Dear Heloise: This is a warning. My son is a LOCKSMITH and encounters people who have used a lubricant on their locks to try to make them turn more smoothly.
I would imagine that this is not good anywhere you live, but in dry Southwest Texas, where we have dust storms, this really gunks the whole mechanism up. The combination of sand and oil definitely does not mix.
The only thing that should ever be used to lubricate all locks is graphite. -- Carol, Via Fax
Thanks for helping us avoid a sticky and possibly expensive mistake!
We called a couple of lock manufacturers. One company said it sells specific lubricants, and using any other product on its locks will void the warranty. You don't want this to happen with expensive locks.
The other company said it only recommends using a silicone or graphite spray on its locks. When in doubt, check it out. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: Canned air marketed for cleaning computers and electronic equipment also works great for removing the dust from silk florals and plants without damaging their shape or color. -- Mary Ann Downs, Bardstown, Ky.
Dear Heloise: Thank you for publishing my hint recently -- the belt/shoehorn.
I got a lot of calls from friends, and I kidded them back that I had been "published" in The Washington Post. Keep up the good work. -- Jack Knee, St. Augustine, Fla.
Thank you, Jack, for sharing your hint with us. For those of you who might have missed Jack's hint, here it is:
"When I'm out of town, I use my belt for a shoehorn. It's slick leather, and I just sit down and poke the unbuckled end down the back of the shoe. My socked foot slides in as easy as you please."
HANDY FILM HINT
Dear Heloise: I send my film to a photo lab for processing. (I think the pictures come out better.)
Recently, the lab lost my roll of film and was unable to find it. I even put my address label on the film roll when I sent it in.
So, now the first picture on each roll is of my name and address. I put my name and address in large print on a piece of white paper and just snap a picture of it. -- J.X. Gallen, Via E-mail
Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to HeloiseHeloise.com.
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