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DEAR HELOISE: Could you tell me the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of cutting board surfaces?

-- Joe S., via email

DEAR READER: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (usda.gov) has good information on food safety and cutting boards. Both wood and plastic boards are OK, but keep one for raw meat, including beef, poultry and seafood, and another for veggies and bread. This will help prevent cross-contamination.

Wash with hot, soapy water, and sanitize with 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Immerse the board in the water for 10 minutes.

When the board develops grooves, replace it.

DEAR HELOISE: I take a marker pen and put the date on condiments and other dry goods when I open each product. This way, I know when to toss them if I've held on to them too long, especially items in the fridge.

-- Colleen in California

DEAR HELOISE: I was at lunch with my girlfriend, and she was bemoaning that she had to go home and clean house. I said: "Why clean it? It will just get dirty again!"

-- Lorraine L. in Louisiana

DEAR READER: Actually, similar to one of my mother's tenets: Don't stress too much about housework. It will always be there.

DEAR HELOISE: Oyster crackers should be put in a zippered bag. They fall all over the pantry floor in those thin plastic bags that are now used, and they stay fresher in my zippered bag.

-- Ruth E., Valparaiso, Ind.

DEAR READERS: Do you know the three golden rules of stain cessation? They are soon, slow and several: get to the stain as soon as possible, work at it slowly, and you may need several applications. The longer it sits, the harder it is to get out. When using a spray-type laundry stain remover, turn the stained item inside out and spray the stain from the "wrong" side.

DEAR HELOISE: How do I unclog a coffee maker after it has hard-water deposits inside?

-- Ellen Y., Carol City, Fla.

DEAR READER: Fill the water reservoir with white vinegar and run a cycle just as you would if making coffee. Repeat if necessary. Be sure to run a few cycles with plain water before making a pot.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Heloise@Heloise.com

Weekend on 12/06/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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