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Heloise, syndicated columnist

Dear Heloise: I’ve recently read a couple of articles on the dangers of cooking with aluminum. We’ve used aluminum foil on our grill for several years. Is this really something to be concerned about? — Lynn N., Beaverton, Oregon

Lynn, the main worry with aluminum foil is that it can leach aluminum into foods that are cooked with it, especially when foods are being cooked at high temperatures. There’s been research done on this problem.

One of the studies found that when an item, such as a fish, is wrapped in aluminum foil, it goes from an aluminum-concentration factor of 2 to 68.

Acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, lemon juice, vinegar or salt, seemed to increase the amount of aluminum that gets leached into the food.

Not only did this apply to meat, fish and chicken, but it also applied to vegetables cooked with aluminum foil as well. Grilling vegetables is fine, so long as they are not grilled on an aluminum sheet.

So, what does all this mean? To start, aluminum is a toxic metal, and as of yet, no one has found a beneficial use for it in the human body. But aluminum foil still has some other wonderful uses in the kitchen. For example, you can still use it over a turkey in the oven.

First cover the turkey with parchment paper, then use a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the paper. The same method can be used for covering casseroles. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: I’ve been a hairdresser for more years than I care to think about, and one of the major problems I get at least once a week is product buildup. You can eliminate this by combining 2 tablespoons of vodka with 2 cups of seltzer.

The bubbles in the alcohol and seltzer combo will wash out the product buildup. This method is only used as a treatment after washing your hair with shampoo. It helps your hair achieve a nice shine.

Also, I always like to mix 1/2 cup of vodka with my shampoo to keep my hair shiny and keep down that product build up. I pour the vodka in the shampoo bottle and shake it before each use. — Tracy G., Tampa, Florida

AIR-DRYING LAUNDRY

Dear Heloise: Bravo to Sally W.! Hanging up laundry significantly lowers my utility bill! Living in a townhome, I don’t have an outside space available. However, because our townhome is three stories, the sun shines through the glass, and there are horizontal rails near it.

I hang the laundry there and group the pieces by color so that the hanging clothes look like an art installation. Everything dries quickly, and I just finish them off with 10 minutes in the dryer. — Lorelei, via email

CANDLE REMINDER

Dear Readers: The holidays are just around the corner. If you have candles lit at home, be sure to extinguish all of them before you leave the house or go to sleep. — Heloise

LED LIGHTS IN GARAGE-DOOR OPENERS

Dear Heloise: Dave V. wrote that his garage door opener malfunctioned from using an LED light bulb in the garage.

I had the same issue, but found that there are LED bulbs made specifically for garage-door openers.

I tried one, and it worked, although, at the time, it was a bit more expensive than standard LED bulbs.

Maybe the cost has come down since then? — Paul V.H., Colorado Springs, Colorado

EDITOR’S NOTE: SEND A GREAT HINT TO:

Heloise

P.O. Box 795001

San Antonio, TX 78279-5001

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com



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