Cleaning dishwasher

Dear Readers: How do you thoroughly clean your dishwasher? Remove the racks and set them aside. Inspect the jets for gunk, food buildup and other yuckiness. Use a toothpick to pick out the debris. Wipe out the interior with soapy water and a sponge or paper towel. Then add my glorious go-to, vinegar! Pour 2 cups in the bottom of the empty dishwasher and run the short cycle. In the middle of the cycle, pause the machine and let the vinegar go to work to break apart any remaining mess. Restart and complete the cycle, and the dishwasher will be sparkling clean.

Vinegar is a workhorse around the home. Cheap, readily available and safe, I reach for it time and again. I’ve compiled a collection of my favorite vinegar hints and recipes into a handy pamphlet. Would you like to receive one? It’s easy. Visit to order, or send a stamped (70 cents), long, self-addressed envelope, along with $5, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. You also can freshen your washing machine by adding a generous splash or two of vinegar and running a small-load (no clothes) cycle. – Heloise

Toenail tamer

Dear Heloise: As I get older, my toenails are thicker and harder to cut. While I shower, I close the tub stopper and let my feet soak. Then my nails are easier to cut. – Marion D., Harvey Cedars, N.J.

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