Hints from Heloise: Detergent causes cloudy glasses

Dear Heloise >> The main cause of cloudy drinking glasses is not hard water nor abrasive cleaning agents, but the accumulation of microscopic pitting from the dissolution of the silica in the glass surfaces, under the action of alkaline-dishwashing detergents. Silica is slightly soluble in water under the alkaline conditions, in part responsible for the effectiveness of dishwasher detergents.

Hand-washing with milder detergents and conditions, as well as prompt rinsing, can definitely be of help. Never allow glasses to sit in contact with dishwasher detergents either dry, or in solution, and proceed to rinse them promptly. But the pitting is otherwise inevitable and irreversible, although detergent manufacturers continually seek formulations to solve the problem.

— Neil Dougharty, The Woodlands, Texas

Dear Heloise >> One of the better things that we’ve ever done in our 85 years is forming the habit of writing the date (with black permanent markers, varying widths available) on nearly everything that comes into our house. You’d be surprised how often that little bit of knowledge comes in handy.

— L.C.

Dear Heloise >> I read your column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette every day. Betsy’s tip for cleaning the dryer filter was recently listed. I bought two 2-inch paint brushes (regular, not plastic, bristles), plus white 1-inch nails, and cut the bristles down to 1-inch in length. I then gifted them to all the female members of my immediate family, retaining one for myself. These were then hung beside the dryers.

— Pattie Shinn

Dear Heloise >> The reason I like clean boxes is because I decorate most things that get sent out of the house via mail, including boxes. One decoration I’ve done twice included Santa’s sleigh pulled by a series of reindeer, who went all the way around the box. The deer behind Santa is rearing up to avoid rear-ending him. And, no, I did not draw a dozen deer for this. I cut out a stencil and just modified that a bit to make them go around the box.  Cheers.

— Harvey Versteeg, Augusta, Maine

Dear Heloise >> In answer to the person who reuses a tea bag — I’ve been doing this for years. Put the used bag in a sandwich size zip-close bag, and it will remain moist.

— Donna Bruno

Dear Heloise >> I have enjoyed you and your mom’s column and ideas since I was a teenager in the 1970s. I read your column in the Orange County Register and I wanted to write in about the hint from Lucy in Fairfield, Connecticut. She recommended paper grocery bags instead of plastic. I wish you would have encouraged your readers to not use any of those store bags. In California, we must have our own reusable bags, or we are charged for each store bag.

Thank you for keeping us informed.

— Molly

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com


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