Clean Sink Drains


Dear Heloise: What’s the best way to CLEAN SINK DRAINS? — Kimberly W. in Florida

Kimberly, this is one of the questions that people ask all the time! There are several Heloise Hints for cleaning the drain so that it does not get clogged up. The most important hint is: Don’t wait until it starts draining slowly or is completely stopped up! If you do the preventive hint, then you should not have to call a plumber! This common and easy-to-take-care-of household situation was just covered in a story that Good Housekeeping magazine did about me in the March issue. (Disclosure: I have been lucky enough to write a column for Good Housekeeping for almost 30 years.) There also are a lot of tried-and-true Heloise hints in the story about getting stains out (pet urine, chocolate, etc.), cleaning wooden cutting boards and butcher blocks, and how to get out underarm stains from shirts!

Here’s the scoop on what to do to keep drains smelling fresh and free-flowing. First, pour in about 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup table salt. You can mix them together first if you want to. Then the magic! Grab a big bottle or jug of cheap household white or apple-cider vinegar and glug, glug away! You will see the foam and bubbles rise out of the drain — it’s really pretty cool! Let it sit for 10-20 minutes (longer is NOT more effective), then turn on the hot water, let run for 20-30 seconds, followed by about the same of cold water. That is it! If you do this every few weeks, it will help prevent a blockage. Another hint? Don’t stand over the sink to brush/comb your hair. Where do you think all of the loose hair goes? Down the drain, in the pipes, and then add gunk from washing hands, washing off makeup and all of the other normal things we do when using a sink. It’s a super-duper gunky mess just waiting for the right time to cause a big old backup of water!

No stinky, yucky drains — ever!

— Heloise


Dear Readers; Lip liner helps define your lips and prevent lipstick from “bleeding.” There’s a product you have that will help make your lipstick last longer. Apply a thin coat of foundation on your lips. Let sit a few seconds, then put on your lip liner and lipstick. Blot with a tissue, then add one more coat of lipstick.

— Heloise


Dear Heloise: When my now-deceased mother was in an assisted-living center, she dearly loved the terry-cloth robe I gave her. The caregivers put it on her immediately as she stepped out of her bath. It kept her warm and absorbed much of the water on her body while the caregiver quickly dried her feet and legs. It became her favorite present!

— Linda D., Edwards, Miss.

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise(at) I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2013 by King Features Syndicate Inc.