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It was a lovely meal. The conversation was engaging, the entrée delightful—a good time was had by all. The guests are long gone and now you’re stuck with an ugly red wine stain on your prized tablecloth. Is this linen destined for the rag bag? Not if you know this super simple solution:

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RED WINE STAINS. If you get red wine on a washable tablecloth or napkin, spread the stained portion over a bowl or your kitchen sink. Now liberally sprinkle ordinary table salt on top of the stain. Next, pour boiling water over the salt and through the cloth to take out the stain. Provided you can do this while that stain is still fresh, this works really well. Josie

SIMPLIFY STORAGE. Here’s my “simplify tactic” for those darn plastic storage containers we use for leftovers. I have three sizes, all the same—the cheap brand I find at the grocery store. Each size is stackable. I don’t save plastic butter, cottage cheese, and cream cheese containers for leftovers. I only use the three sizes. I add to the collection if needed, only the three sizes, only the same brand. That way I am not hopelessly looking for lids to fit whatever stray bottom I want to use, and they are easy to store in the fridge. Amazing. Val

WET ONES. My professional carpet cleaner said the best thing to use for stains is Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes. They are terrific and work well for all kinds of everyday carpet stains! Linda

FINGERPRINTS BE GONE. I found a terrific way to clean fingerprints from my stainless steel appliances: Mix equal parts of rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol and baby oil in a small container that has a lid. Shake well. To use:  Dampen a soft, clean cloth an wipe away the prints. Results are clean, shiny surfaces that resist fingerprints for quite a while. Lori 

CLEAN GROUT. I use a battery powered toothbrush to brush my teeth. After a few months, instead of throwing the toothbrush head away, I use it to remove the stains from my tile counters. After using a sponge to wet down the grout, I sprinkle a little cleanser like Bar Keepers Friend, over the grout, let it sit for a few minutes and then let the spinning, vibrating toothbrush clean in all the little nooks and crannies. It requires very little elbow grease. Then I just rinse off the counter and admire the white grout again. Sheila

Related: The Wonders of Hydrogen Peroxide

CAKE DECOR. My favorite way to quickly decorate a frosted cake is to take a cookie cutter, place it on top of the frosting and pour sprinkles inside the cookie cutter. When you lift the cutter off, you will have a perfect sprinkle design. Nancy

FLEA SOAP. Original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid is good for getting rid of fleas on pets. Soap up your pet and let sit about five minutes, then rinse. This works really well on young pets that aren’t old enough for flea products. Karen

KIDS PALETTE. When your kids want to do some painting, squeeze the different color paints into a Styrofoam egg carton to keep them separate. The lid of the carton is perfect for mixing colors. Heather

SHAMPOO BAG. If you are going on a short trip or an overnight stay, it can be a pain to pack your large bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Just put a small amount of each into plastic zip-type bags—that way you will only be carrying what you will use and you can toss the bag when you return. Tom

WRINKLED TRAVELER. When I’m traveling, I often open my suitcase to find all my clothes are wrinkled, no matter how carefully I have packed them. A quick way to get rid of the wrinkles is to lightly dampen the piece of clothing with water and then use a blow-dryer to get it dry again. Provided the garment wasn’t too wrinkled in the first place, this should do the trick. Vicki

Don’t miss: Why suddenly do I have to run each load in my dryer twice to get things dry?

HARD-TO-REACH CLEANING. I recently bought a Vaccuflex Vacuum Attachment hose adapter kit and was very pleased to find it sturdy enough for a real workout. More than that, it is extremely handy! The kit comes with a variety of size adaptors and tubes that extend most vacuum cleaners’ reach into spaces too small for the vacuum’s hose end. I’ve finally been able to reach deep into my dryer, my bathroom ceiling fan and other nooks and crannies which have always proven a headache to clean. Used in conjunction with our Shark vacuums, I can attest that this is a worthy tool, able to tackle the most difficult corners and crevices. It is amazing and I highly recommend Vaccuflex to your readers. Robin

P.S. I have followed your column for years, first in the newspaper and then online. Your advice is invaluable and I am grateful for all your tips, your commonsense outlook, and generous spirit. Please continue this column. What you do is unique.

Thank you, Robin and all my dear readers especially those who write to me! Your tips, questions, comments (yes, even the occasional rebuke) keep my batteries charged. You have enriched my life in more ways than I could ever describe and for that, I am eternally grateful. You are my tribe and I cannot imagine my life without you.  Let’s keep doing this, OK? -mh

Yesterday’s post: Simple Record-Keeping to Tame the Paper Monster

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