Posted: April 17, 2014 at 2:36 a.m.

DEAR READER: The column on the importance of every household having carbon-monoxide detectors prompted the following questions:

“Why do I need a carbon-monoxide detector? I have no gas appliances, no fireplace, no charcoal grill and no attached garage. … I don’t understand why I would need one.”

  • Patricia J. in Virginia

“My home is all electric, and I think there should be no problem.”

  • Linda T. in California

“Can you tell us where all this carbon monoxide would be coming/leaking from?”

  • A Reader, via email

As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that “every home should have a carbon monoxide alarm.” Why? Although electric appliances do not give off carbon monoxide, a car left running in the garage or a fire in the chimney can give off the deadly gas. Carbon monoxide can come from many sources, not just the obvious fuel-burning appliances. A detector does not cost much, so why take the chance? Better safe than sorry.

DEAR HELOISE: An easy way to get loose birdseed into the feeders is to cut a half-gallon plastic milk container into two pieces, with the larger portion being the bottom two-thirds of the container. The top part serves as a funnel, and the lower portion is a good container for scooping up the seed.

  • Nick P., Iuka, Miss.

DEAR HELOISE: My grandchildren keep many toys and stuffed animals at my house for when they visit. I would like to clean the stuffed animals before their next visit. Do you have a hint on how to get them clean?

  • Janet S. in Indiana

DEAR READER: Sprinkle a stuffed animal with baking soda and rub it in using your hand or a soft brush. After letting it sit for a while, give the stuffed animal a good shaking to remove all the baking soda, and it is now ready to play another day. Clean plastic toys with a paste of baking soda and hot water. Just a light scrub and rinse should keep all toys ready to play.

DEAR HELOISE: I recycle paper fliers, handouts, etc., by using them in my copier so that the printing is on the blank side. This is a wonderful way to recycle and save.

  • Diane S. in Houston

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Weekend, Pages 34 on 04/17/2014