Be vigilant when using holiday candles
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.