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Hints from Heloise: Grease and shells among garbage-disposal no-nos

Published: Saturday, May 3 2008 12:19 a.m. MDT

Dear Heloise: As a single man living alone, I would like to see a list of dos and don'ts for the garbage disposal. — Dave, San Angelo, Texas

Dave, it doesn't matter if you're single, married, have children or a house full of guys or gals, the disposal doesn't know! The first thing to do is read the manual, check online or call the manufacturer directly for the specific care and use recommendations. But, for a general guideline, DON'T put these items down the garbage disposal:

• Shells from shellfish (collect in a small plastic bag) and the shells when peeling hard-boiled eggs — they are not good for the plumbing or septic system.

• Bones.

• Fruit pits.

• Foods that are fibrous, such as corn husks, artichokes or celery.

• Grease of any kind.

• Caustic drain cleaners.

• Plastic, glass or china pieces.

Be sure to always use plenty of cold water when running the disposal; it will help to flush everything through the disposal and pipes. And when it's time to replace the disposal, keep in mind that the higher the motor's horsepower, the stronger the grinding ability will be. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: My husband and I are fortunate to be able to travel once or twice a year, and we have friends and acquaintances who enjoy receiving postcards from our various travel destinations. I have a list of names and addresses on my computer, which I print out on peel-and-stick labels and carry in my luggage.

After I purchase the postcards and write a message, I just peel and stick an address label in the appropriate slot, add a stamp and mail. I save the time of hand-writing the name and address on every card, and I don't have to carry my address book. — Charlotte Sale of Placentia, Calif.

Dear Heloise: Within five years, we've had one wedding and three children. From these events, we've received many gift bags. Of course, we use them to give gifts to other people, but I still thought there were way too many for me to use. One day I needed to put a change of clothes and snack aside for each child. I didn't have three backpacks or diaper bags. It dawned on me that I could use the gift bags. The kids think they're fun, and they end up getting use out of the bags — Michelle M., via e-mail

Dear Heloise: I have a wide-pocket curtain rod over my glass sliding doors and usually use accommodating valances to fit. However, once in a while I find new valances I like that have standard 1-inch rod pockets. To avoid putting up yet another curtain rod, I put drapery hooks on the insides of the valances and simply hang them on the wide pocket rod. An easy, inexpensive, neat solution that works beautifully. — Jean Milici, Torrington, Conn.


Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 210-435-6473; e-mail: Heloise@Heloise.com. © King Features Syndicate Inc.

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