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HELOISE: Additional garbage disposal no-nos

HELOISE: Additional garbage disposal no-nos

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Dear Heloise: I thoroughly enjoy reading your column in The Times of Northwest Indiana. Today Carrie P. asked about tips for the use and care of a garbage disposal, as she had never had one. As someone who's had one most of their (long!) life, I wanted to add to your advice.

NEVER put raw meat, eggshells or veggie byproducts in the disposal (green, leafy veggies or celery, peelings from potatoes, carrots, beets, apples, pears, peaches, etc.). These will get slimy and are unlikely to decompose.

To freshen the disposal, use fairly liberal amounts of baking soda and lemon juice or vinegar. Let the effervescence do its thing, then use plenty of cold water to rinse any residue. It might seem like there's more you can't use your disposal for than you can, but believe me, it is a very handy appliance! Thanks for all your hints! Stay safe. Stay blessed. — Susan Wood, via email

Susan, vinegar is such a utilitarian and useful household product for everything from cleaning to deodorizing and cooking. Check out my pamphlet full of vinegar uses by visiting, or send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: To clean plastic upholstery, wipe down with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. — Heloise

Vaccination hint

Dear Heloise: We are told not to laminate our COVID vaccination cards. So I laminated a copy that I carry in my purse and leave the original at home, so it can be updated if necessary. — Patty Burg, Rapid City, S.D.

Love your column! Read it in the Rapid City Journal. — Patty Burg, Rapid City, S.D.

Dryer fires

Dear Heloise: The dryer fire hint that appeared in your column recently left out the most important hint: a yearly cleaning of the vent from the dryer to the outside vent. We recently had our dryer stop heating, which required a repair to the high temperature thermostat. On the advice of the technician, we had the dryer vent cleaning company clean the vent hose from the dryer to the roof vent. The cleaner found a 4-inch-thick plug of lint at the roof vent caused by faulty installation of the roof vent. The cleaner also advised yearly clean-outs to avoid any reoccurrence! — Ronald, Kerrville, Texas

Ronald, thanks for this important fire safety hint. -- Heloise

Another use for pool noodles

Dear Heloise: I have used the small-diameter pool noodles in senior care facilities to exercise the residents indoors. I cut them in half so they are shorter, and the resident uses it as a bat to hit balloons that I throw to them. They love it, and the balloon can't do any damage inside or hurt anyone if hit. It can be used in any indoor setting with an elderly relative, especially one confined to a wheelchair. — Alan H. Simon, Sherman Oaks, California


Dear Heloise: I found an easy way to remove hair from hairbrushes that won't knock off the tiny beads that many brushes have. I used a soft toothbrush and ran it along the hairbrush rows. The toothbrush snags the hair. After doing this several times, the brush was free of hair. This works especially well on hairbrushes that have metal cores. -- Alice P., Little Rock, Arkansas


Dear Readers: Do you have a funny and furry friend to share? Email a picture and description of your pet to To see our Pet Pals, go to and click on "Pet of the Week." -- Heloise


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