Dear Heloise: I recently moved into an apartment that had been vacant for several months. The one bathroom that I am not using has a tub that had a bunch of little fruit flies, and later, small flies. I later learned that they were sewer flies. I filled the tub with water a couple of times and used a container for the fruit flies that I got from the hardware store. It did not work.
My son-in-law suggested I try vinegar. So I filled the tub and adjoining sink with water, then when it drained, I poured about 1 to 2 cups of vinegar down each drain. I've done this a couple of times. It's been a couple of weeks now, and no bugs! Again, vinegar to the rescue. -- Peg Keenan, Omaha, Nebraska
Peg, vinegar is such an indispensable and safe household product that can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and cooking, as you have discovered. Find more uses in my pamphlet on vinegar. Get a copy by visiting www.Heloise.com or by sending $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Rinse your hair with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar added to 1 cup of tap water. This removes soap film and leaves your hair shiny and clean. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Regarding the question on how to air-dry diapers, the volume is more important than heat in quickly drying something. I have a pull-out drying rack attached to the wall next to the washer and a tabletop fan sitting on the washer. The fan has a frame that allows me to aim the air directly at the items being dried. I can air-dry heavy compression socks in about 45 minutes.
If I needed to use the shower curtain rod, I would use an oscillating pedestal fan that would be placed closer to the rod. And you can invest in pants hangers with clips so that there would only be a single layer of fabric to dry. -- A reader, via email
Cleaning Stainless Steel
Dear Heloise: I read your column about shining up stainless steel with vinegar or ammonia. I have found that using plain baking soda on my stainless steel polishes it very well. I simply dip my damp fingers into the baking soda and rub each utensil with the paste on my fingers. Then just rinse and dry. I use this technique on all stainless-steel items and glassware. It's gentle yet effective. It makes it shine nicely. I love your column and read your mom's for decades. -- Wanda G., via email
Dear Heloise: One of your readers wrote that she used a coffee filter to cover food to prevent a mess in her microwave. Great idea! Here's another: We use the glass lid of a Pyrex dish to heat our food. No muss, no fuss! -- Denis Richter, San Antonio, Texas
Dear Heloise: Please meet Nogard The Cricket Slayer. Nogard recently passed unexpectedly, but he was a good bearded dragon who really liked his crickets! Nogard is a family name that goes back to my great-great-great ... just kidding! Nogard is "dragon" spelled backward, and as "Game of Thrones" taught those who watched, every dragon needs a proper name. So we added "The Cricket Slayer." RIP Nogard. You were loved, and you are missed. -- Scott Kempf, Novato, California
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