Dear Heloise: How do I remove hair spray that's baked onto my CURLING IRON? It's a mess, and it isn't that old. I would hate to toss it. —Priscilla Rodriguez from Texas

Try this: Pour some rubbing alcohol onto a terry towel or old washcloth and rub over the cool, unplugged iron. Keep rubbing until all of the residue has been removed. The iron should look practically new! Lastly, wipe the barrel with a water-dampened cloth. Clean it often to keep the hair spray from building up. Heloise

Dear Readers: Here are some handy ways to use nylon net, found at fabric stores:

• Tie up plants.

• Scrub sinks, bathtubs, etc. — it won't scratch.

• As a lint brush for clothes, shoes or furniture.

• In the shower or tub to exfoliate skin.

• In the kitchen as a pot scrubber. The advantage is that it rinses and dries without mildew. —Heloise

Dear Heloise: Large stores have cut back on sales assistants, so it's hard to find one to assist me with a product.

To save time hunting for a sales associate, I now whip out my cell phone and call the store where I'm shopping. When the operator answers, I tell him or her that I'm in the store and need sales assistance, along with my location. This has worked very well, and I usually get sales assistance in a couple of minutes. —Don Hepfer, via e-mail

Dear Heloise: Instead of tossing used foil, ball it up and use in place of a steel-wool pad. It is great to use on baked-on food — it works, and you are recycling —Angie Y., Niles, Ohio

Dear Heloise: I would like to share a reusable hint for tissue boxes. Instead of just throwing away your empty one, collect a few and start stuffing grocery bags into the boxes. This way, it will be easy to pull a bag out. —Anna Victoria Reich, Stafford, Va.

Dear Heloise: I read a suggestion for cleaning a glass coffee carafe. Here is my method:

Before I retired, many mornings when I got to work I'd go to make a new pot of coffee, and it had cremated coffee in the pot because somebody made coffee late in the day and didn't turn it off. The simplest way to clean it is to put a little bleach in the bottom, enough to cover the black deposit. By the time you put the bottle away, the deposit will be dissolved. All you need to do is rinse thoroughly until you can't smell any bleach. —Claude Bedell, Mission Viejo, Calif.


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