HELP­FUL HINTS

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - HELOISE 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

DEAR HELOISE: I just ex­posed my­self to con­cen­trated filth! How? By once more hav­ing to empty my vac­uum cleaner. Why hasn’t some­one come up with a “green vac­uum” by now?

— Frances M., Fayet­teville DEAR READER: Frances, they have. There are bag­less vac­u­ums now. Just re­move the dust-col­lect­ing cylin­der, take it out to the trash can and empty it into the trash. There also are ro­botic clean­ers. Both work well to make that chore eas­ier and cleaner.

DEAR HELOISE: When I travel, I like to pack those perfume sam­ples that come in mag­a­zines. That way, I don’t have to worry about my perfume bot­tles break­ing or leak­ing, and I get to try dif­fer­ent per­fumes.

— Jama C., Florida DEAR READER: Jama, I as­sume you rub the perfume side on your skin, which is a very clever idea. I use those same sam­ples to keep my suit­cases smelling nice.

DEAR HELOISE: Like so many of your read­ers, I like to gar­den and get my hands in the dirt, but hate pay­ing the price with my hands. The best so­lu­tion I’ve found is to buy a box of (100) med­i­cal exam gloves at a phar­macy. They’re sturdy, feel com­fort­able and are water­proof. They’re also cheap enough to throw away, even if you use sev­eral pairs a day. — Nancy M., Colorado Springs, Colo.

DEAR HELOISE: Both of our daugh­ters got mar­ried in De­cem­ber, and be­fore they stored their gowns, I snipped a bit of tulle from un­der their dresses and two flow­ers from their bou­quets. I also took a small flower from the groom’s bou­ton­niere. I used ma­te­rial from the lit­tle bird­seed bags and rib­bons from the wed­ding. I bought two silk Christ­mas or­na­ments for each cou­ple in the color of their wed­ding. I dec­o­rated the or­na­ments with these items and pre­sented them to the two cou­ples at Christ­mas so they could have a special mem­ory of their wed­ding on their trees for years to come.

— Donna M. in Nebraska

DEAR HELOISE: When we buy marsh­mal­lows, we put them in a 1-gal­lon seal­able bag with a cou­ple of heap­ing ta­ble­spoons of pow­dered sugar, and shake well. Keeps just fine, and the marsh­mal­lows don’t get sticky or clump to­gether. — Ken R., via email

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