Tips for softer underwear and healthier nails
Dear Heloise: I purchased a package of 100 percent cotton underwear. I noticed the label said “Do not use FABRIC SOFTENER.” Who wants scratchy underwear? Why is this, and how does it hurt the garment if used? — Mary in Ohio
Hey, Mary! Such a curiosity, huh? There is a valid reason manufacturers put this on the label. Both liquid softener and dryer sheets “coat” fabrics and diminish the wicking (moisture-moving) ability of the fabric, even 100 percent cotton.
Use minimal detergent so the soap rinses out well, and tumble dry. Your undies should be soft and comfortable.
Other fabrics where fabric softener shouldn’t go? Microfiber, athletic (workout) wear, flame-resistant clothing, water-repellent fabrics and towels. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I can’t figure out why bags of frozen fruits, vegetables, etc., have zippered closures. A zippered closure doesn’t work when the bag is full of ice crystals, or the bag falls open and makes a mess! — A.W., Decatur, Ind.
Interesting point! Here are some freezer facts, courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov):
* “Freezer burn” is ugly, but the food is still OK to consume. The quality of the food is affected, but not its safety. It happens when food is not tightly wrapped; the “burned” portion is merely dried out.
* Freezing foods will stop bacteria from growing, but it probably won’t kill most bacteria.
* Prepare pre-made frozen foods according to the package directions.
* Contrary to some beliefs, freezing foods does not reduce their nutrients.
* If the electricity goes out in your home, a loaded freezer will keep an acceptable and safe temperature for about two days. Don’t open the door.
Dear Heloise: It’s a good idea to use your car’s four-way flashers when backing up. White backup lights aren’t clearly visible to drivers in parking lots unless you are directly in front of them.
To drivers looking for parking spaces and approaching from a row of cars, the white backup lights aren’t seen very well. Using the four-way flashers will provide a better view for other drivers and pedestrians. — Paul H., Torrance, Calif.
Readers, make sure to check your state’s laws about using hazard lights while the vehicle is moving. — Heloise
IN POSITION TO CONDITION
Dear Heloise: Hair conditioner says it can make hair stronger, and our nails are made from basically the same materials as hair. I massage hair conditioner into my bare fingernails and toenails a few nights per week.
This works well while watching TV, and I believe my nails are healthier for it! — Elizabeth W. in Rhode Island
Certainly not harmful, and the fragrances of the conditioners are fresh and lovely. — Heloise
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.