• “ The dishwasher in my new apartment smells bad. What should I do?” — P.K.
Check the bottom of the dishwasher for stuck food pieces and remove them if present, then add two cups of white vinegar to unit and run. When that cycle’s done, quick-scrub any gunky spots on the inside with baking soda, and then add a cup to the bottom; re-run dishwasher once more.
• Is your place a mess? Here’s a no-fail cure to get it gussied up: Invite friends over, and ask them to bring their significant other or people you mostly know. You’ll be motivated to clean up rather than have them see your place a mess.
• If you hate bending over to scrub the tub, use a broom as a scrub brush. (Just make sure it’s clean, or you’ll end up with MORE dirt!) And while we’re on the subject of brooms, clean yours regularly with soap and water, and trim off stray or fraying bristles to ensure a clean sweep.
• Too-tight flats? Put on a thick pair of socks and grab your hair dryer. Run the hot air over the tight spots while wearing the socks and shoes. Keep them on until they’re cool and remove the socks. Problem solved!
• “An open bowl of rolled oats can absorb strong odors from other foods in your fridge. My roommate always puts a small bowl in there when she brings home funky leftovers. It works for us.” — R.E. in Massachusetts
Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.