In the interest of saving water and money, I have started to save the water I run in the shower before it gets hot. I hated seeing all that water going down the drain. I use a clean milk gallon jug and run the tap for the bath, collecting the cold water. I then can shower with the hot water.
I use the water for my plants, for cooking, making coffee, filling ice trays, etc. Keep in mind, the water is clean. In this way, I am saving about 3 1/2 gallons a week and 182 gallons a year. - Rosemary Jones, Toms River, N.J.
PERMANENT SIDEWALK SKETCHES?
I usually let my young children draw on the concrete sidewalk outside our house with sidewalk chalk. The other day, without me knowing, they grabbed a bunch of permanent markers instead of chalk without my permission and drew on the sidewalk. Can you help? - Melissa H., San Antonio
Wet the stain, then apply enough powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent (both of which contain bleach, as well as deep-cleaning agents) to cover. Scrub with a utility brush; let sit for 20 minutes or so; rinse or hose off. You might need to repeat. While cleaning, keep pets and kids away from the area. - Heloise
When my daughter was sick, I put a turntable on the nightstand next to her bed. It held medicines, tissues, water, alarm clock, remote control - anything she might have needed was within easy reach. - Amanda R., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Here is how I eliminated that musty, dusty smell from my vacuum cleaner: I added several whole cloves to the bag. - Linda Lou, Minneapolis
I find that my cell-phone plan offers many more text messages per month than I actually use, so I found a new use for them. When I need to remind myself of something, I send myself a text message. That way, I use up some of those wasted messages, and I don't have to worry about writing myself a reminder and forgetting where I put the piece of paper. - Katie, Washington, D.C.
PAPER TOWELS TO GO
Many years ago, I took a short elastic cord and ran it through a roll of paper towel. I hung the cord inside my car trunk, and the paper towels stayed in place really well and were always at hand if I needed a quick cleanup. - B.V. Neidel, Hermitage, Mo.