Dear Heloise: I felt compelled to share a very important caution with you and your readers.
I buy scented candles in small, glass votive cups. I burn them quite often and have never had a problem.
The other day I was burning a couple, and I heard a funny noise. I found that the cup had broken, and there was a rather large flame. I had some difficulty blowing out the flame, but eventually it did go out. I tossed the pieces out onto the lawn and used the hose to cool them down. When they were cooled, I threw them away.
I was lucky, too, that the votive broke in a way that the wax was still "cupped" inside the broken dish -- it didn't get all over my antique wooden buffet.
I will never again burn candles in a room unless I am physically there. This could have been a terrible accident, and I am quite thankful that I was able to handle it. -- Kate, Via Fax
We spoke to a major manufacturer of these types of candles, and it told us that it is very unusual for the votive to crack.
The manufacturer did say that the candles could be burned for three to four hours at a time -- especially the first time, since it lets the wax pool evenly and makes the candle burn better. It is very important to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4 inch.
Also, if you have a problem with the candle, you really should keep the broken glass and send it to the company so it can tell exactly what caused the glass to break.
Note: Always put something heat-resistant (like a coaster or candle plate) under a candle or votive cup to protect the underlying surface.
And this is a good reminder to never burn candles if you are not physically in the room. -- Heloise
PLASTIC BAG RECYCLING
Dear Heloise: We accumulate a lot of plastic bags and have no problem getting rid of them. We take them to St. Vincent DePaul Society (a charitable organization), and it is very grateful to get them.
Also, one supermarket we go to said it will give us 5 cents for each of its bags we bring back. Sounds good to me to collect them! -- Don Marshall, Tumtum, Wash.
CHARITY ADDRESS LABELS
Dear Heloise: I contributed to a charity that sends me address labels. I've since received many more from other charities hoping to get money.
Instead of throwing them away, I put them in books that I lend to people or on the bottoms of casserole dishes that I take to picnics.
I'm moving soon and will contribute again in hopes of getting new labels. -- Liz Wildman, Via E-mail
Send a money-saving or timesaving 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 Heloise(at)Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.
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