As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of Heloise and her helpful hints. One of the things I admire most about Heloise is the way she is always "one-upping" her readers. No matter how wonderful their suggestions are, Heloise can always manage to improve on them.
Sometimes, I can improve on them even more.
Here's an example. A reader wrote in recently about a problem with gum in the dryer:
I took a load of my best friend’s clothes out of the DRYER to discover he didn’t empty his pockets (that’s right, I don’t check pockets), and a pack of gum was left in a pocket — gum on the drum!Seems like a simple, elegant solution, right? Of course, your next load of laundry will probably smell like peanut butter, but for some of us, that's a bonus. However, this solution wasn't good enough for Heloise. "I’m glad this worked for you," she replied. "Here’s another way to remove gum from a dryer drum." (In other words: "What an incredibly stupid idea. You're lucky it worked. Now step aside, amateur. Here's how it's done.")
I rubbed a little peanut butter on the drum, wiped it off with a soft cloth and then wiped the drum with a little degreaser (just to be safe). Good as new!
Here's Heloise's solution:
The gum needs to be softened first. To do this, put a couple of old towels in the dryer. Let it run on the warm setting for a few minutes. Make a paste of 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent and water. Next, scrub the gum stains with the paste and a nylon-net scrubbie.Five steps instead of two? I'll take the peanut butter solution, thank you. And both of them forgot the most important hint: Never, ever, do a friend's laundry. Make him do it himself. Then, the chewing gum is his problem.
Finally, wipe the inside of the dryer with a damp towel until there is no gum residue left. And just to be on the safe side, don’t use the dryer until you run a couple of old, damp towels inside. Use a damp towel to wipe out the inside of the dryer.
Another reader wrote in with several travel hints, including the following: "After checking into a room, wipe down the TV remote control."
"Great hints!" Heloise replied, then added, "When you wipe down the remote, don't forget to wipe the door handles and light switches, too! I use the hand sanitizer I carry in my purse."
Why stop there, Heloise? You should really wipe down the entire room. Be sure to give the bedspread an especially good soaking. The first thing my mother always did when our family stayed in a hotel was to strip off the bedspreads, because "they never wash the bedspreads, and you can just imagine how many naked people have been sitting on them." Now, thanks to my mother, I cannot stay in a hotel room without imagining naked people sitting everywhere. Not just on the bedspread, but on the chairs, the desk, the television, the mini-bar...
The best thing to do is to sanitize everything.
Of course, you'll need a lot more hand sanitizer.
Not to mention a bigger purse.