Hints from Heloise: The formula for cleaning a shower

Dear Readers: Getting the shower stall clean is a necessary job, but is there an easier way to do it? You bet. My homemade cleaning formula is a winner. It’s safe, nontoxic and costs just pennies. Here it is:

Mix 1/2 cup vinegar (white or apple cider), 1 pint of rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, and add enough water to make about a gallon.

Pour into a labeled spray bottle and spray down the shower walls. This formula is also a great window cleaner — no streaks.

Vinegar is a workhorse around the home; I reach for it time and again. I’ve collected my favorite uses for vinegar in a handy pamphlet in which you’ll find this formula and dozens more that will help with cleaning, freshening and deodorizing bathroom fixtures, drains, shower heads and tons more.

Would you like to receive one? It’s easy. Visit www.Heloise.com to order, or send a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Crumpled newspaper is good to use for cleaning windows; it absorbs the liquid instead of pushing it around. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: When I use steel wool in the kitchen, it’ll rust away, and there’s nothing left. There must be an oxygen supply in order for rust (iron oxide) to form, so if I store it in an airtight container, it will keep a long time.

I use a small jar that chopped pimiento came in. I needed some steel wool today and opened that jar, which had contained used pads in it for close to a year. There was not a sign of rust. — Sherrill in Virginia


Dear Heloise: Here are some hints I’d like to share:

When I take off nondisposable gloves, I turn them right side out. That makes it faster for me to put them on again or wash them.

I bought a small ice pick for breaking up frozen vegetables and other things. I put an old wine cork on the tip and keep it separately in the kitchen gadget drawer.

When I put bacon on a sandwich, I crumble the bacon before putting it on the bread. This stretches the bacon. If a strip of bacon is not crisp enough, I put it in a paper napkin/towel and microwave it for a few seconds.

When I change the time or battery in a battery-operated wall clock that I need to stand on something to reach, I dust the clock and surrounding wall items then. — Mary in Virginia


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