Dear Heloise: Whenever you have trouble opening a tight jar lid, set a hairdryer on high and, in a circular motion, move it over the lid. The heat will release the seal. Works every time.

 — J.R., Toronto, Ohio

Toothbrush holder hint

Dear Heloise: Some toothbrushes are too large for many toothbrush holders. I keep mine in a small vase filled with glass marbles. The marbles and container are easy to clean.

 — Ann E., York, New York

Ann, now, that is a really clever idea, and I’ll bet it looks lovely on your bathroom vanity.

— Heloise

Safety first

Dear Heloise: For cleaning, especially the bathroom, I cover my eyes with safety glasses. They also fit with my regular glasses. They keep my eyes safe from harsh chemical cleaners and sprays. I keep them with my cleaning supplies and wear them until I’m done cleaning.

 — Elizabeth S., Lebanon, Ohio

Another vinegar hint

Dear Heloise: I’ve found an easy way to clean my microwave. I have a spray bottle that is filled with a 3-to-1 ratio of white vinegar and water. I spray my microwave oven thoroughly to clean. Then let the spray sit for a few moments before wiping down with a wet dish cloth. I also use the spray on my laminate floors followed by a wet sponge mopping.

 — Mike in Mascoutah, Illinois

Thank you

Dear Heloise: Always at this time of year the subject of thank-you notes seems to arise. At our house we solved this easily. My children learned very early how important receiving the notes meant to the senders.

After the gifts were opened, they were labeled and placed on a high shelf. Pens and paper were set out, and only after the notes were written did the toys come down from the shelf. The children could then play with them with no nagging from Mom.

Today my children are in their 50s and they still write thank-you notes for gifts.

 — Anita P.,

Laguna Woods, California

Anita, I like it. People sometimes think writing a thank-you note is old-fashioned, but it’s not. It’s simply good manners and a classy thing to do. It shows the sender that you care and are appreciative of the gift.

— Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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