Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about people and their driving habits.

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: Driving a vehicle can become so familiar that some people naturally get a little careless about using their turn signals, coming to a complete stop at stop signs and tailgating other drivers. But those pale when compared with cellphones: texting and answering calls. A couple of years ago, on graduation night from high school, five young girls were killed when the driver was texting behind the wheel. Five young lives gone in only a few seconds; five families who had to bury otherwise healthy, young daughters. If you are driving, don’t answer your phone and don’t text! Whatever the phone call or text is about, it can wait until you’ve stopped driving.”

 — Joanie in California

Fast facts

Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for transparent tape:

• Repair hems when the thread has been pulled out.

• Cover a label on a package to keep it from being ripped off.

• When on a trip, attach a note on a mirror to tell your travel mate where you are.

• Tape prices on items at a garage sale.

— Heloise

Fragrant shoes

Dear Heloise: My sister often sends me beautifully scented soaps for gift-giving occasions. I always save the wrapper and put it inside my shoes or in a drawer. I take it out when I wear the shoes. These wrappers work as a free air freshener!

 — Joan, via email

Smelly books

Dear Heloise: I wanted to store some of my dad’s books for him, but I didn’t want that “musty, old” smell that books can get. So, I used a large plastic bin and placed the books inside. Then I took an old sock, put some activated charcoal inside it and tied up the open end. I put the sock with charcoal inside the plastic bin with the books. A year later, the books were still as fresh as the day they were bought.

 — Lucy L., Oakdale, Minnesota

Hint from him

Dear Heloise: I have tried vinegar, and it works wonderfully, besides being inexpensive and versatile. For window cleaning, I prefer to use a squeegee versus paper towels or cloths.

A clean towel is necessary to wipe the bottom edge. To avoid the frustration of seeing streaks, I use up-and-down strokes (vertical) on one side and side-to-side strokes (horizontal) on the opposite side. This method eliminates the guesswork of going inside or outside if you see streaks.

 — Rich H., via email

Sheet smarts

Dear Heloise: I scrub out my sink with a used dryer sheet. It has a nubbly texture, which cleans things perfectly. I buff and dry with a paper towel.

 — David R. in Oregon

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