DEAR HELOISE: I have a question about tipping at a hotel: Does the maid who cleaned the room yesterday get the tip I leave, or the maid coming in today?
— Loma J. in South Dakota DEAR READER: I checked with a couple of major hotels, and here were their suggestions:
Tip every day, but do not tip if the service was poor.
The going rate is $1-$2 per day; $3-$4 for better hotels. Place the cash in an envelope (no change) and label it for maid service or housekeeping.
You also can just wrap it in a sheet of paper, but label it.
Leave it in an obvious place.
DEAR HELOISE: I recently purchased a home that came with stainless-steel appliances. They are a mess! I’ve tried multiple cleaners, and nothing seems to help. Do you a home remedy?
— Carol B., via email DEAR READER: There are different grades of stainless steel, so I recommend doing a patch test first. Don’t let a cleaning product dry on an appliance, and remember that less product is better than too much. It often causes streaking. Wipe in the direction of the steel’s grain. It’s best to use a microfiber cloth. If your appliances have a matte finish, they will never have that shiny appearance.
Try olive oil or baby oil. Pour a small amount of oil on a soft cloth, and wipe in the direction of the grain. Buff with a soft clean cloth.
It has been recommended that you use 50/50 water and vinegar to clean the appliance first, then try an oil polish.
Some people use rubbing alcohol on their stainless-steel kitchen sinks.
DEAR HELOISE: In the spring, when all danger of frost is gone, I plant a pot of green onions on my deck. I buy a bunch at the grocery store and cut off the white ends, about 1 inch into the green. I make a hole for each stalk, plant and water well. The stalk will grow almost immediately, and I can snip the fresh onions as needed.
— Gayle P., Colorado
DEAR HELOISE: I’m a traveler for business, and I have a suggestion: If you work out of an office, put your business address or your business card in the luggage tag, not your home address. With my wife home alone with three young kids, I felt it was safer for my family if lost luggage was delivered to my office.
— Robert T. in Los Angeles
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio,Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email