Cleaning combo stymies stain

Dear Heloise: I had a STAIN on my kitchen countertop — pink rings from diet soda and a raspberry lemonade mix. I tried scouring with baking soda — it didn’t work. Then I applied more baking soda and a few drops of white vinegar. BINGO! Came right off!

I just wanted to pass this along for stubborn stains using your two favorite cleaners. Thank you!

— Mary Frances E., Thomas, W.Va.

Wonderful! Your persistence and the “If at first” methodology that many homemakers implement daily paid off! And you’re right, Mary Frances: Baking soda and vinegar are my go-to favorites for cleaning and freshening almost all areas of your home! I’ve compiled a collection of my best vinegar hints and recipes in a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy! Visit my website, www. Heloise.com, to order, or send a long, stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/ Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Rinse the toilet seat with vinegar and water weekly, and dry with paper towels.

— Heloise

Powder power

Dear Heloise: I discovered that my favorite powder was no longer being made by the perfume company. Do you know of a recipe for making my own, since the cologne and perfume are still in production? I sure hope I can make my own, because I hate to change fragrance, much less find a new one I like.

— Carol H., via email

Everybody loves to save money, so making your own dusting powder is a great way to enjoy this little luxury!

Take your old dusting-powder container and fill it with cornstarch. Spray generously with your favorite cologne, shake gently and it will be ready to go!

— Heloise

Sticker help

Dear Heloise: I have a light-colored kitchen floor that shows all crumbs and dirt. I eat bananas every morning, and I use the produce-company sticker from the banana to pick up small crumbs and dirt from the floor and throw it all in the trash.

Easy, and no effort!

— Donna M., Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Creative use for a banana sticker!

— Heloise

Cleaning knickknacks

Dear Heloise: In regards to cleaning glass knickknacks: I use window cleaner now, but I used to put them in the sink and wash with mild dishwashing soap.

— Karen K., Aberdeen, S.D.

Line the sink with an old towel to protect both.

— Heloise

Lush brushes

Dear Heloise: I clean my hairbrushes a lot. The best way I’ve found to do so is to soak them in a solution of baking soda and water. I leave them overnight, then rinse thoroughly. Clean as can be!

— Heather J. in Dallas

Drying socks

Dear Heloise: I read your column in the (Waterbury, Conn.) Republican-American. I use two multiple-skirt hangers to dry my socks. Several pairs dry at once, with no shrinking. I can see pairs at a glance. It’s a safe place to keep the single ones until their mates show up, three or four wash loads later!

— Cheryl K., Waterbury, Conn.