Dear Heloise: Calling all recycling warriors! Have you considered recycling water used in your home? You should! Household water that can be reused is called “gray water,” and it comes from washing dishes (water from dishwashing in the sink must be free of grease and oils), washing clothes (no liquid fabric-softener residue), bathing and showering, and catching rainwater outside.
Watering the lawn is a popular use for gray water. Collecting the water can be as simple as grabbing buckets when it is raining, setting them outside and pouring the collected water on your garden. Check out some articles online.
Amy R., Latrobe, Pa.
Amy R.: Great ways to reuse water! Keep buckets of water away from toddlers, for safety’s sake. Also, mark on the buckets or a large plastic trash can how much water you “captured” so you actually can see how much water you are recycling as you save on your water bill — that’s pretty cool!
Dear Heloise: Paint samples aren’t just for paint! I have several pairs of jeans in nonstandard colors. This can make buying coordinating tops a challenge.
I found that paint samples matching the colors of the jeans make shopping much easier. I get paint samples at the hardware store or big-box retailer. I label them and keep them in my purse for easy access.
Kathy A., Salem, Ore.
Dear Heloise: I mop my kitchen floor, but it never looks really shiny — help!
Olga G. in Texas
Olga G. in Texas: Help is on the way. When you are mopping the floor, empty the water bucket as often as you can. Then add ½ cup of vinegar to about a gallon of warm water and go over the floor again with a mop that you use just for this purpose. (If your kitchen flooring is hardwood, use vinegar only on sealed hardwood floors.) Vinegar is one of my favorite go-to household helpers. It is cheap, safe and readily available. I have put together a collection of my favorite vinegar uses in a handy pamphlet. World you like to receive one? It’s easy! Just visit my website, Heloise.com, to order, or send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/ Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Vinegar is highly acidic — don’t use it on granite or marble countertops.
Dear Heloise: Ever find that you need to measure something in a hurry? A United States currency bill is just over 2½ inches tall and just over six inches long.
Bill D. in Kentucky
Dear Heloise: I love honey, but it can get hard in the jar. Here’s how I soften it:
I take off the lid and place the jar in warm water until the crystals dissolve. I never boil honey — it can scorch!
Henry C., Birmingham, Ala.
2017, King Features Syndicate