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Cleaning dryer hose may make your home safer and you richer

Dear Heloise: I'm sure I read in your or your mother's column about the importance of cleaning the dryer vent/hose. Not only is not cleaning it a fire hazard, but it slows the drying time.

Well, I never knew how to clean one until today. By accident, I pulled the dryer too far away from the wall, and the flexible hose came loose at the bottom. A pile of lint fell out. I shook the hose and another pile fell out with two old credit cards that belonged to one of my sons. Next I saw a drill bit and some wires from bras. Then the money!

Talk about washing money! When I finished vacuuming out the machine by sticking the vacuum hose all the way in the end, I thought I was at a slot machine in Atlantic City.

I wound up with:

12 quarters

23 dimes

4 nickels

21 pennies

for a total of $5.71.

I can't believe it! Now I'm wondering about maintenance men at laundry places — I wonder what they find? Good for a laugh and a little profit! — Lois McLain, Interlaken, N.J.

Wow! Maybe that's where all those missing socks go! Folks, take a look at that dryer hose today. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I recently discovered that to remove paint from skin, baby oil works like a charm and isn't harsh on your skin. — Doriece Otto, Houston, Texas

Yup! Plain old baby or mineral oil works wonders! Here's another neat paint hint from Mildred Shepherd of Arlington, Va. She says: "All of us have used masking tape to avoid getting paint on unwanted places, and all of us have used dropcloths to protect floors and furniture, but how about our shoes? My husband just takes the roll of masking tape and neatly applies a few strips to the toes of his shoes! The job is done; the tape comes off in just a few seconds, and his shoes are as neat and shiny as ever!"

Dear Heloise: As we get older, it's hard to clean the bathtub and tile. I've found that if you use a nylon back brush (the kind with the handle), it makes the job much easier to do. You can always use one color for cleaning and another color for a back brush. — Nell Perez, Irving, Texas

Dear Heloise: I buy big bags of birdseed and then transfer them to milk bottles. This way, the bottles are recycled, the use of paper is lessened, and what a great way to pour the seed into the feeders without spilling any on the ground. I usually buy my seed from the park district to help support our parks. — Dave, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I save my large coffee cans. Then when I have a large family gathering and there are lots of leftovers, and I want to send some home with the kids, I just put a plastic bag in the can and fill it with leftovers. It is great, and I don't have to worry about getting my container back. — Linda O'Brien from Indiana

Send a great hint to:


P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

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