Hints from Heloise: Air conditioner gets deep cleaning
Dear Heloise: I always thought that I just needed to clean the filter in my small air conditioner unit monthly with a vacuum until I read the user manual for it.
After removing the front panel, I realized that more extensive cleaning needed to be done; there was quite a bit of dust and grime in there. A 6-minute video helped me give it a safe, deep cleaning using household materials.
I unplugged the unit, cleaned the filter with dishwashing liquid in the sink, cleaned the fins gently with a toothbrush and compressed air, and spritzed the outer panel with hydrogen peroxide. The unit was as good as new.
After allowing everything to dry and replacing the parts, I then plugged it in. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence, but colds and upper respiratory issues that my husband and I had been plagued with over the summer cleared up within a few days.
By the way, I’ve always loved your and your mother’s columns, and my mom requested that I read your column to her every day when she was in an extended care facility during the last nine months of her life. What great loyalty. — Maryanne H., via email
NO TRASH IN THE FREEZER
Dear Heloise: I don’t like garbage smelling in my kitchen trash can either, but putting trash or garbage in the freezer until trash day, as someone suggested, sounds gross to me. What I do is put a trash bag on a hook (you can buy stick-on hooks) in my trash can outside. Each day, I put whatever is smelly in it and just close it up when it’s full or when trash day comes.
And if you have already wasted a freezer bag or are worried about the unclosed trash bag outside in the trash can, then just put the closed-up freezer bag full of garbage in the trash bag that hangs inside the trash bin, instead of inside the freezer. No trash or garbage in the freezer for me. — Marys Dau, in New York
ELECTRIC POOL COVER
Dear Heloise: I wanted to write in concerning the husband and wife in Florida who wanted to keep neighborhood children out of their pool. When we moved into our first home and found out my wife was pregnant, my mother was insistent that we fill the pool and sent us stories of children drowning.
Instead, we purchased a permanent electric pool cover. When it was closed, the family could stand on it without it sinking. We kept it closed unless we were using the pool, and it required a code to open and close it.
We replaced the cover 20 years later, and we still feel safe when our grandchildren are around. And our children and grandchildren all became very good swimmers. — Tom C., Anaheim, California
Dear Heloise: If you’re traveling someplace where you’ll be staying overnight in a hotel, you can help prevent slipping in the shower by purchasing a roll of skid-free, rubberized shelf liner and laying a sizable section down in the shower. Afterward, you can dry it off with towels and pack it back in your suitcase. It can also work well as a cushion when wrapped around something like a camera or anything breakable. It’s lightweight, too. — S.M., in Indiana
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.