Antelope Valley Press

How to effectivel­y clean your dishwasher

- Hints from Heloise — Heloise

Dear Readers: Our dishwasher­s get a lot of use, and if your dishwasher has an odor, try to find out where the smell is coming from. First, look inside the dishwasher to examine the drain hose and the bottom reservoir for residue or food particles that may be trapped there.

Gunk and grease can accumulate, and if the water is not hot enough to wash it away, this stuff can cause an odor. Use a large wad of paper towels to clean out the reservoir. Be careful because there could be broken glass or sharp bits. The smell may also be coming from clogged kitchen drainpipes or sewer lines. If you suspect this, call a plumber.

To prevent these odors, clean the dishwasher every month or so by pouring 1/2 cup of bleach or 1 cup of household vinegar into the detergent cup and running it through a cycle. There are commercial dishwasher and freshener products that can do the job, too. In between uses, pour baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher to help control any odors.

— Heloise

Dirty blankets

Dear Readers: For heavily stained or soiled blankets (cotton, rayon or other fabrics), spray the spots and presoak them. Wash for 4-6 minutes in cold or warm water (depending on the care label) on the delicate cycle with detergent and oxygen bleach (if the label says it’s OK).

Dry on the gentle cycle or line-dry. For a quick freshening, put blankets into the dryer on the air setting with a fabric softener sheet. — Heloise

Small bits of soap

Dear Heloise: Helen, from California, asked about what to do with leftover bits of soap. I’m super cheap and hate throwing out something I know I can use. I took kneehigh hosiery with a tear in it and pushed my bits of soap into the toe area. When you collect enough, they form a full bar of soap. There is an added benefit, as the hosiery makes the soap lather really well.

I’ve been doing this for over 25 years. — Jacque Petterson San Antonio

Pet pal

Dear Heloise: I adopted my two cats, Elmer and Grady, almost two years ago. Thank you for sharing. — Barb Kodor via email

Readers, to see Elmer and Grady, as well as our other Pet Pals, go to and click on “Pet of the Week.”

Do you have a furry friend to share with our readers? Send a photo and a brief descriptio­n to Heloise@Heloise. com.

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