Dear Heloise: I was wondering if you had a solution to CLEAN WALLPAPER? Thank you very much. -- J.S., via email
You bet I do, and it's using a cheap cleaning solution that you can make at home. If your wallpaper is washable, it's as simple as a few drops of mild liquid dishwashing soap and a gallon or so of water. Apply to the wall using a damp sponge, and do only one small area at a time. Then wipe off with clean water and dry.
To test if your wallpaper is washable, try in a small, hidden area first and allow to dry. If you notice any changes in the wallpaper -- e.g., it darkens or the colors run -- then you cannot "wash" the wallpaper.
If your wallpaper is not washable, contact the installer or manufacturer to find out its recommendations. If you have any leftover wallpaper, the information might be located on the roll.
Another way to help keep your wallpaper clean is to vacuum it regularly. Use the brush attachment or a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt and debris. Hope this helps! -- Heloise
Send a great hint to:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX
Dear Heloise: I enjoy your column. A reader recommended safe ways to bring seashells into the country while traveling. That reminded me of one of my tricks of traveling.
I take four pencil boxes with me when I travel -- not the long and narrow boxes, but rather the plastic boxes that are approximately 8 inches by 4 inches. You can buy them at any office-supply store. I pack them with socks, underwear, etc. As I travel and purchase delicate keepsakes, I wrap them up and store them in the boxes. I've been doing it for years, and I always get my delicate keepsakes home without a scratch! -- Steven W., Sacramento, Calif.
Yellow stain follow up
Dear Heloise: There may be hope for the woman who wrote about the yellow stains on her vinyl floor left by rubber-backed carpets. I had this problem, and I have avoided rubber-backed carpets ever since.
The once-unsightly stain on my bathroom floor is no longer noticeable. Perhaps time is the major player, but could sunshine have helped? My floor is gray tones, not off-white, but the yellow rectangle was once highly visible! -- A Reader, Ishpeming, Mich.
Yes, sunshine may have helped. However, it also can hurt, and may darken or yellow some vinyl, depending on how much sun and/or top coating. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I like to play games on my phone before going to bed, but the screen can be very bright, especially in a dark room.
It is really easy to change the brightness of my screen, so I do that when I am ready to lie in bed. On my phone, under the "Settings" menu, there is an option to change the brightness. In the morning, while I am getting ready, I just adjust the screen back to bright before I leave for the day. -- Hannah in New Jersey