Dear Heloise: I love those tabletop water fountains made for use inside the home. I own several, and the instructions for each say to use distilled water in them. Is it completely necessary to use distilled water, and if so, can I make distilled water at home by boiling, etc.? — K.G., Via E-mail
Hmm! What an interesting question. We checked with a manufacturer, and a representative said distilled water is recommended because it does not contain calcium and magnesium salts that can build up in the motor and tubing, causing them to become blocked.
What is distilled water? It's made by a process that boils regular water and then collects the steam; the steam is then cooled to form water minus all the impurities.
You cannot make distilled water at home without a distilling system, which can be expensive. But you can probably use a water purifying system (the ones that filter water in a container on your kitchen countertop or in your refrigerator) without a problem.
Hope this helps you to keep your tabletop fountains in tiptop shape! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: When I go on vacation, I don't buy postcards to send back home. Instead, I have doubles made of the photos I take and mail them to friends and relatives. It's a much more personal touch.
You have to use permanent-ink pens when you write on the backs of the photos. I use an extra-fine-tip marker — otherwise, the ink will smear. —Marcie M., Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Dear Heloise: This helpful hint regards the iron and ironing board. I keep my ironing board in an extra bedroom. I am afraid I might leave the iron connected, so I use a triple plug. One wire is from a lamp, and one wire is from the iron. Whenever the iron is connected, the lamp is on. When I quit ironing, I pull out the triple plug. The light goes out, and I know the iron is OFF. — Connie Fabula, La Jolla, Calif.
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