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Dispose of smelly drain

Published Oct. 10, 2005

Comment: I had to clean my disposal today, and it reminded me to write to you about the best method I have found.

I bought a commode brush just for this purpose. I start by running the hottest water and then adding liquid dishwashing detergent. I brush it up and down and around from top to bottom (disposal is off, of course). The brush cleans under the ring as it would the commode. I then pour a little bleach through and rinse it down.

At this time, it is good to run orange peels through it to give it a fresh smell. The disposal harbors many germs, so it is good to do this quite often. _ Eva Skees, Louisville, Ky.

Comment: Your cleaning method is good; however, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers suggest that bleach should not be poured down drains with garbage disposals. The bleach may damage the stainless steel on the disposal and may actually "eat" the rubber gasket. _ Heloise

Instant garden cart

Comment: A zillion thanks for the hint about using a nutcracker to open small bottles.

A folding grocery cart makes a very handy yard cart. It holds a large plastic bag and is light.

Instead of hauling heavy bags of bird seed, fertilizer, etc., keep them in the car trunk and use the contents from the trunk. Watch for chipmunks getting into the bird seed, though. _ Sue Tummonds, Mantua, Ohio

Chemical nightmare

Question: My mother says you must never to mix dishwashing detergent and chlorine bleach together to use as a cleaner but she's unsure of exactly why. Do you know? _ Sally C., Conway, Ark.

Answer: Your mother is right! According to the Soap and Detergent Association, you should avoid mixing hand-dishwashing detergents with chlorine bleach. Some formulations contain ingredients, especially ammonia, that are incompatible with chlorine, and hazardous gases may be released. _ Heloise

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279 or fax it to 512-HELOISE.