Dear Readers: I have gotten several letters asking how to get red wine stains out of light colored carpet. When you are having a gathering, a lively and good time with friends and family, this just seems to happen. And we know it's not the end of the world! Here's what to do:
Get to the stain quickly. The sooner you do, the better result you will have. Blot up all of the liquid you can. Then apply a mixture of 1 part mild liquid detergent to 20 parts water. Blot with a microfiber cloth until there's no color left on the carpet. Last, finish with a mix of half white vinegar and half water for a final blot.
Vinegar is must-have in every home! It is so versatile; it can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking. I've put together a six-page pamphlet full of vinegar uses that you can have by visiting www.Heloise.com or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (75 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: To freshen your toilet bowl, pour in full-strength vinegar. Leave in for five minutes, scrub and then flush. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: In a column, someone wrote in about dyer lint and to carefully clean lint buildup regularly. You said never to leave your dryer running when you are not at home. Let me mention some other very important dryer precautions.
Never run your dryer when you go to bed. Make sure that it has cooled off before going to bed. A fire could start if the dryer is hot, even if it is not running. You surely don't want a fire while you are asleep. Also, make sure that the dryer is cooled off before leaving home. The same thing can happen. — Debbie in North Carolina
Debbie, thanks for this safety information. — Heloise
HOSPITAL SLEEP HINT
Dear Heloise: If you have a friend or relative or you yourself are going to spend a night or nights in the hospital, give them soft earplugs to use at night. We know that hearing is the last sense to leave the body, but it is the first sense to stimulate the mind. A good night's sleep is essential to good health -- both mental and physical. There is no harm in trying them. Advice from a retired RN. -- Joan Brown, Fairfax, Virginia
Joan, hospitals are filled with lots of people and equipment, which can be noisy, so having earplugs will help you get some sleep. -- Heloise
Making flowers last longer
Dear Heloise: Another tip to keep flowers fresh longer is to give the stem a fresh cut when you first get them, and then again every few days that they last. Dump the old water for fresh water at the same time. — Cary, via email
Dear Heloise: I have had it! When I call a business, I have to navigate my way around the robotic voice, prompts and long waits. If I had the "correct" answers to the robotic voice, I would give it. When I request customer service, the annoying voice says, "... to get you to the right person ..."
I wish businesses would return to human beings answering the phone. First of all, people would be employed at a living wage; therefore, people would not need unemployment. The pandemic has hurt many people in this country, so it would be a win-win. -- Frustrated Customer
Dear Readers: As we're turning the corner on COVID and the economy recovers, you may find yourself interviewing for a new job or promotion. You need to talk during the interview, of course, to sell yourself, but what are some things you should NOT say? Let's take a look:
-- Never say: "I'm the greatest in my department." Boastfulness can be off-putting. Instead, say, "I'm proud of what I've accomplished."
-- Never say bad things about a past supervisor. If you're talking bad about him or her, you'll talk bad about your new boss. You can say what you've learned, but keep it professional.
-- Don't let on that you like to work alone. Whether it's your thing or not, you'll probably have group projects at some point. You must be a team player.
-- Never state that you are desperate for a job. The employer wants to know what skills you can add to the position. Research the company and talk about that and what your contributions can be. Specific examples of how you grew your previous department would be helpful.
-- Always ask questions about the position and what the expectations and goals are. The one question NOT to ask: What is the salary? The employer wants to know what you can bring to the company before they offer you a compensation package.
Good luck in your job search. Let your confidence and your verbal skills shine, but just be careful not to say the wrong things. -- Heloise
TECH TALK TUESDAY
Dear Readers: We've probably all deposited a check remotely at this point by taking a picture of the check on the financial institution's app. But did you know you can pay bills the same way?
It's called Picture Pay, and it's easy. First, take a picture of the billing statement. Then, in your bank's app, confirm the amount to be paid and submit the payment. Your bank uses technology called optical character recognition (OCR). OCR reads the information from your bill and, with built-in analytics, the bill gets paid.
You don't have to enter your account number or the name of the company either. The computer software does all of that. Check it out. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: My friend lost her son tragically to distracted driving. He was shooting video with his phone while driving and took his eyes off the road for just five seconds. That was enough for him to lose control of the car, and he crashed.
My friend wants you to know: Distracted driving is, yes, fussing with your phone, but it is also putting on makeup, fiddling with the radio, eating while driving -- anything that takes your focus and eyes off the road. -- Marisol R. in Texas
Marisol, I'm so sorry about your friend's son. Readers: you must concentrate on driving when you are behind the wheel. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Protecting your hair from chlorine in the pool is smart. Coat dry hair with a tiny glom of hair conditioner especially made for swimmers; it's a good barrier from chlorine. -- Heloise
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.