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DEAR HELOISE: Just wondering -- what's the difference between brass and bronze?

-- Michael (age 14)

in Indiana

DEAR READER: Both brass and bronze are alloys. An alloy is a combination of two metals, usually put together to make a stronger metal.

Brass is a combination of copper and zinc, and bronze is a combination of copper and tin. Brass is softer, brighter in color (more golden, where bronze is more reddish-brown) and is more malleable (shapeable) than bronze.

Brass is used mostly for decoration; bronze is used more in manufacturing and shipbuilding because bronze can stand up well to saltwater.

Which is more expensive? Typically bronze. Thanks for your letter!.

DEAR READERS: Spring is here! Are you ready to up your cleaning game? Let's stock up with cleaning essentials. Take inventory of what you already have, clip this list and take it with you to the store to grab what you need:

• Wet mop

• Sponges

• Chlorine bleach

• Dry mop

• Microfiber cloths

• Furniture polish

• Trash bags

• All-purpose cleaner

• Window cleaner

• Vacuum

• Bathroom cleaner

mToilet bowl cleaner

• Step ladder

• Toilet bowl brush

• White vinegar

• Bucket

• Scrub brush

• Baking soda

• Gloves

• Ammonia

• Paper towels

Also think about products that can do double duty -- a money-saver for sure! When you have everything you need on hand, spring cleaning can be a breeze!

DEAR HELOISE: I found an interesting hint in a historical novel I read set in the 1800s. The servants in a grand house went around cutting off the stamens from arrangements of daylilies so they wouldn't stain furniture or the tablecloths, a problem I have encountered!

-- D.T., via email

DEAR HELOISE: If you purchase a facial scrub that turns out to be too rough on your skin, don't pitch it. Clean your sinks with it.

-- Becky G., Ohio

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 03/26/2020

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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