Dear Readers: Mid-August means BACK TO COLLEGE for lots of young people. It may be their first time living on their own and doing chores such as laundry. Here are some of my time-tested and classic Heloise laundry hints for college students (and everybody else):
▪ Step One: Sorting. Whites and light colors get washed separately from dark clothes. Empty all pockets, zip zippers and fasten fasteners. Turn jeans inside out to delay fading.
▪ Step Two: Washing. Read the care label thoroughly. Use the correct water temperature for the garments; cooler water usually works just fine. Don't overfill the washer or use too much detergent. Less is more!
▪ Step Three: Drying. Shake items to loosen them when transferring them from the washer to the dryer — this will speed up drying. Select the cooler temperature on the dryer. A too-hot dryer can shrink and damage clothes. A dryer sheet can help eliminate static. Removing clothes as soon as the dryer stops can lessen wrinkling.
I have put all of my favorite laundry and stain-fighting hints (removing coffee, grass and lipstick stains, etc.) into a handy pamphlet, perfect for college kids, and for everyone else, too! Would you like to receive one? Visit www.Heloise.com to order, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Stains, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. One reader sent her son off to college with navy-blue everything: sheets, towels and jeans. This is one way to limit laundry disasters — ha! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Could you suggest a method to clean peanut butter residue from the jar prior to discarding it for recycling? — John M., Addison, Texas
John, great question! Recycling centers typically ask that you wipe out jars that have sticky residue with a used paper towel or tissue (then toss the towel on your compost pile).
The jar doesn't have to be perfectly clean, but a jar that is deemed too dirty can be relegated to the trash. Call 311 for guidelines in your city. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I've discovered that passwords need to be more complex than people make them. Don't forget to follow the guidelines that the website recommends, and look at your keyboard — there are so many possibilities!
I use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Spaces usually are not allowed. I never use my dog's name, my house number or my phone number — anything easily associated with me.
My hint is to make your passwords more difficult for hackers to decode by mixing letters, numbers and symbols. — Mike L. in Salt Lake City
Dear Heloise: I'm teaching my son some basic chores around the house so he can earn an allowance. One is, of course, taking out the trash. Each week, I ask him to wipe out the trash cans with a disinfectant wipe after he pulls out the bag.
Kind of an icky task, but leaks can happen! Thank you for your hints! — Alison I., Grove City, Pa.
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, 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.