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Hints from Heloise: Dryer lint can be hazardous

Dear Readers: Did you know that dryer lint is a leading cause of home fires?

Drying clothes in the clothes dryer is something almost everyone does without giving it a thought. You just drop the clothes in, turn the dryer on, and off you go to do something else. And how many of us even leave home while the dryer is on? This can be a very dangerous practice.

Here are some safety hints that will not only help prevent a home fire but also will extend the life of your dryer:

• Make sure the clothes-dryer vent is not restricted or crimped and that airflow easily passes through.

• Remove lint after each drying cycle, and remove it from around the drum — a buildup of lint can cause a fire!

• A used dryer sheet makes a great lint collector.

• Have the dryer filter in place — never operate the clothes dryer without it.

• Don't connect a clothes-dryer power cord to an outlet that is not suitable for the dryer. Overloading electrical outlets can trip circuit breakers and blow fuses. — Heloise

Dear Heloise:When we go on vacation or travel for more than two days, we pack our laundry! Instead of all the careful folding and packing, we simply bring the laundry bag to a dry cleaner at our destination. Within a day or two, everything is clean and not a wrinkle to be found! Then it is back in the laundry bag for the trip back home. — Tessie Schmucker, Washington, D.C.

This is definitely a new idea but a smart one! — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I have many hair clips and hair claws in a variety of styles and colors. I got tired of keeping them in a drawer where they would get all mixed up.

Instead, I used a thin cloth belt, arranged the clips in order by color and design and hung the belt loop on a hook in my closet. Now I can easily find the hair clip or claw I need quickly, and they don't get mixed up or bang into each other in a drawer.

I also use a hanging shoe rack to organize my nylons and slack socks by color and style. — Barbara Schoeberl, Silver Spring, Md.

Dear Heloise: We use a lot of creamer and artificial sweetener in our coffee. This leaves a lot of empty envelopes and other small pieces of trash on the kitchen table.

I removed the lid from an empty creamer container and use the container for a mini trash can.

I enjoy your column and have gotten many good ideas from it through the years! — Chuck Martin, via e-mail

Dear Heloise:I have a lot of wooden beads that I cannot find a use for, so I decided to string the loose beads on the pull cords of window shades. I reattach the cord ends or attach a colorful ribbon to the cord to help me pull the strings closed or open the blinds. — Anna Reich, Stafford, Va.

© King Features Syndicate Inc.