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Cleaning products have a shelf life

Dear Readers: Because of the coronavirus, we have become more aware of the importance of disinfecting and sanitizing. This may prompt us to hoard cleaning supplies, soaps, detergents, hand sanitizers, wipes, bleach, etc.

But hold the phone! Cleaning products have a shelf life; they can lose their efficacy over time. Here’s the scoop on longevity:

* Disinfecting wipes, disinfecting spray and hand sanitizer are less effective after two years.

* Liquid laundry detergent is good for six months to a year.

* Chlorine bleach, discard after six months.

Of course, these dates assume the cleaning items are stored properly — covered, in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. — Heloise

SOCKS ON THE DOUBLE

Dear Heloise: I always buy two or more pairs of the same color sock. This way, if one gets lost or gets a toe hole, I can rotate them and they’ll still wear evenly. — G.M., Laurel, Md.

SAVE THAT VINEGAR

Dear Readers: To avoid wasting vinegar that has been used to remove hard water buildup in the coffeemaker, save the filtered vinegar in an empty jar. The vinegar can be used again for cleaning the coffeemaker for a couple more times. Vinegar should be a staple in every home. It’s safe, cheap and great for cleaning and freshening a ton of items around the house. You’ll find a list of cleaning formulas in my six-page vinegar pamphlet that you can have by visiting www.Heloise.com or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 5001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. You can also use the filtered vinegar to freshen the kitchen sink drain. — Heloise

MIRROR REPAIR

Dear Heloise: I found a beautiful mirror framed in a dark bronzed metal at a resale shop, but it had seen better days. It had several nicks and scrapes in the finish. To repair it, instead of buying a whole can of paint, I found small jars of enamel paint used for painting models at the local craft and hobby shop.

They’re only $2 a jar, and come in a multitude of colors and finishes. It was a perfect match and easy to use with a small brush. The remainder can be used to repair other items the same color around the house — handles, doorknobs, towel racks, light fixtures, lamps, patio furniture, etc. — Becca, Colorado Springs, Colo.

NANA CAMP

Dear Heloise: Since we live far away from our grandchildren, I feel the need to bring “nana camp” to them when we visit. One whole suitcase is devoted to them. It is filled with crayons, paper, scissors, tape, watercolors, puzzles, dress-up, fabric, felt, glue, you name it! We have fun! The suitcase provides hours of fun and creativity. I hope someone will try this, too. — Corrinne, via email

Corrinne, what a fun Nana you are! — Heloise

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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.

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