Heloise Hints

Heloise Hints

Getting Your Children To Help Out

posted by eolsen

KidsWith the new fall school year looming; Mom and Dad may feel like it is managing the family circus in overtime. With all the school and sports activities, play dates, sleepovers and more going into full swing, you can enlist your children to be more organized. Here are some simple ideas:

1. Use it or lose it. Teach your children to put away or organize the items they love and use. If they are bored with a toy or game or have outgrown clothing, they can lose them. You can donate to a charity or toss out these unwanted and/or broken items.
2. Right stuff in right place. When your kids use the bathroom or are in the kitchen or living room, whatever they take out, they need to put it back in it right place. Show them where things are stored or go in your home, so they know.
Also, give them plenty of shelves or storage bins to contain their stuff.

Leather Shoes Too Tight? Here’s a Hint to Try

posted by eolsen

shoesIf you realize the leather shoes you have in your closet are not comfortable, you can stretch them a bit. Here’s what to do.

1. To stretch leather shoes a little, use a shoe stretcher and a shoe-stretch spray, which you can find at shoe-repair shops.

2. Apply the spray inside the shoe, and add a stretcher, if you have one.

3. This may not work, so the take shoes to a shoe-repair shop that has a stretching machine. Especially if you love them! It’s worth the money.

4. To prevent this problem. Never buy shoes (especially man-made) that are too tight or too small, which may be tempting, particularly when they are on sale. But they will never fit properly or be able to be stretched enough to be comfortable.

Don’t Pay a Plumber, Prevent the Problem First!

posted by eolsen

sinkThe drains in your home are basically taken for granted—until there’s a problem, usually a huge one! To avoid a costly repair, monitor and maintain drains by flushing weekly with warm water and checking them regularly. Most drain problems, like blockages, can be prevented by being aware of what should and shouldn’t be put down household drains. Here’s a list of Heloise Do’s and Don’ts:

What to put and not to put down household drains:



Garbage disposal— asparagus, artichokes, bones, stringy vegetables like celery, oyster/clam shells, cornhusks, drain cleaners, large fruit pits, glass or plastic
Kitchen sink—fats, grease, vegetable oils
Bathroom sink— cosmetics, hair, lotions, medications, prescription or nonprescription drugs or sunscreen
Toilet— adhesive bandage wrappers, cigarettes, condoms, cotton swabs, dental floss, sanitary napkins, tissues or paper towels. Only flush what is supposed to be flushed!
Outdoor drains or sewers—anti-freeze, fertilizer, motor oil or auto chemicals, paint, pesticides or insecticides, pool chemicals, rags, sealants or thinners. What are people thinking? Where do you think that water goes?
Kitchen sink—water from preparing foods and small food debris, liquids like sour milk, soft drinks that are no longer fizzy, etc. Think before you pour!
Toilet—bodily waste and toilet paper. That’s it—not even tissues, which do not break down like toilet paper. This is especially important, if the plumbing system is on a septic system.
Bathroom drains—water from bathing, showering, washing, brushing teeth, etc.

Smelly Dog Beds and Dog Dishes Dirty?

posted by eolsen

dogWe love our dogs, but they can get dirty (especially if they play outside or have a doggie door) and carry that to their beds. They also can be messy eaters and drinkers. Here are some hints on cleaning up after them:

1. Yucky dog food (especially moist canned) and water bowls need to be cleaned often. It’s best to clean the food bowls in hot, soapy water, right after they eat (or at least every few days), so wet food does not dry and get stuck to it. To prevent this sticky crud, spritz a bit of non-stick cooking spray into the dish before you put the food inside. Also, place the dishes on a plastic placemat to contain the spills. We do this for our new family member, Chammy, a silky Wheaten, who adopted us, from the Human Society here in San Antonio, Texas. Woof, woof from Chammy and Heloise.

2. Take smelly dog beds outdoors and give them a good shake to remove debris and dirt. Wash the beds by themselves (no other items in the washer), if the tag says it’s safe in hot water and on the highest water level. Do not add fabric softener. Fluff in the dryer.

Mothball Odor in Clothes? Easy Fix!

posted by eolsen

washing_machineIf clothes or furniture have been stored with mothballs, the stench can be overpowering and awful when you take them out to be used. Here are some Heloise Hints to get rid of the stink:
1. Give clothes and furniture plenty of air circulation to lessen the mothball odor.
2. For clothing, hang them outside in fresh air, which will help the smell dissipate. Then put just these clothes into washing machine (no other garments). Add washing soda or baking soda to the regular amount of detergent you use.
3. For furniture, if the mothball smell permeates the inside of a chest or drawer or cedar chest, take the drawers out and air out. Use a fine-grade sandpaper to lightly sand the inside and vacuum up the shavings. If you still smell the odor, crumple up newspapers and shove them inside to also absorb the smell. And finally wipe the inside with a cloth that has been dampened with household vinegar. Let air-dry.

Baking soda has so many uses and is one of my favorite go-to products at home. Teddy bears smelly? Sprinkle baking soda onto them, rub in a bit, and leave for a while. Then brush them out and stuffed animals will be refreshed. Click here for more baking soda hints at my Website: www.Heloise.com

Garage Door: Is Yours Safe?

posted by eolsen

garageWhile electronic garage doors are so convenient, they also can be dangerous if children or pets interact with them. Use these safety hints to be sure your garage door is always in good working order and not a safety hazard:

1. On a regular basis, check the door to be sure it will reverse with 2 seconds of coming in contact with a person or an object. Check on line for the correct way to do this test yourself.
2. Bring in a professional to inspect the door every year or so to be sure that it is working properly.
3. Don’t let children play with the remote controls, or the button that may be on a wall in the garage. DON’T let them play with an automatic garage door at all!
4. Be sure your children are taught NOT to run out of the garage as the door is on the way down. This is the most important Heloise Hint for you to remember!

Fruit Flies Driving You Crazy?

posted by eolsen

fruitThese little flying pests buzz around the kitchen usually on or near fruit or fermenting veggies. Fruit that’s brought home from the supermarket often carries fruit fly eggs that have been laid on the skin. In your warm kitchen, the eggs will hatch after a few day’s as the fruit ripens. So when you see them, use these Heloise Hints:

1. Be aware that the new fruit flies will be ready to lay eggs in sink drains or in empty bottles or the garbage. So take the garbage cans outside away from the kitchen.
2. Store extra fruit in the refrigerator until you want to eat it and don’t leave out lots of fruit to ripen on the counter. Just put a few out at a time. You can rinse them off with water, but they must be eaten in a day or two.

Mildew On Outside of House?

posted by eolsen

houseWhen you notice signs of fuzzy black or green patches, which can be mildew, growing on the exterior of your home, usually in shady areas, take action right away. Here’s what to do:

1. Put plastic drop cloths on top of flower beds or shrubbery to protect them from the cleaning solution. Remove fabric cushions from furniture, if near the area.
2. Use a broom to brush off debris or dirt before starting to remove the mildew.
3. Mix 1 quart of household bleach to each gallon of non-ammonia detergent solution. Apply to the mildew, let it set for 20-30 minutes then wipe clean.
4. Let the areas dry completely. Then repaint, if needed.

Ants Invading the Kitchen?

posted by eolsen

antsIf you notice columns of ants marching around the kitchen, and you don’t want to use a commercial product, here’s what you can do to get rid of them and also how to prevent them from finding your home a yummy place to be:

1. Ants are looking for tasty things to eat. They will munch on just about anything, but they love foods that contain sugar.

2. Mix 1-part boric acid powder with 20 parts sugar and sprinkle along their trails or where you see them. BUT DO NOT let pets or small children come into contact with the powder. (Boric Acid powder can be harmful if ingested in large quantities per body weight)

3. To eliminate ants on counters, just wipe up with a damp paper towel and toss into a garbage can outside. Clean the area with hot, soapy water (or wipe with vinegar, but not on granite) to get rid of the scent trail the ants are following.

3. To stop them, keep your kitchen as clean as you can. Don’t leave food out on the counters. Put food in containers in the refrigerator. Wash kitchen floors to be sure there aren’t tasty crumbs or spills to attract them. Take the garbage out.
No food, no ants!

Cheap Way to Clean Windows

posted by eolsen

windowsDuring the summer with pollen, grass, storms and hot sun, windows seem to be dirty all the time. Here are some Heloise Hints how to make this mundane and sometimes messy task easier and more effective.

1. Make your own money saving cleaner: Mix 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.

2. First, wipe off as much of the dust and dirt from the windows, inside and outside. You can hose down the outside to remove it.

3. Wash windows when the sun is not shining right on them because it causes the cleaner to dry too fast and can leave a residue or streaks.

4. Then dry windows on the outside from the right-to-left and then on inside up-and-down. You can examine the window to see if there are streaks! I recycle old newspapers and it does a super job! Why waste money!


Vinegar is so useful in and around your home. To keep paint brushes soft, soak in vinegar for an hour or two. For more vinegar hints, click here to find them on my Website: www.Heloise.com

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