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Kids, time to wash your hands!

Dear Readers: With kids back in school, it means good hand-washing is a must. Germs love to be shared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) suggests the following method:

• Dampen hands with warm running water; turn off the tap.

• Distribute soap on the palms of your hands, the backs and in between fingers. Be sure to clean under your nails.

• Wash for 20 to 30 seconds. This is a good time for kids to practice counting!

• Rinse with running water.

• Use a clean paper towel to dry your hands.

When to wash? After the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or coughing, among other times. No running water? Hand sanitizer is a good stopgap, but it's not effective if your hands are really dirty. Adult supervision is necessary with hand sanitizer.

-- Heloise

Climbing to the moon

Dear Heloise: Hotels that have upgraded rooms with high-to-the-moon beds? While puffy mattresses may feel like a cloud, a bed you cannot easily get in and out of is dangerous.

One hotel now provides step stools when requested. -- Marilyn J., Concord, N.H.

Streak-free clean

Dear Heloise: When I clean mirrors and windows, I always find streaks on the glass. How can I clean them? -- Victoria, via email

Victoria, vinegar is my go-to household helper: It's cheap, readily available and safe, and it works great to clean glass. Here's my formula: In 12 ounces of water, add 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and a drop of blue or green food coloring, if desired. Pour into a labeled spray bottle.

-- Heloise

Rough nub

Dear Heloise: I love glass dishes with lids, but the glass nub at the center of the lid gets slippery. I use etching cream from a crafts store to coat the glass nub. Five minutes and voila -- no more slippery lid!

I enjoy reading your column every day in the Houston Chronicle. -- Mrs. Jane B. in Houston

Carefully follow the package directions.

-- Heloise

Letter of laughter

Dear Heloise: Is it wrong to eat lunch in my breakfast nook? -- A Reader, via email

I won't tell if you won't!

-- Heloise

Remember me

Dear Heloise: Through the years, my mother and I saved newspaper obituaries and funeral cards of deceased relatives. I organized these by sides of the family, chronologically, and put them in albums. The obit sometimes has a photo, lists of places and dates of birth and death, spouse, children, grandchildren, occupations/clubs, etc.

I also saved wedding and birth announcements. This helps in researching family history or making a family tree. -- Carol L.M., Hutchinson, Kan.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.