Helpful Hints – Arkansas Online

DEAR READERS: Because of the coronavirus, we have become more aware of the importance of disinfecting and sanitizing. This may prompt us to hoard cleaning supplies, soaps, detergents, hand sanitizers, wipes, bleach, etc.

But hold the phone. Cleaning products have a shelf life; they can lose their efficacy over time. Here’s the scoop on longevity:

• Disinfecting wipes, disinfecting spray and hand sanitizer are less effective after two years.

• Liquid laundry detergent is good for six months to a year.

• Chlorine bleach, discard after six months.

Of course, these dates assume the cleaning items are stored properly — covered, in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

DEAR HELOISE: I always buy two or more pairs of the same color socks. This way, if one gets lost or gets a toe hole, I can rotate them and they’ll still wear evenly.

— G.M., Laurel, Md.

DEAR READERS: To avoid wasting vinegar that has been used to remove hard water buildup in the coffeemaker, save the filtered vinegar in an empty jar. The vinegar can be used again for cleaning the coffeemaker for a couple more times. Vinegar should be a staple in every home. It’s safe, cheap and great for cleaning and freshening a ton of items around the house. You can also use the filtered vinegar to freshen the kitchen sink drain.

DEAR HELOISE: I found a beautiful mirror framed in a dark bronzed metal at a resale shop, but it had seen better days. It had several nicks and scrapes in the