Be vig­i­lant when us­ing hol­i­day can­dles

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - ADVICE - HINTS FROM HELOISE ▶

DEAR READ­ERS: Can­dles are a lovely part of the hol­i­day season; they pro­vide a beau­ti­ful glow around the house, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing fes­tive gath­er­ings. But they al­ways must be watched care­fully, and this can be hard to do dur­ing a party with lots of fam­ily and friends mulling around. Nev­er­the­less, al­ways be vig­i­lant and re­mem­ber th­ese Heloise hints:

■ Never put can­dles in green­ery ar­range­ments or on your freshly cut tree, be­cause they can catch fire re­ally fast.

■ Do not ar­range a can­dle group­ing in ar­eas where there is heavy traf­fic or where they could eas­ily be tipped over by peo­ple pass­ing by or frisky dogs. In­stead, put them on a man­tel or an­other high spot.

■ Never toss hol­i­day wrap­ping pa­per or ev­er­greens into the fire­place, be­cause they burn in­tensely.

■ Do not leave can­dles burn­ing unat­tended in any room.

■ If you have en­joyed a fire in the fire­place dur­ing your party, check it care­fully be­fore you go to bed to be cer­tain that the fire and ashes are com­pletely ex­tin­guished. DEAR READ­ERS: Of course we use our good table­cloths dur­ing the holi­days! They make the ta­ble look lovely and invit­ing. And nat­u­rally the table­cloths will get a good work­out; those stains just hap­pen.

Use th­ese hints to re­move gravy or red-wine stains:

1. To get rid of gooey gravy stains: Try to spoon it up as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter it has spilled onto the table­cloth. Then sprin­kle a lot of flour or ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­ener on top of the stain area to ab­sorb as much of the grease as pos­si­ble. Af­ter din­ner is over, place the table­cloth in the sink and soak in a mix 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 — do not put it into the dryer.

2. To re­move red-wine stains: First, pour a lot of salt right on top of the stains 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 usu­ally would.

To share a hint, write to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.

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