Texas

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to [email protected]

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