Dear Heloise: I am a plumber, and I wanted to give my two cents’ worth on those blue bleach tablets that folks drop in the tank to keep the toilet bowl clean in between scrubbings.
I hate ’em. A strong bleach tablet so close to the rubber flapper will degrade it, which eventually will cause water to leak from the tank. This is wasteful.
The blue coloring masks lime and iron buildup. And the blue material will turn to gel eventually, which can clog the jets underneath — what a mess!
My solution is one of your favorites: white vinegar. I recommend pouring 1 cup of white vinegar into the overflow (the skinny pipe that stands up in the tank). This will allow the vinegar to circulate inside the rim and dissolve buildup when the toilet is flushed. Do this once a month. Thanks for your column.
Roy H. in Salt Lake City
Dear Roy: Excellent hints! Yes, vinegar is one of my go-to household cleaners. Cheap, safe, nontoxic and readily available, vinegar can save you hundreds of dollars a year in cleaning supplies.
Vinegar can unclog the shower head, too. Soak it in a bowl overnight.
Dear Heloise: When you want to donate your old magazines to the doctor’s office or hospital waiting room, the easy way to do it is to get a permanent marker and draw a line through your name and address.
Most people go through the trouble of cutting the name off the front, but it is quicker to black out the name and address, and the cover looks better when part of it is not cut off.
It also is easier to hold with the page intact.
Betty R., Albany, N.Y.
Dear Betty: Some publications have removable labels that you can easily peel off. Donate to any waiting room anywhere, or call schools in your neighborhood — they always can use magazines for art projects and research.
Dear Heloise: When we have leftovers, we cover them with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap can be reused many times. This is nice when bringing a dish to a gathering as well.
To keep the food as fresh as possible, after covering the food, we used a hair dryer on low to “seal” the plastic wrap to the container.
If you use the hair dryer over all of the plastic wrap, it removes all the wrinkles, so your dish has a polished, professional look.
The Huston family, Omaha, Neb.
Dear Heloise: Don’t you hate it when people don’t use their turn signal? So many times I wait for a car to drive by, and just as they are up to me, they put their turn signal on.
I could have been long gone. This happens so many times!
A Reader in Ohio
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