Heloise Hints

Heloise Hints

Vacuums Need Cleaning Too!

posted by eolsen

vacuumingOur cleaning tools that do such a good job of cleaning up for us, they also need to be examined often to wash or wipe down, so they can do an even better job of keeping our homes clean. Here are the steps you should take with vacuum cleaners:

1. Always unplug the vacuum first. Using hot soapy water, wipe off the outside of the machine and then the inside area to remove dust and collected grime. Examine the chamber/cylinder and hoses to pull out hair or debris that could clog it up.

2. If the vacuum is bagless, clean the filters frequently to keep the machine operating efficiently. Remove the cup to wash in soapy water, then rinse and dry.
3. If the vacuum has bags, before using, check the amount of debris inside. Too much dust and debris will stop the air from circulating widely and reduce the suction capability. If the bag is more than half full or past the “filled up” line, replace it with a new one.

4. If the rotating brush is not grabbing dirt, look at it closely. The brush could be wrapped with pet or people hair and carpet junk. Cut the hair or strings with a seam ripper or small scissors to free it up. You just may be shocked at how much stuff is stuck on that brush!

How to Remove Tablecloth Stains

posted by eolsen

woman spilling wineWe love to use or good tablecloths during the holidays. They make a table look so lovely. And, of course, the tablecloths take a beating because stains just happen! Here are Heloise Hints to help you take off gravy and red-wine stains:

1. To remove that goopy gravy, spoon it up right after is spilled on the tablecloth. Then sprinkle plenty of artificial sweetener or flour on top of the stained area to absorb as much of the grease as possible. After the meal, put the tablecloth into a sink and soak in a mixture of one teaspoon of a mild, colorless detergent with each cup of lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Then wash as recommended and let air-dry—don’t put it into the dryer.

2. To get out red-wine stains, first pour a lot of salt right on top of the stain to soak up the liquid. Then, after dinner, put the tablecloth into cold water and try to rub out the stain. Apply an enzyme detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric, soak for 30 minutes and launder as you normally do.

Complain with Clout!

posted by eolsen

customer serviceIf you have bought something that does not work or you are unhappy with service from a store or business what’s the best way to deal with the situation? Save the receipts and the item purchased or make detailed notes of the service that was not performed successfully. Respond in a calm businesslike way. Never be emotional in your written complaint. Stick to the facts. This checklist will help you make an effective complaint, so get you a refund or the results you want:

1. Include your name, address, and a contact phone number or email.

2. Report the date and place of purchase.

3. Give the serial and model number of the merchandise.

4. If it’s a service complaint, give the name of the person who did the work.

5. Make a couple of copies of your complaint letter and expect a reasonable amount of time for a response.
6. Keep calling and follow-up until you get the results you want.

7. If you are not satisfied, contact the better business bureau or state agencies that handle consumer complaints. Newspapers and TV stations have consumer reporters, who can help. So give them a call.

Heloise’s Lighter Pumpkin Bread

posted by eolsen

pumpkin breadOur Thanksgiving feasts filled with delicious and highly caloric family food favorites. Here’s a delicious fall treat—with fewer calories and one my family requests every year!

HELOISE’S LIGHTER PUMPKIN BREAD

1 2/3 cups regular or whole-wheat flour (or 1/2 each type)
Note: If you are using all whole-wheat flour the bread will be dense.
10 to 12 packets (about 2 tablespoons) artificial sweetener (the kind you can cook with) or 1 1/4 cups sugar. It’s best to use about ½ sugars and the rest sweetener so there is some bulk to the bread. If you use all artificial sweetener it will be WAY too heavy.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 2 teaspoons each of allspice, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, see note 2)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup salad oil
1 cup pumpkin (if you use 1/2 cup more pumpkin you’ll get a stronger flavor)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 small loaf pans.
2. Sift the dry ingredients and add the nuts. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, and pumpkin; add to dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 50 or 60 minutes.

NOTE 1: I often use half sugar and half sweetener.
NOTE 2: You can substitute bran, wheat germ, or sesame seeds.

Makes: 2 small loaves

Drying Clothes Well and Lint-Free!

posted by eolsen

washing_machineDon’t you hate it when you take out clothes from the dryer and they are either covered in lint or dampish or crumpled up? Here are the steps to take prevent this:

1. Clean out the dryer-lint screen after (or before if others use the dryer) every load. If the lint-screen is full, the buildup can cause your dryer to take much longer to do the job and create a fire-safety problem.

2. Don’t cram the dryer to the max because clothes will come our wrinkled. Plus, it will take longer for items to dry. Sort the loads. For example, don’t put lint-makers like bath towels with lint-collectors, such as synthetics and permanent press.

3. Check pockets before you place items in the washer or dryer; remove papers or tissues or crayons because they can cause a big mess.

4. Add fabric-softeners or a sheet to help lower static electricity.

Candle Safety Reminders!

posted by eolsen

fireDuring the holidays, candles provide a lovely glow and aroma all around the house. They add such a festive ambiance for parties, BUT you have to watch them carefully, so they don’t tip over or start a fire. Be vigilant and follow these Heloise Hints:

1. Have a fire emergency plan! Each family member should know exactly what to do, if there’s a fire. Practice once or twice.
2. You really should not leave a room with candles still burning. But, it’s impractical to blow one out and relight every few minutes. So, do not leave them in a room you will not be in often! Check every 5 minutes or so.
3. Never place candles in greenery (especially dried or fake) arrangements or on the tree because they can quickly catch fire.
4. Do not arrange candles in areas where there is heavy traffic flow or where they can easily be tipped over by people or dogs! Instead, put them up higher.
5. If you have lit the fireplace during a holiday party, before you go to bed, be SURE the fire and ashes are completely out.

Reducing Stress Before a Holiday Party

posted by eolsen

thanksgiving dinner tableGetting everything ready for a holiday family gathering can be stressful. We all know that! Here are several Heloise Hints to ease the stress—get the family involved and plan ahead!

1. Start a Thanksgiving/Christmas / Hanukkah file to contain lists for guests, shopping, menus and recipes. Print out homemade invitations and e-mail photos after the event.

2. Don’t buy expensive wreaths or decorations. Make a centerpiece out of the fall bounty—leaves, grapevines, gourds and pumpkins. If you can, take a walk around your yard to see what’s available!

3. Have young ones create the table decorations, including place cards and the centerpiece. Let them help setting the table (except no fine crystal or china!) and in the kitchen afterward.

4. So you aren’t worked to death, try to clean up as you cook and go along. Let pots presoak, pick up trash and put away what has been used.

Getting Rid of Dust Mites

posted by eolsen

dustWhen you notice dust in your pillows and linens, you want to eliminate/kill them right away. Here’s how to do it successfully.

1. Wash sheets, blankets, pillows (do follow the directions for type of pillow. Foam, feather down, buckwheat) and pillowcases in hot water that’s at least 130 degrees F. Make sure it’s that hot, And then dry on hot too.

2. It may be a good idea to wash bedding once a week to be sure they are gone. Also, buy mattress, box spring and pillow covers. Be sure to vacuum and dust often.

Holiday Memory Tablecloth

posted by eolsen

thanksgiving dinnerIf you want to have a tangible lasting memory of each Thanksgiving or Christmas or other family gathering, make a memorable keepsake tablecloth, so everyone at the table can participate in creating it. Here’s how:

1. Buy a plain tablecloth and lots of permanent markers, fabric paint or liquid embroidery.

2. First, you MUST place a table pad on the table and then cover with the tablecloth.

3. During the meal, let each guest decorate the cloth with his or her name, a quote, a picture, a poem or a drawing. At the end of the meal, be sure to date it.

How to Clean Leather Furniture

posted by eolsen

couchLeather sofas and chairs can last a long time in your home, if they are cared for properly. Do not place this furniture next to a fireplace or heater on in direct sunlight. This heat will dry out the leather. Here’s how to clean and keep in beautiful:

1. Use a microfiber cloth, dampened only with tap water. Wipe over the leather and it will pick up grime and dirt. Do this regularly to prevent a build up. I give the couch a once over while I’m watching an old movie!

2. If the piece needs more cleaning. Mix a tiny bit of baby shampoo with water, about 1 teaspoon per quart of water to clean it. If you see a grease or oil stain, sprinkle a bit of cornstarch or flour over the spot and pat in to absorb the stains.

3. Never scrub or use caustic or abrasive cleaners on leather! Once it is scratched or marked, it’s not going to come out, it’s been damaged.

Previous Posts

Vacuums Need Cleaning Too!
Our cleaning tools that do such a good job of cleaning up for us, they also need to be examined often to wash or wipe down, so they can do an even better job of keeping our homes clean. Here are the steps you should take with vacuum cleaners: 1. Always unplug the vacuum first. Using hot soapy wat

posted 8:00:49am Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

How to Remove Tablecloth Stains
We love to use or good tablecloths during the holidays. They make a table look so lovely. And, of course, the tablecloths take a beating because stains just happen! Here are Heloise Hints to help you take off gravy and red-wine stains: 1. To remove that goopy gravy, spoon it up right after is spi

posted 8:00:55am Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Complain with Clout!
If you have bought something that does not work or you are unhappy with service from a store or business what’s the best way to deal with the situation? Save the receipts and the item purchased or make detailed notes of the service that was not performed successfully. Respond in a calm businesslik

posted 8:00:54am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Heloise’s Lighter Pumpkin Bread
Our Thanksgiving feasts filled with delicious and highly caloric family food favorites. Here’s a delicious fall treat—with fewer calories and one my family requests every year! HELOISE'S LIGHTER PUMPKIN BREAD 1 2/3 cups regular or whole-wheat flour (or 1/2 each type) Note: If you are usin

posted 8:00:28am Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Drying Clothes Well and Lint-Free!
Don’t you hate it when you take out clothes from the dryer and they are either covered in lint or dampish or crumpled up? Here are the steps to take prevent this: 1. Clean out the dryer-lint screen after (or before if others use the dryer) every load. If the lint-screen is full, the buildup can

posted 8:00:23am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »


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