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Unstick envelopes with an iron

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Dear Heloise: I have lots of envelopes that have sealed due to dampness, as well as greeting cards whose ENVELOPES ARE STUCK.

Is there a way to unstick these items, or should they be discarded? — Loretta Rutkowski, Perry Hall, Md.

Definitely don't throw them away without first trying one or all three of the following Heloise hints:

1. Try using your iron, set on low heat. Gently glide over the "stuck" seal, then follow by sliding a butter knife between the flap and the envelope.

2. For a quicker version of Hint 1, place a slightly dampened cloth over the seal first, then place the iron on it for a quick second or two. The heat and moisture will usually do the trick. Caution: Make sure the iron is on LOW heat so that you don't burn the envelope.

3. Put the envelopes in the freezer for 24 hours or so to help "dry out" the adhesive seal. Remove them and slide a dull knife between the flap and the envelope.

One of these should do the trick and save you a trip to the store for more envelopes.

Always store envelopes at normal room temperature, away from any moisture. If you live in a humid area where this might not be possible, fold the adhesive flaps over to the front of the envelope (adhesive facing out) and place a piece of wax paper between each envelope (the wax-paper pieces can be reused with each new box of envelopes). This will help to keep them from self-sealing. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I grew weary of expensive eyebrow brushes falling apart, so now I buy a plain, small children's toothbrush, and the brush lasts and lasts and lasts! — Norma Carlin, Spring, Texas

I've been using the same lime-green child's toothbrush for more than 25 years! I wash it out every so often, and the best part is that I can spot it easily. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: Here's my easy solution to a handy kitchen towel. Use a golf towel with a grommet and a shower-curtain ring to fasten it to the handle of the oven door. Mine slides back and forth between the sink and counter, doesn't fall off and dries easily. — Jane Ault, Sun City West, Ariz.

You could also attach the towel to a drawer or refrigerator handle or even a cupboard doorknob. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I am writing in response to the reader who had problems with discoloration in the coffee-maker basket. Something that I have found helps somewhat is to soak the basket, then use a cotton-tipped swab to remove accumulations, especially in those hard-to-get-to places. — Ruth Smith Berry, Loganton, Pa.