How best to get rid of battery corrosion?

DEAR HELOISE: Several years ago, you printed a recipe that removed battery corrosion. Could you reprint that? — Holly, Hagerstown, Md.

Holly, I'm happy to print this money-saving hint! For flashlight and other small electronic devices, first remove the batteries, then use a paper towel to gently wipe away light corrosion. Use 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a little water — just enough to form a paste. Apply the paste to the battery terminals, and the corrosion should foam up and go away.

Wipe all the areas with a clean, damp cloth, and dry everything WELL. Remember that moisture causes faster corrosion. To prevent corrosion from forming on seldom-used items, remove the batteries and store separately in a self-sealing bag. Baking soda has so many uses around the home that will save you lots of money. To receive a copy of my six-page pamphlet, just send $5 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (61 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Baking Soda, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. An empty shoebox with about 1/2 inch of baking soda in it will help absorb odors when placed in the bottom of your closet. — Heloise

Fast facts

DEAR HELOISE:Here are a few more ideas for those plastic newspaper sleeves:


• Put some in the car to use as makeshift plastic gloves in an emergency.

• Use as trash bags in a pinch.

• Store a wet umbrella in one.

— Lydia in Virginia

Fantastic plastic

DEAR HELOISE:Regarding those products that come encased in hard plastic: It is super dangerous to try to cut through the plastic! I have discovered the perfect solution for opening them: I use my seam ripper. It cuts through very easily, and there is no danger of cutting yourself. I have been using this hint for several years. Sally in Fort Wayne, Ind.

College items

DEAR HELOISE:I read about pre-purchasing college items. Mount Union College (soon to be University), which is close to me, had a slightly different idea. It held a "garage sale" of items no longer needed by outgoing students (mostly seniors, I imagine) that incoming (or continuing) students could purchase to furnish their rooms. Anything left over was donated to various charities. — Tim W. Elder, Louisville, Ohio


Register receipts

DEAR HELOISE:Since many places of business include their address and phone number on cash-register receipts, I keep those that I may need to contact or revisit in the future. This system works for supermarkets, restaurants, stores and pharmacies in my hometown, as well as cities that I have visited while on vacation and plan to return to. — Kate, Dallas

Sound off

DEAR HELOISE:My Sound Off is about people in cars swinging out into the right lane to make a left turn. It's dangerous! — Renee in Ventura, Calif.

Yes, it is! We checked in Heloise Central, and turn signals not being used is the No. 1 complaint. — Heloise

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