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Hints from Heloise: Make affordable window cleaner

Dear Heloise: Would you kindly print the necessary ingredients for cleaning windows? I remember that rubbing alcohol was one of the items and have misplaced your instructions for the right amounts, etc. Thanks.—Mom, via e-mail

Happy to oblige! This "recipe" is inexpensive to make and works just as good as commercial products. Mix 12 to 16 ounces of water, 1/2 cup white or apple-cider vinegar, 1/4 cup (70 percent) rubbing alcohol and 1 to 2 drops of blue or green food coloring if you want it to look like window cleaner. I like to add a drop or two of essential oil, and one of my favorites is orange because it's refreshing.

Vinegar also can help keep your windshield free of frost if you leave your car out overnight in the winter. Use a solution of three parts white or cider vinegar to one part water. These are just two of the many recipes you'll find in the six-page vinegar pamphlet that you can have by sending $4 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (58 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

FYI: If you use newspaper instead of paper towels to dry windows, you're not only recycling, but newspaper doesn't leave behind lint. And many readers say they spray the cleaner on sturdy paper towels and attach them to mops that use pads for cleaning in order to clean hard-to-reach windows.


Dear Heloise: I read the suggestion to use plastic ties instead of locks for luggage. I've used heavy cotton string to tie together zipper tabs, and I know that if the string is cut, they've opened my luggage.

On a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, we arrived at the hotel, and I had to chase down a cleaning lady for scissors to cut the string. I still use string, but tie a loose knot that I will be able to untie. Baggage handlers won't take the time to untie it.

—Ann Finnerty, Phoenix

Dear Heloise: We live in Nevada, where there are many hot days throughout the year. A long time ago, we made it a household rule that we would only eat chicken or fish on the night before trash night, because it makes the garbage can stink so bad.

I found a solution to this problem. Whenever we have chicken or fish, I place the raw scraps in a plastic bag and freeze it. After freezing, we put it in the garbage on trash day. Now we can enjoy chicken and fish any day of the week without the garbage stinking!

—Lisa Dettlaff, Henderson, Nev.

Dear Heloise: I find putting utensils in sideways instead of straight seems to hold more and you can see what you are looking for easier. It seems like they stay in place better, too.

—H. Thompson, Summerfield, Fla.

© King Features Syndicate Inc.