Help­ful hints for fire­place safety

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE - Hints from Heloise

Dear Read­ers: The win­ter’s chill calls for a bright, warm and crack­ling fire, but is your fire­place up to snuff ? Let’s take a look at some hints from the Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics (www.aap.org):

•Your chim­ney should have a pro­fes­sional clean­ing and in­spec­tion each year.

• En­sure the flue is open — this draws smoke out of the home. Use a mir­ror to check.

•Wet wood is no good. It smokes too much and causes soot to ac­cu­mu­late.

•Smaller pieces of wood are bet­ter — they burn faster and smoke less.

•Start each fire with a clean slate. Re­move all ash from pre­vi­ous fires.

•It’s a good idea to crack a win­dow in your home, if pos­si­ble, when the fire­place is go­ing.

•Safety is al­ways No. 1. Smoke and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors are a must, as is a fire ex­tin­guisher. Never leave a fire unat­tended.

— Heloise

Stain game

Dear Read­ers: Splash some wine on your blouse? No wor­ries. Daub with cool water, then sponge the area with white vine­gar and rinse. If the stain re­mains, gen­tly rub in a tiny amount of liq­uid laun­dry de­ter­gent and laun­der as usual.

Vine­gar is a work­horse in the home. Safe, cheap and read­ily avail­able, I’ve reached for it time and time again. I have com­piled my fa­vorite vine­gar hints, helps and recipes into a handy pam­phlet. Would you like to re­ceive one? It’s easy. Visit www.Heloise.com to or­der, or send a long, stamped (70 cents), self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope, to­gether with $5, to: Heloise/Vine­gar, P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: To re­move most fresh stains left by de­odor­ants and an­tiper­spi­rants, rub with undi­luted white vine­gar, then laun­der as usual, us­ing the hottest water safe for the fab­ric.

— Heloise

Soup’s on

Dear Heloise: Cream soups straight out of the can (heated or not) can make de­li­cious dips for breads, chips and veg­gies. Their easy prep saves time.

— An­nie in Cal­i­for­nia A splash of water or broth may make them less vis­cous and eas­ier to pour.

— Heloise

Cut it out

Dear Heloise: I make cook­ing as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble. I pur­chased a spe­cific pair of scis­sors to use solely in the kitchen. This has turned out to be one of my fa­vorite pur­chases.

My scis­sors are great when I need to cut pieces of basil into thin strips to add to cap­rese salad or any other recipes. This is far eas­ier and faster than cut­ting basil with a knife.

— Taylor R., Hunt­ing­ton

Beach

Keep traps clean

Dear Heloise: I had new faucets in­stalled, and I was dis­mayed to see all the gunk in the trap from tooth­brush­ing.

I took a hint from my den­tist and started rins­ing into a cup af­ter brush­ing my teeth, then emp­ty­ing it into the toi­let. This keeps the trap clean.

— Bill C., In­di­ana

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