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DEAR HELOISE: Since my wife passed away, I have been doing all the laundry and the many other household duties.

After removing the laundry from the washer, I leave the door or lid slightly open to allow the damp inside to dry out. A shake of baking soda on a small plastic plate will help keep the washer smelling fresh.

When using dryer sheets, I put the open box in a 1-quart zip-close storage bag. This will keep the fragrance from escaping from the open box.

-- Jack B., Lima, Ohio

DEAR READER: Did you know you can pour that baking soda into your next load of laundry, too? Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda along with the regular amount of laundry detergent to boost cleaning power and cut odors.

DEAR HELOISE: I have T-shirts on hangers in my closet. When I pick one to wear, there's always a bump on either shoulder. How do I get rid of them?

-- Matthew in California

DEAR READER: Fold or roll your T-shirts to store them in your dresser. As for the existing bumps, a quick rewash on the "Express" setting on your washer will help. Use a dryer sheet to relax and "reset" the fibers.

DEAR HELOISE: I think my third-grade son may need glasses. He's squinting a lot. What are signs to look for?

-- Mary M. in New York

DEAR READER: Yes, I'd suggest getting your son in to see the eye doctor. Here are more signs to look for:

• Covering one eye when reading.

• Headaches.

• Sitting too close to the TV.

• Slipping grades.

• Rubbing the eyes.

P.S. An optometrist is perfect for basic vision care. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who can treat glaucoma and cataracts, and perform surgery.

DEAR HELOISE: I pour hydrogen peroxide into a glass and place my toothbrush in it and let it soak overnight. I'm amazed at the toothpaste residue on the bottom of the glass, and the toothbrush is clean.

-- Claudia in California

DEAR READERS: Popcorn should be cooked only in microwave-safe containers or prepackaged microwave bags, according to the package directions. Kernels can scorch and catch fire if cooked in nonsafe containers such as brown paper bags.

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

Weekend on 01/31/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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