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Disinfect or clean: Not same thing

Dear Readers: It’s Saturday; let’s clean! But are we cleaning or disinfecting? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning is defined as using soap or detergent to remove dirt, dust, grime and germs from surfaces, but doesn’t necessarily kill the germs. Disinfecting involves using chemicals to completely kill germs on surfaces.

Common everyday commercial products that you find at the grocery store are fine to clean and disinfect. But you can save money by making your own cleaner/disinfectant at home.

I’ve compiled my favorite Homemade Cleaning Solutions into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? Visit www.Heloise.com to order, or send a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope with $5 to: Heloise/Cleaners, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

FYI: Never, never ever mix ammonia with bleach. This will cause a noxious gas. — Heloise

CLEAR EARS

Dear Heloise: We adopted Patootie, a rescued stray, two years ago, and she arrived with chronic ear problems. We’ve found that the home remedy swimmers ear cure — equal parts rubbing alcohol and vinegar — seems to keep her ears healthy. If she starts pawing at her ears and they sound squishy, I fill up her ear canal with the solution and massage the base of her ears to make sure it goes in. She doesn’t love it, but she does love that the mixture dries out her ears.

The groomer, who cleans her ears as part of the session, said that her ears had never looked better. I thought you’d want to know yet another use for vinegar! Cheers! — Denise R., San Antonio, Texas

Denise, thanks so much! Readers, check out www.Heloise.com to see Patootie, and check with your veterinarian about the alcohol and vinegar ear solution! — Heloise

TWO-FER

Dear Heloise: I have a lot of pet hair on my carpet, but I can get a two-fer (exercise and pet hair pick-up) by using my rubber garden clogs. I drag my feet back and forth, right to left and back. That movement gives me great inner thigh aerobic exercise. It also gathers the pet hair into an easy-to-pick-up shape. I don’t have to empty my vacuum container as often either. — Barbara C., San Antonio, Texas

Barbara, I love this! The idea of getting beneficial exercise from the mundane task of picking up pet hair is fabulous! I think I’m going to try that myself. Thanks for sharing. Keep those ideas coming. — Heloise

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