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Hints from Heloise: Keep carpet looking good

Dear Readers: Whether your carpet is brand-new or has been around for quite a while, there are some things you can do to keep it looking and smelling good . . . and regular vacuuming is one of them. Here are some other hints:

When vacuuming, take slow, overlapping strokes to really clean out embedded dirt particles.

If you have a pet, fleas could be a problem. Your vacuum is your best ally. Be sure to vacuum the carpet after applying flea killers.

You can't vacuum well if the bag is full, so check it often. If the bag needs to be emptied, you can prevent dust clouds by emptying it into a large, plastic garbage bag. If your vacuum uses disposable bags, keep them handy in a cleaning tote.

Shedding is common in new carpeting. Loose fibers left over from the manufacturing process rise to the surface, so don't panic!

It's a good idea to keep drapes or blinds closed on sunny days. Overexposure to the sun will fade some carpet fibers. —Heloise


FYI: Sparkling windows make this quick cleanup worthwhile. Spray the windows with some full-strength white household vinegar and then wipe them dry with a piece of crumpled newspaper. —Heloise

P.S. The newspaper might leave some ink on your hands, but that will wash off.

Dear Heloise:With so many people taking medications, what happens to the empty pill bottles? Do you know of any craft ideas or projects using empty, plastic pill bottles? —Virginia from Washington

Virginia, a lot of people reuse these bottles around the house for craft items. One reader said she takes three of the same size, tapes them together and uses them for odds and ends in craftwork. Another reader said she glues one of the items in the bottle on the top so she can easily find what she needs.

Sewing notions also fit in the bottles, which keeps them handy. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: Here in "tornado alley," winds are often so strong! Especially hard-hit are the many cemeteries, where expensive flowers are blown from tombstones and graves. Caretakers collect them and throw them away because they don't know where they belong.

Velma, my sister, writes on the holder with a permanent marker the name of the person on whose grave she is placing the flowers. If the spray is blown off, others will know where to return it. I thought your readers would welcome this suggestion. —Kathryn in Arkansas



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