DEAR READERS: During this pandemic, it is more important than ever to disinfect surfaces in our homes and items we bring into our homes. It might be difficult to find commercial disinfectants, but you may already have just what you need in your home — household bleach. It is an excellent disinfectant because it kills 99% of germs. You can make your own disinfecting solution by mixing 2 tablespoons of regular bleach with 1 quart of water. To clean frequently touched surfaces such as countertops, faucets, remote controls, door handles, phones, etc., put on a pair of gloves and dip a cloth or sponge into the bleach solution, squeeze out the excess, then thoroughly wipe the surface. Let the solution sit for at least 5 minutes to allow it to air-dry.
Let’s all do that we can to keep our families safe and stop the spread of this virus.
DEAR HELOISE: I share my home with four dogs and two cats, four of which take daily medications, some twice a day. To keep track of who gets what and when, I purchased a plastic, seven-day pill organizer for each pet and labeled them with the pets’ names. At the start of the week, I put their pills for that week in the organizer. This gives me peace of mind knowing they are getting their proper doses.
— Blair in Maryland
DEAR HELOISE: When I get to the end of a roll of wrapping paper and there’s just a little left, I take it and any scraps from wrapping a gift, wad them into a ball and store in a garbage bag. When I ship a package, I use the wadded-up paper as padding. Pretty packing and no waste!
— Mary Ann in South Carolina
DEAR HELOISE: While cleaning a large glass bowl, it slipped out of my hands and broke on the kitchen floor. Broken glass went everywhere! I picked up the biggest pieces, vacuumed, used a wet sponge to collect tiny pieces, but I could still see teeny-tiny shards on the floor. Finally, I used a lint roller to pick up those little leftover shards, and it did a terrific job. Now I don’t have tiny slivers of glass that can get into my bare feet.
— Gail in Indiana DEAR READER: There are so many uses for lint rollers. In addition to their intended uses, they can be used to remove dust from lampshades and bits of sparkles and paper when crafting.
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email